While this is only one study of one class, the results are provocative and provide fodder for discussion. Researcher Dani McKinney at State University of New York found that students who only listened to podcasts of a lecture and did not actually attend the class did considerably better on tests than the students who went to class but did not use the podcasts. There are a number of variables that could affect a study like this, but nevertheless, it is quite compelling. I think it definitely is a study that sheds some light on where 21st century Higher Ed is heading and should be grounds for ripe conversation on campuses. McKinney plans on expanding this study to cover more than one class over a semester’s time so it will be interesting to see these results for comparison. The physical walls of the classroom are definitely being torn down and the sledgehammers are being carried by students. They will drive institutions to change as they both adopt and become adept at consuming information in new ways while constructing knowledge in highly personalized ways. Eventually, if this type of technology can be orchestrated and delivered competently, then there is no reason to see why such things won’t change the face of education. As an institution that has changed little over the centuries, higher education may look very different 10 years from now. Surely it will look far different than it has over the past 100. Who knows? Mr. Jobs and company, may start offering degrees from iTunes U. Don’t laugh. The music industry did and look what happened to it.