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Blockchain's role in the future of education

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

This particular blog learning technology discussion among my peers has thus far dealt primarily with the unsolved problems surrounding digital learning technology.

Could Blockchain expansion potentially present solutions to many of the cybersecurity quandaries we have touched upon over the last month in this blog?

I joined many at Pepperdine today for a fascinating discussion with our own Lene Martin, Ph.D, who is a doctoral and Ph.D. graduate of Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education & Psychology. The same academic institution which spawned this blog.

To quote Dr. Martin's Linkedin profile, she is the "Founder & Director of Blockchain at Pepperdine, [which] is an inclusive initiative designed for advancing blockchain studies and solutions worldwide."

For my fellow students in the learning technology arena and myself, today's meeting was incredibly exciting.

Blockchain as a concept is on one hand futuristic and ubertechnical, but also strikingly personal and grass roots, in its primary, founding mission. Blockchain's romantic mission to decentralize interactions between individuals by removing the profit-seeking 'middlewoman or middleman', warms the hearts of entrepreneurs and social justice proponents alike.

Even though Blockchain's transactional ledger depends upon encryption technology that could easily be found in an episode of Star Trek, it also seeks to emulate the simplicity and clarity of days gone by, when a community was incentivized to care for its own by its inherent mutually assured survival or destruction; say, for instance, as it was within frontier communities during our nation's westward expansion during the nineteenth century. The frontier settlers in ever riskier settlement locations were dependent upon one another for many things, not the least being for a collective vigilance to safeguard security, for the greater good of all.

Blockchain, at least in theory, has a similar objective. It seeks to remove the barriers of access that socioeconomic and geographic limitations create for the more than sixty percent of the world's population which currently does not have reliable access to internet connectivity. You might ask, but how can a digital currency which relies upon communal encryption help those without internet?

To answer that logical enquiry is to delve into the still-evolving dimension of Blockchain. For the purpose of our scholarly discussion in this blog, however, I want to explore how Blockchain might empower neglected student populations in American K-12 public education, as well as in education worldwide to overcome the limitations of poverty and/ or unlucky geography to achieve better access to high quality education.

Food for 'Bit' thought, as it were, as our blog discussions continue.

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Matilde Gonzalez
Matilde Gonzalez
Mar 01, 2021

This is such a timely post, thank you. I remember seeing an article the other day from the Department of Education enumerating the various initiatives they are exploring to enhance their technology. In the timeline that is listed in the article attached, there were articles as far back as 2018. It is impressive that under these conditions it is inspiring and driving innovation.

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This quote from the article you linked for me in your post says it all, I think: "Blockchain in particular has the potential to center all transactions around the learner, empowering them to control their identity and leverage the skills they have learned throughout their life to expand economic mobility.' The insight in all of this is that we want to empower all stakeholders in online education, but most importantly, the individual students to become advocates for their individual cybersecurity! Thank you for sharing that article from the Education Council!

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