Embracing the disruptive potential of Blockchain Technologies in education

Year: 2019

Author: Rahimi, Mark

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Recently, there has been a revival of interest in applying blockchains technologies in many areas including law, transportation and health. Known as a type of General Purpose Technologies, blockchain technologies are anticipated to have a Global spread Impact bigger than the Internet (Hutchinson, 2018) within a few years. By getting familiar with blockchain technologies, the education community will be more prepared to appropriately apply the blockchain in education. At the same time, we can avoid the countervailing tendencies, which could lead to greater inequality, at the time when these new technologies are reaching out to education.

This workshop provides a discussion on the basics of bockchain technologies and how education can properly embrace a technology that is characterised by transparency, decentralisation, immutability, enhanced security and consensus. In particular, this workshop aims at considering how blochchain technologies can be used as a driver of change that reshapes the ways individuals, institutions and sectors interact in education.

The workshop is consisted of an introduction in the form of presentation, a set of simple group activities and a collaborative conclusion. The first part of the workshop outlines how blockchains work. In order to provide a common working ground, the introduction starts with a brief overview of the initiation of blockchain development, recent advances and the applications of the blochchains.

In the second part, the workshop continues with a set of simple activities on the operation of blockchain technologies without overwhelming the participants with technical details. The discussion will further expand on reviewing the application of blockchain technologies in education by holding global, sectoral and institutional perspectives in relation to various topics, including human resource management, finance, MOOCs, credentials, expenses of education and management of talent.

At the end, the participants will collaborate to put together their concluding points on the disruptive potential of blockchain technologies in education.