How can blockchain play a role in learning continuity?


When we first launched our Education Blockchains Initiative (EBI), we asked the question — How might blockchain support the educational ecosystem to increase access, provide opportunity, and promote success for all learners?

With the widespread dislocation and disruption in learning and work, educational institutions, businesses, and community organizations need to work together to ensure that learners can continue to learn and then to efficiently share verification of skills and knowledge they have obtained.

On April 22, 2020, we joined our colleagues at the American Council on Education, Dallas County Community Colleges District, and Open Works Group to host a webinar that explores the role that blockchain can play in supporting this continuity in learning and enabling individuals to gain knowledge and skills they need to prosper. We take a first look at this by discussing an overview of blockchain, looking at some early results of the ACE blockchain research, and taking a closer look at how one blockchain-based infrastructure is being used to address equity issues for students in the Dallas area.

Application of blockchain in a larger education ecosystem.
Graphic provided by Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD)

A number of great questions and comments that were submitted during the webinar. For example:

  • What are the impacts of a blockchain infrastructure on hiring processes and how would employers need to adapt?
  • Does using digital credentials stored in “wallets” present additional access problems for low-income students?
  • What needs to happen in order for digital credentials to be globally recognized and to have greater value?

We look forward to incorporating these into future discussions, blog posts, and webinars.

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Office of Ed Tech
Designing the Future of Education and Workforce

OET develops national edtech policy & provides leadership for maximizing technology's contribution to improving education. Examples ≠ endorsement