blockchain is a database or digital ledger. The data in the ledger is arranged in batches known as blocks, with each block storing data about a specific transaction. The blocks are linked together using cryptographic validation to form an unbroken and unbreakable chain–hence the name blockchain. As it relates to bitcoin, the blocks are monetary units, and the chain includes information about all past transactions of that monetary unit.
Importantly, the database (i.e., the series of blocks) is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers, meaning that it has no one central repository. This not only means that the records are truly public, but also that there is no centralized version of the data for a hacker to corrupt. In order to make changes to the ledger, consensus between all members of the group must be obtained, further adding to the system’s security.
1. Blockchain for the Future of Credentialing
With today’s technologies, graduates and prospective employers must go through a tedious process to obtain student transcripts or diplomas, and this complexity is compounded when these credentials are spread across multiple institutions. Not only that, but these transcripts can take days or weeks to produce and send, and usually require a small fee be paid to the institution.LinkedLinek
This could be a key enabler to facilitate student ownership of this data and would allow them to instantly produce secure and comprehensive credentials to any institute or employer requesting them, including information about a student’s performance on standardized tests, degree requirements, extracurricular activities, and other learning activities.
Blockchain could play a major role in Competency-Based Education (CBE) programs and micro-credentialing, which are becoming ever more popular across universities and internal business training programs.
various companies are currently working on such a system of record. One of the most well-known is called “BlockCert,” which is an open standard created by MIT Media Lab and which the institute hopes will help drive the adoption of blockchain credentialing.
imagine the role that LinkedIn or a similar platform could play in the distribution of such content. Beyond verification of university records, LinkedIn could become a platform for sharing verified work history and resumes as well, making the job application process far simpler
2. Blockchain’s Financial Implications and Student debt
how could blockchain influence student finances? For starters, financial aid and grants could be tied to student success. Instead of students and universities having to send over regular progress reports on a recipient’s performance, automatic updates to a student’s digital record would ensure that benchmarks were being met–and open up new opportunities for institutions looking to offer merit-based grants.
Electronic tuition payments and money transfers could also simplify the tuition process. This is an especially appealing option for international students, as bitcoin’s interchangeable nature and lack of special fees for international transfers makes it a simpler and more cost-effective payment method.
In 2015, former library dean purchased two large touch-screen monitors (I believe paid $3000 each). Shortly before that, I had offered to the campus fitting applications for touch screens (being that large screens or mobiles):
With the large touch screens, I proposed to have one of the large screens, positioned outside in the Miller Center lobby and used as a dummy terminal (50” + screens run around $700) to mount educational material (e.g. Guenter Grass’s celebration of his work: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/15/gunter-grass-1927-2015/ ) and have students explore by actively engaging, rather than just passively absorbing information. The bus-awaiting students are excellent potential users and they visibly are NOT engaged by by the currently broadcasted information on these screens, but can be potentially engaged if such information is restructured in interactive content.
The initial library administration approval was stalled by a concern with students “opening porno sites” while the library is closed which, indeed, would have been a problem.
My 2015 inquiry with the IT technicians about freezing a browser and a specific tab, which could prevent such issues, but it did not go far (pls see solution below). Failing to secure relatively frigid environment on the touch screen, the project was quietly left to rot.
I am renewing my proposal to consider the rather expensive touch screen monitors, which have been not utilized to their potential, and test my idea to engage students in a meaningful knowledge-building by using these applications to either create content or engage with content created by others.
Further, I am proposing that I investigate with campus faculty the possibility to bring the endeavor a step further by having a regularly-meeting group to develop engaging content using these and similar apps; for their own classes or any other [campus-related] activities. The incentive can be some reward, after users and creators “vote” the best (semester? Academic year?) project. The less conspicuous benefit will be the exposure of faculty to modern technology; some of the faculty are still abiding by lecturing style, other faculty, who seek interactivity are engulfed in the “smart board” fiction. Engaging the faculty in the touch screen creation of teaching materials will allow them to expand the practice to their and their students’ mobile devices. The benefit for the library will be the “hub” of activities, where faculty can learn from each other experience[s] in the library, rather than in their own departments/school only. The reward will be an incentive from the upper administration (document to attach in PDR?). I will need both your involvement/support. Tom Hergert by helping me rally faculty interest and the administrators incentivizing faculty to participate in the initial project, until it gains momentum and recognition.
In the same fashion, as part of the aforementioned group or separate, I would like to host a regularly-meeting group of students, who besides play and entertainment, aim the same process of creating interactive learning materials for their classes/projects. Same “best voted” process by peers. My preferable reward: upper administration is leaving recommendation in the students’ Linkedin account for future employers. I will need both your involvement/support. The student union can be decisive in bringing students to this endeavor. Both of you have more cloud with the student union then only a regular faculty such as me.
In regard to the security (porn alert, see above) I have the agreement of Dr. Tirthankar Ghos with the IS Department. Dr. Ghosh will be most pleased to announce as a class project the provision of a secure environment for the touch screen monitor to be left after the group meetings for “use” by students in the library. Dr. Ghosh is, however, concerned/uncertain with the level of cooperation from IT, considering that for his students to enable such environment, they have to have the “right” access; namely behind firewalls, administrative privileges etc. Each of you will definitely be more persuasive with Phil Thorson convincing him in the merit of having IS student work with SCSU IT technician, since it is a win-win situation: the IT technician does not have to “waste time” (as in 2015) and resolve an issue and the IS student will be having a project-based, real-life learning experience by enabling the project under the supervision of the IT technician. Besides: a. student-centered, project-based learning; b. IT technician time saved, we also aim c. no silos / collaborative SCSU working environment, as promised by the reorganization process.
We gladly invite you to attend the International Conference “The Future of Education, Mass-Media and Communication” which will be held at Johns Hopkins University, just 20 miles away from Washington DC.
Crude curation is saving an email, favoriting a tweet, or pinning randomly to a board no one reads that students will never reference again in the future for anything.
Elegant curation is about saving a “thing” while honoring the thing itself. Showcasing it without losing its meaning or fullness. Somehow capturing both that which is being saved and its context as well–and doing so in a way that makes it accessible to yourself and others as technology continues to change. Not easy.
In February, Google added WebVR to Chrome on Daydream-ready phones (like Pixel and ZenFone). The WebVR standard allows users to view virtual reality (VR) experiences in a browser like Chrome by simply tapping a link and putting on a compatible headset. Yesterday, the company revealed it added support for Google Cardboard and launched a new homepage for web-based VR experiments.
WebVR support on Chrome for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is “coming soon.”
AECT-OTP Webinar: Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials for the Workplace
Time: Mar 27, 2017 1:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Learn how to implement digital badges in learning environments. Digital badges and micro-credentials offer an entirely new way of recognizing achievements, knowledge, skills, experiences, and competencies that can be earned in formal and informal learning environments. They are an opportunity to recognize such achievements through credible organizations that can be integrated in traditional educational programs but can also represent experience in informal contexts or community engagement. Three guiding questions will be discussed in this webinar: (1) digital badges’ impact on learning and assessment, (2) digital badges within instructional design and technological frameworks, and (3) the importance of stakeholders for the implementation of digital badges.
Dirk Ifenthaler is Professor and Chair of Learning, Design and Technology at University of Mannheim, Germany and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, Australia. His previous roles include Professor and Director, Centre for Research in Digital Learning at Deakin University, Australia, Manager of Applied Research and Learning Analytics at Open Universities, Australia, and Professor for Applied Teaching and Learning Research at the University of Potsdam, Germany. He was a 2012 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, at the University of Oklahoma, USA
Each student learns differently and assessment is not linear. Learning for different students can be a longer or shorter path.
assessment comes before badges
what are credentials:
how well i can show my credentials: can i find it, can i translate it, issuer, earner, achievement description, date issued.
the potential to become an alternative credentialing system to link directly via metadata to validating evidence of educational achievements.
DB is not an assessment, it is the ability to demonstrate the assessment.
They are a motivational mechanism, supporting alternative forms of assessment, a way to credentialize learning, charting learning pathways, support self-reflection and planning