Discussion at the Center for Innovation

Scaling up

After a meeting in november, we realized time and technology had caught up on our original plans. We had to scale up and BlockChange.EU is in that process.

We’re talking to new partners about working together, building a network. Organisations like OMO (association of schools for secondary education), Senzer, Praktijkschool Helmond and Yubu. In the process we’re also trying to find additional funding, because a bigger plans means a more expensive plan. Interesting, informative times in the realm of the blockchain in education.

In november and december I talked to all these partners and in the weeks around christmas I’ll be writing a new project plan. When the plans are final, I’ll be posting about it again.

Longpath (www.longpath.org) for BlockChange.EU

Longpath is a strategic moral philosophy used by individuals, organizations and governments to drive positive, immediate and futures focused change. In this text I have made a longpath for BlockChange.EU.

1. Transgenerational ethics

What are the ethics BlockChange.EU is based on? Equality mainly. When you want equal chances for everyone, you want to have means to let everyone show what they can do. Not the amount of money or the family or country you were born in should be a decisive factor in where you end up in the world. You talents, work ethic, experience should count. That is why BlockChange is based on the idea of a meritocracy. Your merits, what you have done in life and who you have become should determine your chances in life. And this works for all generations: not just ours that comes from a time where a college paper was the end of learning and the start of working; not just ours that lives in a time of transformation, but for all generations.

2. Futures (vs. future) thinking

Thinking of futures, possible outcomes of the way the world has developed until today, we see that the field of education has always thought about the possible future. We teach children what they will, should or could need in their future. Changing curricula, discussions about the 21st century skills and the slight conservative approach of most teachers when it comes tot changing the way they teach or what they teach: it all has to do with the uncertainty of the future.

At this moment you see several possible futures in the field of education: a future in which knowledge is obsolete, everyone can use devices and technology to obtain knowledge, so education should be based on learning about technology, or learning basic skills like communication and problem solving. Others see a future in which basic knowledge of the world is still valuable and needed. Knowledge shapes the way you look at the world. Some want every student to have his own learning path, no more curricula, just going along with the intrinsic curiosity of children. Others don’t believe in instrisic curiosity or are afraid children won’t step out of their comfort zone and firmly believe in a standardized curriculum.

But what all of these possible futures of education share is that the path you took, the things you’ve done become part of who you are. And to that end: logging your development is key. And not in a diploma or a (standardized) grade, but on a more personal level, either being part of a curriculum or a personal choice in learning.

3. Telos aligned action

Why would we want to change the way we store student data. First and most importantly, people can see and express who they are, what they know and can do. They have a better understanding of what they can contribute to society and have better means of telling others about that.

People can contribute in a more meaningful way and that satisfies them more (Maslov/Herzberg/Covey). People become happier, can make more grounded choices. And society benefits to, because people use their talents better which leads to faster and better results of people undertakings.


Small update

Up to the summer break, a lot of contacts have been made. I spoke to Volution, the portfolio partner and both NXT and an other blockchain provider. Combining existing technologies with the blockchain will be a challenge, but an informative experience.

On June 27th the subsidy recipients of the SIDN Fonds came together to pitch their ideas for each other and get feedback. I got a few interesting new contacts there, among which a new technical partner and a new organization that could be a great testing ground.

Finally I spoke to two educational startups: WISR and BLSM. Intereseting talks about what education should and could be.

A few weeks of summer vacation to go, and than on to building the bridge between existing student data and the blockchain!


The projectplan is final

We have started our pilot, with a final project plan. Before december we want to build a connection between an existing e-portfolio application and the NXT blockchain. Three to five teachers will use the application to see how it works in their classroom. And we will research the results to answer three major questions:

  1. What are the technical issues involved in this connection?
  2. What are the consequences for the teacher in the classroom?
  3. Is this a possible solution in changing education?

Interested in the (Dutch) project plan? Contact us.