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Blockchain in HigherEducation Presentation


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Blockchain in Education Presentation by Andrew Sears for the Aquaduct Project

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Blockchain in HigherEducation Presentation

  1. 1. Blockchain in Higher Education Andrew Sears President, City Vision University Aqueduct Project Webinar, October 12, 2018
  2. 2. How BlockChain Could Affect Higher Education  Short term impact ◦ Provides a protocol to authenticate transcripts (likely to be implemented by National Student Clearinghouse in US) ◦ Creates demand for education programs in Blockchain programming  Long-term impact ◦ The most interesting function of Blockchain is that it can serve as a “trust engine” to provide a generalize alternative currency to accredited degrees. ◦ Could provide mechanism to enable mass disintermediation in higher education ◦ Enables technocratic mechanisms that could replace the government’s role in accreditation (most likely through a tech company)
  3. 3. Disintermediation in Higher Education Educator Government Accreditation Agency Higher Education Institution Student Employer Educator Government Accreditation Agency Disintermediating Entity Student Employer • Ordination • MOOCs • Certificates/Badging • Blockchain • Licensing • Alternative Accreditation
  4. 4. Characteristics of Fields Likely to Be Disintermediating First  Employers are willing to hire skilled workers without accredited degrees ◦ Tech Companies, Churches  Qualifications are more effectively objectively assessed ◦ STEM fields, Computer Programming  There is an incentive not to limit the supply of workers and there isn’t entrenched professional licensing regulation ◦ Computer Programming
  5. 5. Likely Sources of Blockchain Disintermediation  Need an industry that will accept common currency of trust that is a better signal than degrees ◦ Most likely will first happen tech industry  Potential sources Blockchain Disintermediation ◦ Generalize company that becomes “Facebook of the blockchain” ◦ Freelance portal like, ◦ Existing tech giant: Microsoft/LinkedIn ◦ Education Loan/Financing Companies ◦ Ed Tech Companies like MOOCs ◦ Unlikely: existing higher education entities  Very likely outcome is that most significant disintermediation comes from forms other than blockchain
  6. 6. Technological Determinism Vs = Technology shapes society  Technology dominates if we let it  Technocracy dominates  Example: Inevitability of Disruptive Innovation  More likely to happen in unregulated spaces  Western “Free market” economies enable tech determinism  Becomes more difficult to restrict over longer periods of time Social Constructivism = Society shapes technology  Depends on the will of society: China, North Korea, Middle East  Government policy dominates  Disruptive innovation theorist avoid implications of regulation  Social is dominant in regulated industries  Tech disruptors typically avoid highly regulated spaces  Inevitability of global competition limits any one country’s capacity for regulation
  7. 7. Reasons why Wolfe University is Unlikely to Succeed  Regulatory Reasons: Unlikely to get accredited under Oxford ◦ You are asking permission to launch a revolution by those who would be hurt the most by it ◦ Malta accreditation will be essentially like Maltan currency: if you print a bunch of Maltan money (degrees) it doesn’t mean you have created a global currency ◦ Disintermediating government from employment credentials would alter the foundation for 60% of the global economy and would require a social effort greater than the “communist revolution”  Technology Reasons: Founding Team Lacks Tech Experience ◦ Could Facebook have been invented by a non-technologist? ◦ Is Wolfe a tech fantasy of how blockchain will enable faculty to get their revenge on administration?  Market Reasons: Challenges of financial scale ◦ Internet economics require economies of scale, which will likely result in some company capturing most of the value of disintermediation rather than faculty capturing the value ◦ Netflix (valued at $150 billion) disrupted global video market ($286 billion annual business) ◦ Higher education market globally: $1.9 trillion. Need initial investment to create $1 trillion company ◦ Since the Web, nearly all major tech “standards” have been dominated by the market Data from: and
  8. 8. Concerns about Blockchain in Education: Are We Replacing the Government’s Role in Education with Technocracy and Will that Be Better?
  9. 9. Ten Commandments of the Culture of Technology 1. Measurement over meaning: Value only that which can be counted. 2. Quantity over quality: Do only those things that affect millions of people. 3. Ultimate goals over root causes: Focus narrowly on the end goal to ensure success. 4. Destinationism over path dependency: Ignore history and context, and take a single hop to the destination. 5. External over internal: Do not expect people to change; instead, focus exclusively on their external circumstances.
  10. 10. Ten Commandments of the Culture of Technology 6. Innovation over tried-and-true: Never do anything that has been done before, at least not without new branding. 7. Intelligence over wisdom: Maximize cleverness and creativity, not mundane effort. Use intelligence and talent to justify arrogance, selfishness, immaturity, and rankism. (Rankism is abuse, humiliation, exploitation, or subjugation based on any kind of social rank. 8. Value neutrality over value engagement: Bypass values and ethics by pretending to value neutrality. 9. Individualism over collectivism: Let competition lead to efficiency; avoid cooperation, which breeds complacency and corruption. Any inhibition of individual expression, including compromise to support the common good, is the same as oppression. 10. Freedom over responsibility: Encourage more choices; discourage discernment in choosing. Any temperance of liberty, including encouragement of responsibility, is tantamount to tyranny.
  11. 11. “Be in the world but not of it.” “Be in the culture of technology but not of it.”