Blockchain for teachers: A life vest for learners?

blockchain for teachers

Not many of you should become teachers because those who teach will be judged more strictly. That’s a chilling warning everyone is aware of but not anyone could help with. Then comes blockchain which has gained fame over the last few years for its superior cybersecurity capabilities. Since 2019, a number of potential uses in education were already being explored. 

A few are the most exciting, but not in the way already visualized. Russian platform Disciplina is the first platform to harness the power of blockchain technology solely for education and recruiting. TeachMePlease, one of the Disciplina applications, is a higher education marketplace, bringing teachers and students together. However, both of these blockchain applications require the support of centralized institutions, without rewarding actual users.

Decentralizing blockchain for teachers

How about decentralizing blockchain for teachers? Teaching today’s children about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology gives them a marked advantage and encourages them to emerge as the next generation of leaders in this technological movement. How about rewarding teachers for the work they do on the blockchain? This will make blockchain part of everyday life, the true meaning of decentralization.

The role of teachers playing an effective part in the education of students in developing countries is often expressed with serious doubts. Research shows the “sea of unqualified teachers at the primary and secondary levels” in the context of teaching English at the school level. Here’s an innovative idea about blockchain for teachers which could very well be the life vest for learners, taken both ways.

Dear Diary

My uncle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and has to meet initial and ongoing education, experience, and professional development requirements, and  pass a rigorous exam that assessed his competency. Does my teacher have to do the same?

Blockchain Babe

Misappropriation of funds

One of the contributing factors is the shortage of funds to train teachers well, and the misappropriation of funds received in many instances. These two words, misappropriation and funds are often used in the same sentence. Why, in our age of blockchain technology, do we continue to fall into this hole?

The level of education and training of teachers and their poor attendance at school are real problems in parts of Africa, rural India, and many other developing nations, but the students in such areas cannot do without teachers. The thought of overcoming poor quality teachers purely with technology is unreal by itself.

The plight of these disadvantaged students is dire – a combination of several handicaps debilitating their potential to get ahead with a good education: poverty, urban/rural divide, caste, gender, language, religion, and parents who are functionally illiterate as well as poor access to hardware and cheap or no data.

How can we expect students with these kinds of handicaps, to teach themselves how to use a laptop or tablet for online learning?

Trackable learning on the blockchain

Enter the blockchain solution: teachers learning one day ahead of students the lesson they need to teach their students the following day. Presented on a blockchain system, the quality of this learning will be trackable and quantifiable, and linked to the number of funds received as a salary by a now “better-qualified teacher” for actual work done and learned, in a “earn as you learn to program” for teachers as well as students.

I believe that all humans are driven by incentives, and often wonder if a “blockchain experiment teacher-student” program or test case was implemented in a schooling district, linking the local economy and schooling system, students and teachers with an incentivized learning system, would work? What would the outcome be?

How would this look: A humanitarian aid fund would pay funds into a blockchain-enabled education platform. These funds would form part of the “teacher tokens” pool and a “students tokens” pool.

Teachers earn tokens from lessons learned

Teachers can “earn” tokens, paid into their blockchain wallets on the completion of the next day’s lesson learned by the teachers, based on the quality of their education assessment. (the learning of the lesson they will teach their students the next day.)

The next day, the students will be taught the same lesson, they also in turn “earn tokens” for the quality of their education based on a lesson assessment. 

Teachers, after their students’ assessment results, are calculated, earn “bonus tokens” on the success of their students’ results, encouraging them to

  1. Put more effort into learning and upskilling themselves every day, creating an ongoing teacher training program
  2. Put more effort into teaching their students properly resulting in a better education

The very DNA of blockchain would create a trust layer that is lacking in many developing communities today. This in itself (interacting and understanding how a blockchain system works in real life) as the basis for education would be a great start in preparing teachers and students for the world market.

I believe that it would be better than the outcome in many areas today. And that would progress. One small step for education. One giant step for Unesco Goal #4.

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Mitch Rankin

Written by Mitch Rankin

Mitch Rankin is the Co-Founder of Forward Protocol, a technology company building open source blockchain tools to connect the Edtech sector. A devoted husband and father, he has passionately invested on education and blockchain. Focusing on helping solve UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) of the 2030 Agenda, he supports the goal to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. His vision is to impact 1 billion people through a better education and learning experience by changing how the world learns.