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I’ve started a new research project on the blockchain and what it might offer for education. I’m interested in gaining a better understanding of the technology, and I’d like to be better positioned to weigh in on the discussions in which blockchain is increasingly posited as some revolutionary solution for credentials, assessment, and identity management.

Thanks to some suggestions from The Internet, here’s a list of materials I’m working my way through:

Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies

A Decentralized System for Education and Assessment

Decentralising Education and the Blockchain

How One School is Using Blockchain to Authenticate Degrees

UK Chief Science Adviser Urges Government to Start Deploying Blockchains for Public Services

How Blockchain Will Transform Business and Society

Certificates, Reputation, and the Blockchain

Forget Bitcoin — What Is the Blockchain and Why Should You Care?

Digital Portfolios + Open Badges + Blockchain = Personal Learning Ledger

Blockchains for Federated Student Data

Is Blockchain the most important IT invention of our age?

Academic Certificates on the Blockchain

Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure

My view on the current situation of Bitcoin and the Blockchain

Peering Deep into Future of Educational Credentialing

Heart of a Gambler

Programmable Blockchains in Context: Ethereum’s Future

Block Chain 2.0: The Renaissance of Money

The dawn of trustworthy computing

An Introduction to the Bitcoin Blockchain

The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment

The Disruption Higher Ed Doesn’t See Coming (and how it could respond, even lead, but probably won’t)

Understanding the blockchain

What is the impact of blockchains on privacy?

The Future of the Web Looks a Lot Like Bitcoin

Ending the bitcoin vs blockchain debate

From ePortfolios to OpenLedgers — via OpenBadges and BlockChains

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies 

Blockchain of Thought

I'll continue to update this list as more suggestions come in. I'm specifically looking for two things: 1) an explanation of blockchain technology suitable for tech-savvy non-cryptographers and 2) an explanation of how this technology could be used/useful in education. (And specifically how the tech would work in a non-financial setting, too. No hand-waving away those questions or acting like "it's decentralized!" is sufficient.)

Mostly I'm curious about this: what education problem does blockchain actually solve?

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Audrey Watters



The Research

A Hack Education Project

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