Sunday, December 11, 2016

educoin - the digital currency of learning

Imagine having a wallet, call it eduwallet, on a public ledger where your learning is recorded in multiples of 'one hour learning record' called edublock. The ledger is powered by blockchain, same technology that powers bitcoin. Then, what would be the equivalent of bitcoin in the education space? Let us call it educoin – a collection of karma i.e. individual learning experiences, where every learning-experience is a karma.

The public ledger with edublocks will enable everyone to receive credit from anyone. Similar to bitcoin, this will be beyond the boundaries of institutions, schools and universities. So, the formal learning institutions will, sooner or later, embrace the technology and will need to adapt to the new emerging models. All learning will become recordable and measurable in the public domain.

Educoin will radically decentralize education and make it more transparent and learner centric. As we see with bitcoin, there is no central authority, no goverment, no bank to regulate money. This is a much larger collaborative system without a regulatory body. One can give a bitcoin to anyone using peer to peer transaction on blockchain. Similar things will happen in education.

Problem with today's education is that by the time you come out of the program, business is looking for a different skill. Edublocks have the potential to offer one learning or edublock at a time instead of waiting for the whole certification process to end. Each edublock can be a one hour module.

One can impart one hour of training to someone and can award a badge or a certificate that would be stored on the blockchain which would represent the demonstration of success in learning objective. That means, you will also be able to earn with the just received edublock and will continue to learn next edublock. Work and education will become further integrated.

Even students can get paid for what they contribute to others' learning. You earn edubock in school and you can pay back by teaching the same edublock to someone else. You can expect to get the "badges" from peers and industry groups.

I call every learning experience a karma and their collection constitutes an educoin. Learning in itself is an income. It cannot be regulated by governments and regulatory bodies.

Educoin will form a whole new form of learning economy. Going by today's buzz words, the name 'educoin' also brings an element of 'gamification' to the process of learning. Educoins will make every learning traceable. Every educoin will have units of karma.

Technically speaking, every karma can be stored as an xAPI statement on the blockchain. With xAPI, almost every aspect of learning, including informal learning, will be track-able. An edublock will have certain number of recorded xAPI statements, each xAPI statement mapping to one learning experience, the karma. To summarize, the wealth of learning would be measured as below.

1 karma = 1 xAPI statement on the blockchain

1 educoin = 1,000,000,000 karma
1 educoin = 1,000,000 Kkarma
1 educoin = 1,000 Mkarma
1 educoin = 1 Gkarma
1 educoin = 0.001 Keducoin
1 educoin = 0.000,001 Meducoin
1 educoin = 0.000,000,001 Geducoin

With blockchain powered economy and systems of future, expect almost everything to be disrupted. There will be explicit performance ratings. HR will come up with different transparent philosophies. Same will happen to education. Education will become more and more decentralized.

Few years ago, we did not have MOOCs. Bitcoin fever has already caught up. These are exciting times with fast technology changes impacting every area of life. It is only a matter of time when educoin will evolve in one form or another.

Happy Learning! Happy Earning!!

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