Block chain – a candle in the wind?

An interesting post from Donald Clark on Blockchain in learning and education here.

I’ve still to see a single implementation in learning that is worth the candle. In truth education and training does not want to be decentralised and democratised or disintermediated, as almost everyone in the field works in an institutions that will protect themselves to the death. Put aside payment, as one could well imagine that this will happen as the reduction of transaction costs makes commercial sense, Blockchain looks increasingly like it is largely irrelevant in the learning world.

This echoes some of what I’ve argued before as the technology cannot replace the trust layer on who is verifying that knowledge, skills and competence have been developed and demonstrated:

So blockcerts do not generate an additional layer verifying that learning occurred or that the marks reflect the skills, knowledge or competences of the certificate holder. Rather, they simply verify that institution X issued certificate Y to person A.

At best, blockchain technologies may enable better efficiencies in credit accumulation and transfer schemes but not in democratising or disintermediating the assessment and accreditation of  learning.

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