18 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2016
    1. ever-growing

      Not all types of blockchains, or more exactly not all types of technologies providing services similar to blockchains have to have an ever-growing database. It is the Bitcoin model and other models are possible (for the agnostic!). Let's call them the "unblocked chains" e.g. Swirlds

    2. a use case that is dead on arrival.

      If the answer is "no" may be it was the wrong question in the first place. If it does not make sense to put a student record on the blockchain, it does not mean that blockchain technologies can't be used to provide valuable services in relation to student records. Other architectures based on technologies used in blockchains are possible.

    3. many visions for blockchain in education seem to advocate writing it all to the blockchain

      This is obviously a mistake as it is sufficient to put the address (or its hash value) on the chain, the data (of any size) being stored on something like IPFS. Blockchains were initially designed to store transactions not content — the discussion about the size of the block was about the number of transactions that could go in a block... Things evolved with new systems like https://www.bigchaindb.com/ and the landscape of blockchain-like technologies will continue to grow and diversify...

    4. Unfortunately, such a cavalier approach to ‘throwing it on the blockchain’ flies in the face of the realities of distributed computing

      Agree X 1000.

      I initially thought that it would make sense to have a learner's identity on the chain, and include all of their evidence of work with their credentials. These could be docs, PDFs, videos, audio, apps, games, etc. This of course is an untenable process.

      I think that having identity on a distributed ledger technology, with links out to the domain of the learner, that houses/hosts all of this evidence would possibly make sense.

      I also think that we need to identify ways & means to archive this evidence (which would not live on the chain) so that evidence doesn't disappear.

      If we're using these technologies to address the problem of orphaned badges, what happens when the evidence is orphaned as well?

      Please note that some would suggest that we don't really need the evidence...we only need the documentation of that moment in time the learner was issued the credential as evidence of work that was completed. I see that point...but also think that building up an eportfolio, or domain of one's own and connecting this to a distributed ledger technology with read/write access on the past of the individual would be awesomesauce. :)

    5. Too bad its unlikely to come true.

      I think we still need to look at possibilities to make this blockchain and distributed ledger technologies possible. In my thinking it would be putting your identity on a distributed chain, and then linking out to evidence, credentials, etc. Yes, this will take time, space, and money. Hopefully we can learn from bitcoin, ethereum, and others to develop something that metastasize into a mess.

      I also appreciate the need to allow anyone, regardless of where they live, or means to do so, with the ability to read/write to the ledger.

    6. While the technical know-how to develop a blockchain application is significant, the success of a blockchain is at least as dependent on the continuous social negotiations required to meet the needs of its user base. And, there is little self-executing about that…

      Well stated. One of the narratives that we've heard again and again by ed technologists recently is that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies will take the humans out of the process and replace them with machines. I definitely disagree with this assessment, and think that you're correct that there is (or will be) as need for "continuous social negotiations" that are transparent, and can be audited/revised as well.

    7. Many of the issues that blockchain developers grapple with have profound implications for users and not every user would prioritize future blockchain developments in the same way

      Agreed. I think one of the other concerns embedded in this is that we bring our own value systems into this work as we code, develop, and spread this work. Our individual values might not be the value systems of the collective whole.

    8. blockchains require a system of governance and community engagement to foster continual technical and social development, including a process for communicating with and providing support to users

      Agreed. I think there are also challenges as we work to ensure that we don't reify some of the problems from the past. Just by "putting some blockchain into it" doesn't mean that things will be better. We need discussions and decisions about what we want/need in education, and how blockchain and distributed ledger technologies might address this.

    9. Blockchain misconceptions and the Future of Education

  2. Jun 2016
    1. The uncanny mind that built Ethereum - Vitalik Buterin invented the world’s hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he’d turned 20.

  3. d3c33hcgiwev3.cloudfront.net d3c33hcgiwev3.cloudfront.net
    1. electronic coin

      In bitcoin, these coins obviously refer to monetary units. But, it would be interesting to see how these would be adjusted given new information.

      In the case of credentialing, this could be assessments, observations, certifications, credentials, etc.

      The "digital signatures" could come from trusted parties, colleagues, peers, etc. Depending on the framing of the system...it could be anyone. With these signatures, it could link back to their own values and identify more information about the individual/organization offering the signature.

    2. mechanism exists to make paymentsover a communications channel without a trusted party

      Once again, in the initial framing of bitcoin, it appears that the idea is to utilize technology (i.e., blockchain) to make transactions over a digital channel without involving established, trusted parties (e.g., banks).

    3. With the possibility of reversal, the need for trust spreads.

      This is interesting. Much of the pushback about blockchain and bitcoin comes from questions about "trust" and issues with auditing/editing/revising information from the past.

      It seems like (at least with the initial framing here by Nakamoto) "they" recognize a need for "reversal" of information/data/values and also an increased need for "trust" in the model.

    4. financial institutions serving astrusted third parties to process electronic payments

      This system may work well for financial transactions, but what happens when we build a "proof-of-work chain" for other information/data?

    5. proof-of-work chain

      At its base, it seems like a "proof-of-work chain" using a database propagated by peer-to-peer technologies.

    6. We

      Questions about who is the "we" in this document.