What is a Blockchain?

“A block chain or blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of transaction records hardened against tampering and revision. It consists of data structure blocks—which hold exclusively data in initial blockchain implementations, and both data and programs in some of the more recent implementations—with each block holding batches of individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables.Each block contains a timestamp and information linking it to a previous block. The block chain is seen as the main technical innovation of bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions.Bitcoin is peer-to-peer, every user is allowed to connect to the network, send new transactions to it, verify transactions, and create new blocks, which is why it is called permissionless. This original design has been the inspiration for other cryptocurrencies and distributed databases.” --Wikipedia

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Since a blockchain provides a public verifiable log of events, it may be used for signing, linking and aggregating microcredentials and badges. There are a number of privacy implications, since events put on a blockchain are public and impossible to delete. Blockchain is not magic, but an useful tool for some limited use cases - ingrid.melve ingrid.melve Nov 4, 2016
  • Blockchain technology is about relations. And even though, as Ingrid points out above, BC can be used for false information, schools and education has a lot of relations. Grasping what impact and possibilities can come from BC tech in education is difficult but i think it will have a bigger impact than we might grasp at this time. It will take some years figuring out. - lars.lingman lars.lingman Nov 17, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Blockchains may be used for verifying actions, but the content of the transaction could still be false. A signed falsehood is still false, even if the signature is verified. Understanding the limits of public/private is needed - ingrid.melve ingrid.melve Nov 4, 2016
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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