Tapscott Educause Article


Nice mention of Blockcerts in a recent Educause article by Don and Alex Tapscott: The Blockchain Revolution and Higher Education.

Of course, their story telling style is a little bombastic, which drew some criticisms. Alex Usher posted a long, unfriendly response here.

Well, according to the Tapscotts, it basically comes down to the idea that blockchain could let you record competencies and skills in a reliable way, thus changing the way universities work completely. Huge, massive, changes. And once everyone knows reliably what skills and competencies you have, most of the machinery around universities disappears and higher education becomes just one big worldwide open-learning park, and those people who can demonstrate through blockchain that they have certain skills and competencies will be paid to teach others the same things and poof! No more student debt.

Actually, I agree with much of this rebuttal article. I don’t think issuing official records will necessarily change education in radical new ways. However, I do think that ownership is a fundamental right and being able to prove ownership always leads to positive outcomes. That’s where I disagree with the author. The technology for giving people ownership of their records is sound, and he doesn’t seem to understand it.

The Tapscotts are trying to connect with a wide, lay audience … which requires bombastic story telling. Technical people never like that stuff. I think their original book did a good job lighting an imaginative spark, but I hope they don’t keep repeating the same things for too long. There are mundane things that are possible now, and fundamental.