Beyond Badges: Why Personalized Learning Advocates Need to Care about Blockchain

Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart has argued that “parent-managed learner profiles” will by key to both enabling and scaling personalization in education. As Tom envisions, these profiles would include all of the elements of traditional school transcripts, supplemented with richer, more nuanced, and actionable information about student learning attainment, achievement, and needs. Critical to this vision is the ability for the student transcript to both be easily portable (and under direct parent/student control) and decentralized (in that traditional education institutions should not completely control or dictate its contents).

While digital badging and its underlying technical approach points a way forward to solving some of the issues associated with a ‘distributed proof of learning’ system, there has emerged another approach that might hold even more promise: blockchain technology.

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