Blockchain and Crypto in K12 Education: Deeper Learning | Hubert Ham | 7 Min Read

The first thing you’ll notice about this article is a new vocabulary. That suggests that these technologies represent a fundamental change in the way we view transactions, credentials, and intellectual property; a more equitable way.

The Editor

When you hear the word blockchain or cryptocurrency you may have some preconceived notion of what it is, view it as a mystery/wonder, or might be deeply involved in that space. The vast array of reactions is exactly why we must not shy away from this technology but rather embrace it. As this new technology establishes itself in our world of finance, art, and supply chain logistics, all our students’ lives will be altered; from how they invest to how their fresh groceries arrive at their local store. So we as educators have to break down these unknowns into small consumable bits for our students to learn, whether it’s in a math, business, art, or technology class.

With any topic that shakes up the status quo, this introduction is to start the conversation on how we as educators can provide students an opportunity to get familiar with blockchain and cryptocurrencies, to not only take advantage of the opportunities they bring, but also avoid the pitfalls they are not aware of. The goal of this discussion is not to convince you to buy cryptos or hail blockchain technology as the only future for students. It is to help you be aware of how the basic principles can be used in your classroom, for board consideration, and in the school, so that our students can make sound decisions if they decide to enter that space, either professionally or recreationally.

So what is the blockchain?

Imagine the blockchain as a set of blocks connected by a chain, each one reliant on the one before. And within each block is a ledger recording a series of transactions. This ledger shows all the transactions on that blockchain since the 1st recorded event.

However, instead of a central entity controlling this information, it is controlled by a decentralized network of computers as shown below.

Another good way to explain it…

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Hubert Ham

Hubert Ham, Director of Innovation & IT, The Alexander Dawson School (NV) and The Esports EDU Lab, has experience as a science teacher in grades 6-12, as a curriculum coordinator and as an instructional technologist. Hubert earned a master's degree in STEM education at the University of Texas, and he brings a mix of technology experience and teaching experience to lead Dawson's I.T. department and innovation initiatives.