Connected learning implies a lifelong learning pathway that integrates personal interest, peer relationships, and achievement in academic, civic, or career-relevant areas, keyed to the abundance of information and social connection brought about by networked and digital media.
For this learning paradigm to fully meet the expectations of students, it needs to contribute to their personal and professional aspirations, necessitating it to be supported by a system to measure, record and share educational achievements.
Through its ability to act as a decentralised, stakeholder-led, trusted and interoperable ledger of achievement, blockchain has the potential to be the connective fabric that links different learning experiences across formal and non-formal domains, irrespective of the medium.
In May, 2018, The Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning (3CL) brought together thought leaders, academics, practitioners, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The two-day programme looked into current and future applications of blockchain technology and how it may transform credentials for both formal and informal learning.
The conference programme was grouped into four, interconnected themes:
Learning and Earning
Entrepreneurs and stakeholders presented ideas for new educational systems, products and business models enabled by blockhain technologies.
Academics and thinkers considered the possible futures which can be unwritten by technology that allow for true decentralised student-driven learning.
Self-Sovereignty and Identity
Thought-leaders in academia and law considered issues around student data collection, ownership of student data, concepts of identity in the digital world, and what blockchain contributes to this in an era of big-data.
Connecting Learning through Blockchain
National and Regional policy-makers considered how governments can facilitate innovation in blockchain technology and apply it to educational uses, while sharing early progress in the field.