We recently chatted with Emily Hunt from Byte Academy on the latest trends in digital education and coding for algo trading.
There is much buzz about blockchain – how do you think it revolutionizes today’s digital world?
Blockchain is revolutionizing not only the current digital world but also areas which have not been digitalized yet (including 98% of the education industry). Many are most familiar with blockchain’s use in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency but its applications are much broader.
Each action on the blockchain (this could be a transaction, for instance) is recorded on a block across multiple copies that are distributed over many nodes (computers) in a decentralized network. This is without a central authority which makes blockchain extremely efficient and scalable. We think that blockchain is secure because each block links to the one before and after it. It can ensure nothing has been tampered with through the entire supply chain. As a result, it is being used in areas such as shipping, agriculture, manufacturing, entertainment and more -- many of which have not been areas of “high tech.” De Beers, for instance, is using blockchain to track diamonds from mining to retailer (and is actually launching a platform for others in the diamond industry to use).
We work with thousands of students and their professors all over the world – over 60 countries. Can you tell us about the latest trends in education development?
Blockchain may just be the tool that provides a much needed revolution of the education industry. Education is in fact larger than the software industry but with only 2% digitalized, as mentioned in the previous question. For teachers, it provides full attribution, control of payments and distribution without the 25-50% of revenues taken by third party platforms such as Udemy. Attribution, through the transparent nature of blockchain, opens up opportunity for educators collaborate and build off of coursework without worrying about plagiarism or copyright — if a teacher builds 20% of a course, he or she can receive 20% of the revenue (or other arrangement that the educator has full control over).
Blockchain’s efficient, scalable nature can digitalize information across universities or educational organizations.
Though what we are doing with the blockchain is extremely innovative we aren’t the only organization tapping into the technology for education. Woolf University, for instance, is a university run on the blockchain. I recently discovered Skillchain, a protocol where universities and training providers use blockchain to certify and guarantee skills.
Outside blockchain, we also are using IPFS (an acronym for Interplanetary Filing System) a decentralized web protocol that creates a highly efficient, peer-to-peer system to store and distribute files. It does not require an HTTP connection and is in fact faster than broadband internet. IPFS allows students to access course material even without a wireless connection, provided that someone in their network has downloaded a local file which can be shared (similar to a mesh network).
The types of content IPFS can effectively store are almost unlimited. For education this becomes more and more important as course material becomes increasingly complex. Instructional items may include interactive tutorials, games, videos and more.
We have been teaching blockchain at Byte Academy for nearly two years, and recently launched our dedicated “Blokchain Lab at Byte Academy” (yes, “Blokchain” vs “Blockchain” is the title) as we build these offerings out. We started edChain, which is a decentralized network for education and careers in collaboration with a team of educators and entrepreneurs. edChain is an open-source, distributed and powered by community of developers, publishers, curators, miners, translators, employers, and educators. edChain uses blockchain and distributed web technologies to universalize educational content. Visit our websites to learn more.
Byte Academy is based in New York, USA. It offers coding education, classes in FinTech, Blockchain, DataSci, Python + Quant-Algo.
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