Blockchain, which is best known as the foundation of Bitcoin, is a technology that functions as a public, distributed, unchangeable ledger. Blockchain stores information in bundles of records, called blocks, stored across multiple computers. The result is a tamper-resistant record of data or transactions. In higher education, the technology could be used to underpin a new form of transcript, one that provides a more complete picture of a student’s achievements and goals. The technology invokes broad questions about which entities and users would have the authority to contribute to and view records held in an educational blockchain application.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.