November 9-11, 2021


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Workshop 1: Decentralising Education Using Blockchain Technology

Date & Time TBA

Alexander Mikroyannidis, The Open University, UK

Abstract:  The emergence of Blockchain technology promises to decentralise and revolutionise not only the financial world, but also education in various ways. Blockchain technology offers opportunities to thoroughly rethink how we find educational content and tutoring services online, how we register and pay for them, as well as how we get accredited for what we have learned and how this accreditation affects our career trajectory.

This hands-on workshop will explore the different aspects of education and lifelong learning that are affected by decentralisation. More specifically, we will discuss the ways that ePortfolios, accreditation, tutoring, as well as other aspects of teaching and learning can evolve within a decentralised ecosystem based on the Blockchain. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out and evaluate the online platform offered by the QualiChain project for the Blockchain-based award and verification of education and employment qualifications.
The following outlines the structure of this workshop:
1. Presentation: Introduction to Blockchain technology and the QualiChain project (15 minutes).
2. First activity: Participants discuss scenarios for the use of Blockchain technology in education and lifelong learning (30 minutes).
3. Second activity: Participants try out and evaluate the QualiChain platform (30 minutes).
4. Discussion on the overall findings and closing (15 minutes).


Presenter: Dr. Alexander Mikroyannidis is a Research Fellow in the Knowledge Media Institute of The Open University, UK. He holds a Ph.D. in Informatics from Manchester Business School, an M.Phil. in Computation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), and a B.Eng. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece. Dr. Mikroyannidis has more than 10 years of research experience in the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning and specifically in personalized learning, self-regulated learning, lifelong learning, open educational resources and rich interactive learning materials, as well as applications of blockchain technology in education. He is the author of over 100 articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books. The work of Dr. Mikroyannidis has led to strategic partnerships with key technological companies, most notably with Cisco and its global educational network, the Cisco Networking Academy, which has over 1 million students worldwide. Within this partnership, Dr. Mikroyannidis is in charge of the design, development and deployment of PT Anywhere, a novel educational tool for teaching computer networking skills by performing network simulations on any device. PT Anywhere is currently featured in the UK government’s Digital Skills Toolkit, which is preparing the UK for the post-COVID economy, by offering essential digital skills to job seekers and furloughed workers.