Over the course of the last few weeks, I have managed to get a number of students to join up on Steemit. So while I have not exactly been writing, I have been promoting it as a way for higher education to leverage the use of Steemit as a means to make learning much more engaging. This happened way back before the fork between Steemit and Hive. It has been a good experience so far, however, there are a few pertinent lessons that have been learned.
What is cool to you may not be cool to others
It seems logical at first that the students will see the value of Steemit or something like Hive as part of their learning. For one, they get to use their assignments as content to be posted. This is akin to posting what you have learned on Facebook or Instagram. It also seems logical that the students will start using a social media platform that pays for your content. Furthermore, it would be logical to deduce that the other lecturers would gladly hop on the "decentralized social media blockchain" train as well.
However, I seriously underestimated a lot of things. For one, we educators were always told that the current generation are digital natives. Meaning, they were born clutching a smartphone (My daughter was born clutching an Iphone.) I am joking of course, but many educators were told that students are naturally very savvy with technology.
The thing is Steemit was completely different for them. They started losing passwords and had issues posting. This was eventually sorted out as time went by. But, it was one thing to assign them a task to publish on Steemit, it was another thing altogether to publish content on their own.
As for some of my colleagues, I think I lost them the moment I uttered the words "blockchain" and "social media".
Innovation takes time and effort
While it may seem more practical (and easier) for me to just go back to lecturing, I think I would be doing a huge disservice to the next generation down the road. You see, I train teachers and what the recent coronavirus outbreak has taught us is that there will be many many things that will become increasingly decentralized. After a few weeks of running online classes, I can say that there are many who are not ready for it (more on that in another post).
Likewise, I think that there will come a day where education courses built on platforms and ecosystems resembling Steemit would become possible. As such, it would be advantageous to introduce future teachers to these platforms early and allow them the opportunity to leverage such platforms. If such a future does not pan out, all is not lost since content-creation has and will become something that future teachers have to deal with. Especially since most students are not able to sit through long lessons.
That's all from me for now. How about you? What are your thoughts? Do you think that our education system and learning platforms will become decentralized? Do let me know your thoughts down below.