Blockchain courses for Dutch Universities

Interest in blockchain technology is prevelant at young adults, but few universities provide proper education.


NOT THE RIGHT PICTURE



Universities have a bureaucratic, conservative and wait-and-see attitude towards new technologies and may wait (too) long before teaching students about the developments. I understand that lecturers may have a lot on their plate and/or that it can be hard to find reliable companies with practical experience, but at that time bitcoin was already 9 years old. Some innovative and progressive lectures proactively reach out to the workfield to bring the latest knowledge to the classrooms. However, most commonly, we were the ones reaching out to Dutch Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences to discuss their offerings regarding blockchain technology.


Challenge

We faced two main challenges: (1) convincing University lecturers 'to bring blockchain to the classroom', and (2) developing courses that would not be obsolete next year due to developments in the field.


Our main objective was to equip students with a proper understanding of the implications the technology has and may have on society, economy and the financial system, and how it impacts how we communicate, collaborate and do business.


Result #1: development of blockchain courses

We have developed educational programs for Dutch university students, covering:

  • Basics of blockchain technology

  • Why private permissionless blockchains do not make any sense

  • Social and human elements of decentralization

  • Tokenization: fractionalizing assets, incentivizing people and communities, democratizing services and organizations, and countering inequality and social exclusion.

  • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

  • Blockchain and the Future of Work


The courses are used from school year 2019-2020 onwards, and contain both theoretical and practical elements (e.g. using wallets, requesting test tokens, setting up DAOs, voting on proposals).


Result #2: workshops and guest lectures

Often, lecturers want to start with a guest lecture before considering to add blockchain technology in their programs. We have given around 15 workshops and guest lectures at Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Zwolle, and 's-Hertogenbosch.


Guest lectures are a great tool to get a grasp of the market. What surprised me was the lack of knowledge and involvement of the students (age appr. 18-25 ) with crypto prior to the courses. When asking how many people owned crypto, usually less than 5% would raise their hand. Even fewer had ever seen a wallet. I was assuming this group would be the ones being curious and experiment with the technology, but I was wrong unfortunately. Reason being is that students often count on the Universities for providing them with the latest updates from the market. A clear indicator that much work is still to be done, both on the student and University side.



Add pictures of workshops and lectures.

 © 2020 by Daan Maasson