INTRODUCTION TO BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Module 1: Introduction to blockchain and the Blockchain

You don’t need to understand html to send an email. You don’t need to understand how a microprocessor works to play a video game. You don’t need to understand air chemistry in order to breathe. And you don’t need to understand advanced cryptography and game theory to grasp potential of blockchain and its endless applications! This module will introduce students to the most basic concepts of what a blockchain is and how it works. The principles and vocabulary in this module will lay the foundation for subsequent modules as students dive into relevant and exciting blockchain applications.

Module 2: Blockchain and Transactions

Middlemen have had an important role throughout economic history. They have created markets and assumed risk. But today, it seems like middlemen, or more correctly, intermediaries, siphon off high transaction fees, are slow and inefficient, and fail to protect privacy and information. The elegant technology behind bitcoin and blockchain can reduce the power of intermediaries by decentralizing control. This module explores how blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, can allow us to exchange value electronically. Students will explore how this has the potential to reshape society.

Module 3: Blockchain and Education

Does blockchain technology have a place in education? Absolutely! Despite advances in technology, high school diplomas are still printed on paper (along with a fancy stamp and signature). However, our antiquated systems have allowed fake and forged diplomas to run rampant both in the U.S. and internationally. However, there are features of blockchain technology that can help fix this problem. Several companies are working with schools all across the world to reduce diploma fraud and give students control of their educational records and credentials.

Module 4: Blockchain and Identity

High school students today are growing up in a world where identity management is a mess. Many companies and government agencies control various pieces of our identity. Problems are compounded by hacks and data breaches that expose private and sensitive data. And millions throughout the world, such as refugees or people in poverty, lack access to basic identity documents. In this realm, blockchain holds tremendous potential to allow people to control and protect their own data. This module will highlight some of the most promising projects and companies that are developing solutions for blockchain-based identity solutions.

Module 5: Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Experts believe that blockchain will disrupt, or radically change, many things from the way they have been done in the past. And contracts are no different. Contracts have been used for millennia as a way to replace trust. Today an entire system of lawyers, courts, and legislation has been built to govern contracts, how they work, and what to do when they are broken. This module explores how blockchain technology may change society’s approach to contracts. Students will learn about the Ethereum blockchain and how it enables smart contracts, or contracts based completely and solely on computer code. The module also examines problems and risks with such a system.

Module 6: Blockchain and Music

Did you know that when someone streams a song on a service like Spotify, the rights holder to that song only receives barely more than half a cent per song? And that’s to the rights holder of the music; there are labels and publishers that take their cut, with a small fraction actually going to the musicians. However, new blockchain-based systems are emerging that give more control and security to musicians, artists, and photographers over their creations. This module will explore an artist-centric model through blockchain technology and it may transform the way music is listened to in the future.

Module 7: Blockchain and Voting

A central tenet of democracy is the power of the vote. Citizens want to make sure their voice is heard through their power to vote. Traditional paper-based systems have been the norm for centuries now, but can be susceptible to fraud, corruption, and mistakes, both in the U.S. and other countries. However, electronic or internet-based voting can also be at risk to hackers or system malfunctions. Does blockchain have a solution here? Many people think it has the potential to eliminate voter fraud and prevent any chance of a rigged election. This module will explore the concept of blockchain-based voting systems and its applications across nationwide votes, legislatures, and even corporations. Students will also discuss and explore some of the possible risks to this new approach to voting.

Module 8: Blockchain and Healthcare

Personal healthcare records contain intimate and private details of our lives. Some are trivial, while others can be embarrassing or serious. With that in mind, who is keeping healthcare records secure? Is it a surprise then that healthcare experiences the most cyber attacks out of any industry? Again, in this realm blockchain’s security and structure may provide solutions to problems that healthcare organizations have been struggling with. This module will explore how blockchain can improve both data security and access to records by patients and medical professionals.

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Course Description:
 
Blockchain seems to be the latest buzzword that the business world is talking about. But what is it? And why should a high school student care? This course will seek to answer those questions. It will strip away the layers of complexity and sophistication to help students understand the key concepts of the blockchain. The course will introduce and discuss areas where blockchain has the greatest potential.