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article imageBlockchain studies added to university curriculum

By Tim Sandle     Dec 9, 2017 in Technology
As blockchain technology gains in popularity, are universities willing to offer blockchain courses and degrees? The answer appears to be yes, at least for an instiution in Russia.
The potential for blockchain and electronic ledger technologies to form part of academic programs was discussed at the 7th International Scientific-Practical Conference, which took place in Perm, Russia towards the end of November 2017. The conference was titled “Digital Economy: New Competences, Organizations and Governance.”
The conference contained a diverse array of representatives, ranging from Russian academics to business groups like Rostelecom, which is a telecommunication company focused on designing smart cities.
The annual conference is run by the Perm Government; together with support from the Institute of Economics, the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Perm State National Research Polytechnic University, International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society and Russian Association of Business Education. The National Research Polytechnic University was the hosting institution.
Also attending the conference were representatives from the Dentacoin Foundation, which is introducing blockchain and reward tokens into reviews of dental practices, a subject of an earlier Digital Journal article.
Presentations made at the conference included two from Dentacoin; one from Professor Dimitar Dimitrakiev on the disruptive concept of dental reviews that cannot be erased, and one from Jeremias Grenzebach on the blockchain concept.
A presentation from Rostelecom outlined a recent project where the company had implemented a photographic and video surveillance system intended to record driving violations, with a view to strengthen control over the movement of heavy and large vehicles, in the Astrakhan region.
One decision made at the conference was to add blockchain concepts into academic courses, given that understanding and working with blockchains will be key to the development of modern economies. Blockchains allow encrypted data on almost anything, ranging from money to medical records, enabling data to be shared between many companies, people and institutions. A blockchain course, The Financial Times notes, could be combined with other technologies reflecting the digital transformation of businesses, such as shared database systems with cryptography.
In related news, not only are universities considering offering courses with a blockchain component, blockchain is helping to facilitate forms of distance learning education. According to The Open University, a U.K. institution, blockchain technology allows for the disintermediation and disaggregation of higher education. This is a reflection that more learning is happening outside the brick-and-mortar lecture hall universities and more with on online platforms.
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