AI, Blockchain, And Semantics - Making All The New Buzzwords Work For You

Concurrent Session 9

Brief Abstract

AI, Blockchain, and Semantics are all buzzwords in higher ed. This session explains what they are and how they can be used to help institutions better serve their students.


Phil has been in involved in online learning for over two decades. He has worked as faculty and as an administrator for higher ed institutions. He has also served as the Chief Learning Officer for Mirum worldwide, before co-founding Re3Tech. His work has been recognized nationally and internationally through the receipt of numerous awards from organizations such as OLC, DLA, USDLA, eLSE, Adobe, IBM, and others. He has over 50 peer reviewed articles and 300 presentations.
Passionate about Data and what it can do for organizations today. In 2015, Miguel founded Analytikus, a Data Science & Machine Learning solutions company, aimed at simplifying how institutions consume data and solve Big Data Problems, trough predictive, prescriptive and cognitive technologies. Analytikus' solutions solve through the use of advanced analytics, the most common challenges faced by universities: Retention, Student Commitment, Recruiting and Career Planning. Before founding Analytikus, Miguel moved to Switzerland, and took the challenge of becoming World Climate Credit’s CEO. Miguel directed a digital loyalty solution (MySollars) for companies to meaningfully engage with consumers. He was chosen by Climate-KIC, a EU organization to represent Europe as a prominent Climate entrepreneur in USA. The tour included exposure to top Universities and private investors (i.e. Berkeley University, MIT, Harvard and ARPA-E among many others.) Miguel was also selected as a Climate Reality Leader, trained by USA Vice-president Al Gore and handpicked among 500 startups to present at LeWeb in Paris, one of the most important European Internet events.

Extended Abstract

To date, Blockchain implementations have focused almost exclusively on the financial industry; however, the technology itself is well suited for numerous applications, in a variety of fields, including Education. In fact, there has recently been a great deal of discussion about the potential for Blockchain technologies in various areas of Higher Education, including transcripts, alternative certification, data management, and research. Based upon this emerging demand, several nascent applications have emerged in the market that allow for transcripts, credentials, certificates, competencies, proof of prior learning, and volunteer experiences to be stored, retrieved, and displayed on an immutable Blockchain backbone. Using Smart Contracts (protocols that verify and enforce claims), learners are provided with a permanent record of performance that allows instantaneous verification, with absolute assurance of authenticity. In many instances these technologies are designed so that they can be used in either a stand-alone fashion or through tight integration with existing systems. Through this process, learners are given ownership of their records, with no barriers to retrieval. As the educational journey is different for each learner, this creates a means for institutions and employers to gain complete transparency into those experiences, while allowing the learner to retain autonomy over permissioning of access. The ability to create branches off of this foundational technology is as limitless as the number of areas in which records-based certification is utilized. This proposal outlines the opportunity, solution, and pathway forward for implementation of Blockchain technologies in the Education and Training Sectors.

This presentation will focus on helping participants develop an understanding of how Blockchain technologies can be developed and leveraged to create solutions that empower individuals, educational institutions and corporate training providers. From a conceptual perspective, the core of such systems is a comprehensive, highly-customizable portfolio tool that captures, aggregates and stores academic achievements, training, and certifications from third-party providers, and evidence of skills and knowledge acquired vis-à-vis informal or formal artifacts. Through digitization of these achievements, in an on-demand, immutable, distributed record, individuals and entities of all sizes are empowered to access and share these personal records via a fully-automated process, thereby eliminating inefficient ecosystems. With every transaction, positive effects are generated for all stakeholders, enhancing achievement, goodwill, and systemic efficiencies, while simultaneously generating a highly favorable ROI for institutions and organizations.

The conversation will also cover how AI and semantics can be used to enrich materials and provide guidance to students within a blockchain-based ecosystem.