Web 3.0, POAPs, & ISCS114 Class

Colleagues, Friends, and Community,

Today is a special day! I recently created a badge for any students enrolled in my courses during the 2022 academic calendar. I used the POAP app/protocol to offer my badge to the students and they used their school emails with the POAP app. The event can be found in the POAP gallery here! Although the badge is available to all students, it was part of a larger lesson on Web 3.0 and NFTs for the ISCS students I taught this morning.

The original artwork in the middle of the badge was created back in 2008 by Claudio Salinas, a former student who I taught in middle school. While I taught public school, I always had a “piece book” which had pieces, or graffiti art, that I had done myself and/or from other students like Claudio. Although nothing I post on this site is officially associated with my day-job at SF Community College and all posts here are personal opinions on education, etc., I do feel obligated to mention that I love SFCC. The leadership community is strongly committed to supporting students and I find that all of the learners share a special passion both unique to community college students and unique to our region in NM. I display the clashing white logo and school banner with the utmost pride; I thought of making it transparent, etc., but it does not have the “SFCC feel” without the white background. The year is obviously for this academic year.

Although students in any of my classes qualify for this event, the Introduction to Software and Hardware students (ISCS114) get the added benefit of me discussing Web 3.0, POAPs, and NFTs. The small lesson focused on the potential value that non-fungible tokens have in verifying digital assets and ownership, including a means of verifying events, or meaningful life experiences. Taking rigorous college level courses and starting a new journey in the IT landscape is a huge challenge; students in my class should display this badge with pride and to me it symbolizes their hard work, energy, and struggle to be the best humans they can be. (It is also important to note that POAPs involve absolutely no cost/fees of any sort for the students, no benefits for me, and no fees/benefits for anyone at the institution.)

Although POAPs and by extension NFTs in general are a new technology and no one can foresee the future, I have a strong suspicion that some form of POAP will replace our current use of resumes and/or curriculum vitaes (CVs) in the workplace. Instead of relying on someone’s word that they have done what they claim, a POAP would offer academics and students digital confirmation of those accolades. For this reason, I urged students (even those who had .eth domains/wallets, etc.) to use their school email and for this to be the beginning of future accomplishments and good work they complete. Similarly, I can see educators and leaders using this for professional development, design/planning workshops, and even a potential use case for degrees/certificates themselves. All of this is speculation at this point, of course, but I am optimistic about these uses cases and they will not only improve trust/reputation in the academic world, but provide a meaningful and symbolic art piece to represent those life experiences with.

After today’s lesson, one student expressed interest in doing her personal project about what NFTs are, etc., on a technological level and how they are currently being used in popular society and culture. Every student left with more knowledge about the IT landscape and better equipped and prepared for discussions and questions they might face when entering the workforce. NFTs are not in the TestOut curriculum we use at present, but I suspect they will be within 3-5 years, especially if POAPs gain more widespread use for certification. And regardless of whether of the technology advances the way I suspect or not, it was fun to teach this lesson and connect with my students on this level. I’ll note that 4 students out of a total of about 45 were already familiar with Web 3.0, had wallets, and one even had a .eth address. It will be interesting to see how the technology matures with students and teachers, in particular, and whether or not any of these predictions prove true!

Thanks for swinging by,

Mr. Haack

jonathan Written by:

Santa Fe area Math and CS teacher; class archives, instructional techniques, and musings on educational leadership.

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