Parenting for Edublocks

Earlier today we debated what should be included in the Ledger, possibly expanding what is being tracked. Let’s take a look at a real-life example:

will you get an edublock for raising a child?

Kristina Read surely thinks so, arguing that parenting can be a translatable skill.

These skills could be translated to other careers or maybe tax breaks for learning how to care for your child better.

Can it be considered valuable knowledge?

Definitely. After all it's knowledge that is already getting passed from one parent to the next. Perfect for the ledger system.

The future of parenting in an Edublock ledger system would certainly benefit parents. Let’s take a look at some of these #positivefutures:

Community

#learningisearning #learnpositive being a parent can become more communal more supportive

Imagine a community of young single mothers learning each other how to look over their children, and becoming teachers of other young moms

Inclusion

I'm a parent of a child with special needs. This future would give me "credit" from higher Ed, life challenges & victories. #LearnPositive

Reduced Healthcare Costs

They could earn Edublocks for keeping children feeded and healthy that would save Health Care Money for Government

What are your thoughts about parenting and Edublocks? Click on any of the above cards to share your prediction, action, rally, or to investigate further.

 

2026: The Ledger in the Workplace

In the world of 2026, Edublocks will have transformed everything about how we prepare for work, what we do at work, and how we’re rewarded at work. As the homepage reminds us, in the future described in the Ledger scenario…

  • When you master a new skill at work, that goes on your learning record, too.
  • You have a complete record of how much income each skill or lesson you’ve learned has helped you generate—so you know the exact value of every part of your education.
  • Investors can help pay for your education. In return, they get a percentage of your future earnings tied to the skills they paid you to learn [emphasis added]. This fuels a new speculative economy as people invest in building a workforce for what they hope will be the most lucrative skills.

So what might the impact of this system be for actual employers and employees? There has been a lot of debate and deep imagination on this – and a lot of it is in the realm of the Shadows! Ariock Knight imagines a Shadow Future in which Ledger accounts will basically become compulsory requirements for employment, and that the income derived from Edublocks earned at work becomes a key source of corporate value:
Card reads: Employers won't hire people w/o Ledger accts, require employees sign over minimum 10% of income derived from edublocks earned at work.

If that were the case, companies might start becoming proprietary about their Edublock content, and employees might also start becoming much more picky about which Edublocks they engage with and whether or not those blocks overlapped with older blocks:

Card reads: If this succeeds, employers will try to set up a tiered system of 'proprietary' EduBlocks that are not applicable outside of their company.

Card reads: How is overlap in Edublocks dealt with? A welder learns from school and at job. Job wants 10% of income from their block, but which is which?

Card reads: It's more thorny when the EBs have investors. My employer last year wants 10% of income from old EB, new employer wants 10% of similar block

In other words, it will be tricky to figure out which income streams get attached to which edublocks; and because of this, there will be arguments over who has “rights” to whose income stream.

If there were a third-party system like the Ledger that were operating inside corporate walls, there’s a final Shadow Future that players imagine:

Card reads: Thanks for coming to the interview. One last question before you go, what are these "Safe Cracking" EduBlocks?

What if every business had a Chief Empathy Officer?

Guest blog post by Anne Burt, Chief Communications Officer at Facing History and Ourselves.

There’s a small but significant groundswell happening during game play around the idea of empathy as a subject – or even a major – in a Learning is Earning 2026 future.

Positive imagination card from Jane McGonigal that reads: "If you had 1 hour to teach anyone 1 skill, what would you teach them? #LearnPositive (please use the hashtag in your reply!)"

Positive imagination card from player brenmcelf that reads: " One hour, one thing: empathy #IWouldTeach #SXSWedu @nasthe3rd"Without question, empathy is a key life skill in a shrinking world where, every day, we interact with those whose points of view and experiences are so different from our own. Research is growing that demonstrates empathy might even be the quality that could save us from the potential breakdown of public civil discourse. In my organization, Facing History and Ourselves, we ask: If you can see the world through someone else’s eyes, would you make decisions differently?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) must be taught, but can it be measured? Right now, a controversy is playing itself out in schools that have developed standardized tests to try to measure whether students are learning empathy and other social skills. How can we open our minds about 2026 and reimagine the teaching and the assessment of empathy outside traditional testing methods? The world is overflowing with real-life opportunities to try out empathic skills. What are some truly innovative ideas that would bring empathy to life and give life to empathy? What if every business had a Chief Empathy Officer, and bonuses were based on employees’ empathic course completion rate? Let’s build a positive future by learning to listen to each other.

enough with the positive! here’s the best of #LearnShadow

[screenshot from Twitter]

Our hashtag #LearnPositive was so powerful this morning that it trended nationally on Twitter! You can check out all of the Positive Imagination cards in the game, but here I want to give some love to the other side, Shadow Imagination cards. There’s a good reason we make this one of the two ‘root’ categories of idea cards: speculating about negative implications of a future can be just as important as thinking about the benefits. Not only is it worth thinking about what could break, who might lose, and where things could go wrong in any future scenario, but starting with a potential negative outcome is itself also a very constructive way to think about the positive, by coming up with workarounds and solving for potential problems.

So to celebrate the power of the shadow, here are some of the best shadow cards played recently in the Learning is Earning 2026 game:

SHADOW: Employers won't hire people w/o Ledger accts, require employees sign over minimum 10% of income derived from edublocks earned at work

SHADOW card: "Worried about people not getting to change their lives in future bc of ledger. Permanent record being real & exploitable #TeamExploit"

SHADOW card: "What if there was a run on certain kinds of edublocks? Could someone or some group try to corner the market?"

SHADOW card: "Concerned if every skill, every 'thing' is credentialized, then intrinsic motivation for learning is skewed & at risk."

SHADOW card: "A key credentialer for an important job is in a conflict zone & suddenly disappears. What happens to that job? Those people?"

SHADOW card: "the increased level of inequality for low income students with minimal or no internet or technology access"

SHADOW card: "Will technology equal access be an issue if everyone has to keep their Ledger active in order to maintain blocks?"

SHADOW card: "How early will this start? Will 10 year olds start earning? will this result in some dangerous perspectives on learning? #learningshadow"

SHADOW card: "no reasonable way is developed to translate learning from the past into edublocks, alienating experienced people and their education."

SHADOW card: "Scummy businesses cropping up around an Edublock system. "Factory" / pay-per-block scams for earning credentials that defeat the point."

SHADOW card: "So what happens to the 6 BILLION+ people that don't have access or use edublocks?"

Cheers to all of our star shadow forecasters for raising such important issues of inequality and access, motivation and reward, digital permanence and those bad actors that would undermine decentralized peer learning for everyone. And if you think you have a positive-imagination counter spin, play it as a build card!

[screenshot from the game]

 

If you had one hour to teach someone one thing, what would you teach?

Before futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal delivered her “How to Think (and Learn) Like a Futurist” keynote at SXSWedu this morning, she prompted the audience to respond to the following: “If you had one hour to teach someone one thing, what you teach them?”

IMG_4605

The responses, shared over Twitter, came flowing into the game. Some people would spend their hour teaching tangible skills: Chinese pinyin, doodling, wrestling, juggling, the ability to fish, play cribbage, plant trees, or grow their own food.

Others focused on the softer skills: empathy, respect and compassion were mentioned numerous times, along with creative problem solving, ableism, and “the importance of making everyone feel valued.”

And others honed in on the skills or practices that may help us build resilience during life’s more challenging moments; these players would teach mindfulness and active listening skills.

Finally, player weisskEDU reminded us not to forget about joy and fun during these teachable moments. As she wrote, “I would teach my daughters how to let go and have a little fun.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.49.48 AM

And player Sab_baou reminded us that a good teacher must first understand what his/her student wants to learn. “I would ask them what they would like to learn and we would go from there …”

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.51.45 AMWhat would you teach? #IWouldTeach Play the game. Imagine the future of learning.

 

Top 10 Leaderboard at start of Day 2!

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 6.17.14 AMPlayers from Texas, Washington, Michigan, and California are topping the ranks on the leaderboard as we head into Day 2 of the LearningIsEarning2026 game.

Leading with 73,270 points is player Kate Crooks, a computer science student in Austin, TX.

But it’s not only students who are getting into the game. The top 10 leaderboard also includes a Microsoft developer from Seattle, Washington, a college professor from Allendale, Michigan, and more.

Who will top the leaderboard as we head into the final hours of the game? Expect some jostling ahead…

Want to know how to play and how to win? Check out this handy overview & play the future!

 

 

 

 

Libraries as Hubs for Learning and Working

If learning is earning, then libraries are going to be an important part of this ecosystem. Kate and Lauren forecast that libraries will rise up as ‘hot spots’ for learning.

Foresight Engine Card In Response To:  Students would be able to stody and work at their own hours, even before college.  A resurgence of libraries as a place for learning for all, or educational 'hot spots' could be formed

Foresight Engine Card In Response To:  A resurgence of libraries as a place for learning for all, or educational 'hot spots' could be formed  Libraries become huge learning centers with rooms for locals to plan community lectures/learning programs. Lets go hang at the library!

Kate points out that libraries could be an ideal institution to help track skill points, or edublocks.

Foresight Engine Card In Response To:  What type of new services could libraries offer in 2026?  Libraries could help develop portals to track incoming skill points, as well as skill counseling (like career services now)

Imagine a world where you can go to your local library, pick up some new skills, and earn enough to pay the bills.

Shaelyn takes the concept of the library a step further, imagining the whole world as a learning network – “Its one big library!”

Foresight Engine Card In Response To:  What would YOU want to do in this future? What great things could happen?  Humanity is able to accelerate faster having a large network to learn from that we all can access. It is one big library!

The First Rule of Fight Club Is…

Edublocks facilitate the authentication process of information and allow us to see how knowledge is moving. This will mobilize fringe learners to keep financially “worthless” knowledge alive. Special groups will form around these blocks building new learning communities. Achieving certain blocks will be seen as prestigious or a sign of sophistication.

Foresight Engine Card saying: In Response To:  Highly obscure/rare Edublocks are sought out and preserved by fringe learners focused on holding unique skills. They secretly pass them on.  Ancient skills controlled by artisans are hugely sought after and rely on journeyman like training programs to pass between generations!

In a world where many feel we are losing a human touch, these unique learning groups will bring a wide range of people together. Being able to authenticate your knowledge through Ledger could expose you to a host of different people and ideas.

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  What would YOU want to do in this future? What great things could happen?  Collaboration could occur between generations, cultures, and countries. What if learning together could help us build common ground?

Yet even more reclusive fringe learners operate with edublocks deep in the Ledger. They form secretive societies carefully passing on blocks thought long forgotten. These societies have colloquially been dubbed Fight Clubs…because well…no one very really talks about them. There is nothing inherently nefarious about these organizations, most of them hold onto their secrets just to prove to themselves they can.

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  What would YOU want to do in this future? What great things could happen?  Highly obscure/rare Edublocks are sought out and preserved by fringe learners focused on holding unique skills. They secretly pass them on.

 

The Future of Degrees

Degrees are the traditional currency of education: from high school through graduate school, they buy access to jobs, earnings, and influence. In the 2026 world of The Ledger, though, traditional degrees are seen to lose their value for a number of reasons.

First, the rapid pace of change challenges traditional degrees. Often, by the time you earn them, the learning they stand for is obsolete. So argues klansing:

learningearning degrees 1At the same time, degrees tend to discriminate. They are expensive, and they stratify the workforce. Many players argued for the democratization of degrees, but smachaje took the bold stand of actually making it illegal to specify a degree requirement for a job position:

LearningEarning Degrees 3

Perhaps most persuasive, however, were all the people who simply saw degrees as too blunt an instrument for matching diverse skills and talents with the complex problems to be solved and specialized tasks to be accomplished. People like Deborah Chad wanted to focus their energies on “exact skills”…

LearningEarning Degrees 4…and many others pointed to the need for micro-degrees, nano-degrees, specializations, and “thin-slicing” of knowledge. And as these designers of  learning in 2026 reimagine degrees, they also see games as the prototypical platform for learning and earning. Here’s Kate Crooks:

LearningEarning Degrees 2So small…accessible…adaptable…fun. The future of credentialing?

The Travel Ledger

The on-demand work culture is creating more mobility. Workers aren’t tied to particular organizations in particular communities for long periods of time. This shift sets up the conditions for more mobility and travel, and travel itself becomes a source of edublocks…as well as a potential source of income.

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  Could we include alternative forms of education? Not every person or every subject is best taught in a classroom.  Absolutely. One alternative would be learning abroad. Instead of traveling being often an expensive rare experience, I would travel to earn.In Sarah M’s imagination, edublocks seem to create a virtuous cycle, where people get paid for learning that happens when they travel, and that learning, in turn, increases their edublock assets, which might be spent for additional travel…and more learning.

Travel has always been a source of learning, and some people have managed to make it a source of earning as well, serving as guides for those who will follow them:

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  I would be rewarded for being a great world traveler (not your everyday job skill) and have a chance to grow this skill even more.  World travelers share their experiences with travel outlets which provide them Edublocks & help them to earn. What a fun job!But in a future where The Ledger documents the quality of learning and the value of it in both monetary and cultural terms, there are other benefits:

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  What would YOU want to do in this future? What great things could happen?  I feel like the global community would be much closer. Travel more accessible. Borders become obsolete. High quality of optionsIn this future, travel might replace the campus as the default “mode” of both learning and earning.