In 2026 what does The Ledger mean for the relationship between Universities & Students?

One of our biggest builds from today came from the idea that The Ledger will change the relationship between universities and students.

Player PD suggested that The Ledger might help us determine the success of a university program and if that program doesn’t deliver, the student should be refunded.

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  What would YOU want to do in this future? What great things could happen?  Universities will have legitimate program rankings that return your payment if their services don't deliver a sound program.

Additionally, PD suggests a method of review to determine a university’s success.

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  Universities will have legitimate program rankings that return your payment if their services don't deliver a sound program.  Similar to an amazon review, we're looking for a review of the quality of the product and educator that the school is promising.

However, player Kate C.  offered the mirror view of this potential future: if a student can demand a refund from an under preforming university program, could the university demand real-world experience from the student?

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  Universities will have legitimate program rankings that return your payment if their services don't deliver a sound program.  Could the opposite also apply? Not enough working in the real world could cause the universities to sue you?

Justin Rogers and Lauren Keller built on this possible future,  offering new ways that students could collaborate with universities to gain knowledge and earn Edublocks.

Foresight Engine Card In Response To:  Universities will have legitimate program rankings that return your payment if their services don't deliver a sound program.  Universities offer free Edublocks in turn for some of the earnings on those blocks. They are incented to do well to earn as well!

Foresight Engine Card: In Response To:  Could the opposite also apply? Not enough working in the real world could cause the universities to sue you?  Maybe you would "refund" your university by tutoring other students; which would increase edublocks for both indivudals

What do you think? How would The Ledger and an Edublock system impact universities and their relationships with their students in 2026?

‘A++ would learn from again!’ – the promise and peril of democratized accreditation

[image showing multiple paths to earning edublocks]

Education goes hand-in-hand with ranking. We grade K-12 schools and rank school districts. Colleges and universities compete to be on best-of lists, in part to justify the value of a degree in exchange for often increasing tuition. Yet in a future where nearly every learning or working experience earns micro-units of validated credit, how will we measure the quality of that experience? Can there be too much democratization? Learning is Earning 2026 players are exploring and expanding this in one of the hottest conversations on the first day of gameplay.

Player Fiona plants the first seed with a Shadow Imagination card raising just these questions:

SHADOW CARD: "How do we measure quality of experience? My math education may be better than someone else's, yet we measure by the same criteria."

Susanne Forchhe offers a prediction of peer-to-peer credit, similar to the LinkedIn endorsement system today:

PREDICT card: "It sounds like this would create something similar to the LinkedIn "endorsement" where people give each other credit for things they know."

Jennifer Quaye also builds, with a card that gets right at the best potential of decentralized expertise:

INVESTIGATE card: "Wouldn't this even the playing fields for people who wouldn't normally have the experience to teach? Maybe make them better at it?"

Michael Boehm investigates the nitty gritty of how we might rate the quality of learning experiences, asking:

INVESTIGATE card: "Do we trust an algorithm to rate the quality of an experience? Or do we rely on labor-intensive human effort to do this?"

Michael plays another provocative build card, as he speculates that decentralization might lead to homogenization which might lead to diminished interest in “elite” learning:

RALLY card: "The homogenization of educational experience is a real threat at people may no longer strive to attend elite colleges or learn from masters,"

(We love provocateurs here at Learning is Earning 2026!)

Michael’s card sparks its own builds, from player Trevor A Green:

ACT card: "Democratization leads to diversity not homogenization. And doesn't exclude high achievers, it empowers them."

and once again Jennifer Quaye raises one of the most important implications of any change to education, asking:

INVESTIGATE card: "But do the blurred lines hurt the privileged or the marginalized? The answer to that question is telling."

Your idea could be the prediction that launches a similarly rich discussion — jump over to the game and play!

Payday or passion? Money or Monet?

[screenshot from video]

Or as player Stanley Frielick puts it, should learning be more about “yearning” or “earning“?

BUILD CARD: "yes - learning is more about yearning than earning?"

In a future where learning is earning—where the income a person earns is automatically tracked back to the skills used to earn it, and where learners can instantly see potential income while they’re choosing potential skills—it may be harder than ever to separate content from cash, or interest (personal) from interest (%).

Player Matthew Roberts poses a provocative Shadow Imagination card that gets this conversation rolling, with his concern that:

SHADOW CARD: "I love the larning part. I'm concerned about the earning part. This will inevitably shift the real motivation from the learning to the $"

Seb Benitez frames this in a different way, around the hot issue of student debt:

PREDICT card: "Alternatively, it changes a system that puts you in debt now for the promise of money later...to a better cost/gain education structure."

Tobin Kyte agrees that learning=earning=better-than-today:

ACT card: "Knowing the possible $ of learning particular skills is good. Also making sure your interests and values match those endeavors/work is key."

while Lissanna and Matthew Roberts both raise an important point about the motivation that powers the learning:

INVESTIGATE card: "The educational literature talks a great deal about intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation; latter tends to be inferior" PREDICT card: "Scientists often find that external rewards reduces our natural motivation, but 'teaching to the test' already damages motivation to learn."

What do you think? In the future of The Ledger, what will motivate learning? Will we be able to separate earning potential from a purer desire to learn? Join this conversation or play your own idea in the game!

Rookie Teacher?

A key aspect of The Ledger and the edublock system is that anyone that who has learned a skill can also become a teacher of that skill.  Parminder points out a potential downside –

SHADOW card: "Not everyone can teach well"

I have seen this first-hand, having recently changed occupations. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks learning from my new colleagues and developing a brand-new skill-set!  Although I have loved learning from each of these “teachers”, and all of these trainers are experts at their craft, some of them where much better teachers than others! Although it seems strange, I sometimes find that the more time and experience someone has in their role, the more difficult it can be for them to teach others. This had me wondering whether spending a lot of time settled into a job or role gives someone time to forget the process of learning the task as a newcomer.  Thus those most recently taught – the novices, the rookies, and the newbies! – can be some of the best teachers!

How else can we identify great teachers?  Klasing suggests an idea that uses the value of the edublocks that they teach.

POSITIVE card: "We could identify great teachers by the value their edublocks generated. Support them in creating more edublocks."

Susanne suggests another “yelp-style” teach review option –

POSITIVE card: "Pedagogy could be measured in a new way using a Yelp-style review system. People who are better at teaching will get better reviews."

Both are great ideas for identifying great teachers!  What kinds of systems or processes might the ledger support to help make sure those who want to teach have the information, tools, and skills to do so?

Jane McGonigal has one idea –

ACT card: "How to teach edublocks becomes part of the common core? :) "

What other innovative ideas are out there?

Is Always Learning Never Fun?

Johnny Weird brings up a very good point discussing the commoditization of fun or relaxing activities. Given the trackable nature of the Ledger, the scenario lends itself well to this observation. The question is, will we forcefully separate learning time and fun time (as we do now) or will we see a redefinition of what it means to learn and have fun?

Shadow Imagination card text reads: The commodification of recreational activities (reading, gaming, athletics) may place additional pressure against relaxation/socialization. Text by player Johnny Weird

The earning of Edublocks in gaming environments could lead to more stress and anxiety amongst gamers as they feel their future is at stake with every game. The Ledger system could also fundamentally impact people’s physical health as they push their bodies past their limits, just for the potential of earning another block.

Card text reads: I was thinking the opposite. It seems like this would put value on activities not otherwise viewed as "valuable."
Alternatively, Klansing suggests that Edublocks could add value to leisurely pursuits as they shift from being cost burdens to potential revenue streams. For some individuals, the old idea of doing what they love to not work a day in their life is an actual reality. I would imagine most people would love to make a living from their hobbies…but would you still love your hobbies?

 

Edublocks transform the world of technology development?

What if technology development of things like virtual reality, augmented reality, cloud services, and new social networks was seen not only as a way to make money, but also as a key activity that earns edublocks? It might create a virtuous cycle and lead to faster integration of new tech tools into all kinds of educational activities. That’s the vision put forth by Justin Rogers, who writes:

Card text reads: Edublocks enable rapid innovation in new technologies such as VR which create an exponential growth curve enabling new types of learning

 

Michael Boehm builds on the idea with:

Card text reads: Establish a clear path by which new techs can get their technologies "certified" by The Ledger so people can earn Blocks with their tech.

 

What if startups were as enthusiastic about building edublock accounts as they were about going after VC funding and getting to an IPO? How might this shift the way we think about technology commercialization? How might it lead to new services and products?

In 2026, does this blog post prove I can write?

There are so many ways to demonstrate learning, some of them effective and some not. Many times people with a degree get into professional work only to find they don’t have the necessary skills, and many qualified people find they can’t get into jobs because they lack the formal credentials.

In this card, player Chris Protos is responding to the questions, "What would you want to do in this future? What great things could happen?" Their answer is, "Power-up edublocks with "doer-blocks". For every solution you share with the crowd, your edublock count in the ledger is multiplied.

Player Chris Protos’s idea of using “doer-blocks” as a way to address this dilemma is interesting–it is like the equivalent of a resume as opposed to a college degree. Maybe instead of having edublocks that are more trustworthy based on where they came from, they are verified by what you do with them! This proves out that the knowledge was valuable.

Player klansing brought up another suggestion:

In this card, player klansing is responding to the question "what would you want to do in this future? What great things could happen?" Their response is, "industries, or even companies, could create their own tailored edublocks to recruit and train a built-in pipeline of workers.

Industries creating edublocks could use doer-blocks connected to their credentials to verify that their courses are having the desired effects!

How does learning become doing? What is the new meaning of “experience?”

A Battle Over Trust: New Tech, Old Questions

A few hours into the game, we are seeing trust in new technologies emerge as a big theme in several of the most active conversations. It’s partly about responding to the idea of putting our trust into new technical systems, whether MOOCs, learning platforms, or blockchain-based systems like the Ledger.  Kate C. writes:

Card reads: If The Ledger becomes corrupt, who is able to put it back on track? Could a generation lose their livelihood on an experiment?

 

What’s more, a system that in essence holds blocks of value that are tightly correlated to education, social, and employment status could be even more damaging to individuals if it were to be hacked, according to XanderR:

Card reads: Hacking could steal other people's contributions and unrightfully take their monetary compensation. This is one reason, of course, that so many people are excited about the potential of blockchain – that it’s hard to hack. The Economist calls it, memorably, The Great Chain of Being Sure About Things. But it’s all still to be seen as the code and the community continue to evolve, and as people come up with new ways to use the blockchain.

What’s a “job” in 2026?

In the current political campaigns all the candidates are calling for “more jobs”, but nobody is facing up to the fact that we will have fewer traditional jobs. The good news is that, by 2026, The Ledger will allow more flexibility in work and many more ways to make a living. The bad news is there will be more potential for worker abuse when corporations figure out how to take advantage of The Ledger, such as player “A5894” points out:

Shadow Imagination card reads: What would happen if corporations found a way to manipulate the system so that they have people permanently tied to the job?
 On the other hand, player “allisonhorn” points out that “career” will get redefined along with “jobs” within the world of The Ledger, which could be a great thing in terms of discovering new ways to make a living:

Positive Imagination card text reads: The concept of a career changes dramatically...allowing people to learn and perform across all kinds of jobs in different fields.