7 - #itb8 Teaching cryptocurrencies in school

in itb8 •  last year  (edited)

As natural as cryptocurrencies may be for you, as far fetched it is for my students.


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First of all I am going to explain the concept of a currency itself. I am teaching in Berlin / Germany and most of my students are used to the Euro and even those who travel every summer, may never have exchanged currencies as the Euro is accepted in most of Europe.


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So when students realize that there are a lot of currencies in different nations all around the globe witch different exchange rates, we can learn that there are currencies which are issued by nations and that there are others issued by digital entrepreneurs. The first group is based on the trust in the government, the second one in mathematics.


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I do not think, I can go into depth about blockchains and tangles but I do want to point out the fact, that every transaction is secured by many servers. So a criminal would have to manipulate many servers to steel bitcoin. Also I want to explain the basics of inflation and deflation by central banks and show this risk in contrast to the volatility of cryptocurrencies. When my students have understood this, they will probably better judge the security of cryptocurrencies then main stream media.


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At last I want to show some applications beyond simple speculation. And there it comes: Steem. I have already mentioned in front of some students that I blog on a platform that is linked to a cryptocurrency, but never during class. I hope I can find more applications, but at the moment they are not so easy to find. I would extremely appreciate it, if you could show me one in the comments.


Please also take a look at my former post of the #itb8 series


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Teaching kids about crypto is a tough task. One that you need to be careful about as well as it is beyond the spectrum of the curriculum and parents could potentially react negatively to this. I do think that there needs to be a shist at some point and that students will need to learn more about alternate currencies but crypto is not yet mainstream enough for this to be taught in the classroom.

Hi @broncofan99,

thank you for your comment.

Actually, the frame-curriculum of Berlin (Rahmenlehrplan Berlin Brandenburg) has a part with the title "Living In And With Cross-Linked Systems (Leben in und mit vernetzten Systemen, Seite 24). Crypto-currencies are not mentioned by name but the description fits in my opinion well enough. So I am ready for the discussion with parents. By the way, everybody speaks about the meaning of information technology but parents usually do not come to speak to me - even if the grades of their children are low.

The curriculum is available in German only, because it is internationally irrelevant as it is only written for Berlin and another German federal state (Brandenburg). As most steemians propably are not speaking Germany, I plan to write about the curricula for Informatic and Chemistry, the two subjects I am teaching.

I still have more than 20 topics open for my "Informaition Technology Basics for 8th-Graders"-series
(#itb8) and actually I have already planed the next series about teaching chemistry but would you like me to follow #itb8 directly up with a series about the Berlin frame curricula?