Home Technology Education The Blockchain Game: Teaching Students about Nodes, Hashes, Smart Contracts

The Blockchain Game: Teaching Students about Nodes, Hashes, Smart Contracts

The newest technology set to forever change our lives is the blockchain. If you haven’t heard of it, you must have been living under a stone for the past 10+ years. However, if you think blockchain is just the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, you’d be wrong. Blockchain is much more than that and has countless possible applications.

Blockchain 101 with “The Blockchain Game”

However, understanding blockchain can be complicated, even for technology-savvy individuals and greatest enthusiasts. This is why one professor has decided to bring the blockchain closer to the masses through the education system. Namely, J Scott Christianson, an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri, has created The Blockchain Game, which provides a close experience with blockchain to understand its core principals better.

In The Blockchain Game, students are divided into nodes and miners on a blockchain network for storing student grades at a university. The participants record the grade and course information. Then, they build the block by calculating a hash (a unique identifier) which secured the grade ledger. Finally, the miners get a reward for their hard work, just like in a real blockchain environment.

This simulation gives students hands-on knowledge about the essential elements of the blockchain system – hashes, private keys, as well as blockchain uses such as storing grades. The game doesn’t use any computers because the participants simulate them and calculate the blocks themselves.

When we reached out to J Scott Christianson for a comment he confirmed his excitement on the project’s success as well, “I am so excited that people all over the world are using this exercise to start a conversation about blockchain in their organizations. Learning together, we learn more.”

The game is not limited to core concepts. It is open for modification and expansion to other concepts like smart contracts, supply chain, and more. This way, students can learn about anonymity, decentralization, and immutability of the shared ledger (blockchain).

If this sounds like something you’d like to bring to your classroom or any other event, see the full description and download of all the necessary materials here or reach out to Mr. Christianson himself on Twitter.

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Bert Sz.

Sead Fadilpasic
Sead Fadilpasic
Freelance writer / journalist / blogger. Tech enthusiast and gadget freak. Guitarist. Previously Al Jazeera journalist.

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