About

This post is designed to quickly introduce Learnd and explain a little bit about the vision behind it and some of the goals we have for it overall.

I will present the problem that Learnd is attempting to solve, and then will describe how Learnd will provide the solution to this problem.

Problem

It is no secret that traditional educational systems are not functioning optimally. You could even say they are broken.

In the United States the issue of student loan debt is one of the most debated topics currently.

Given that educational institutions are profit-driven entities that are run like businesses it’s no surprise that they continuously raise tuition while lowering teacher salaries in an effort to maximize the bottom line.

Source: https://www.nitrocollege.com/research/average-student-loan-debt

This corporate structuring of educational institutions has created a disconnect between students and the real world. Students are led to believe that if they purchase a degree they will be able to use it to find a career they are happy with. The schools are more than happy to perpetuate this myth.

In reality though these students purchase a degree using borrowed money, only to find out there are no careers looking for those skills.

Source: https://www.finder.com/college-degree-value

Solution

To identify the solution we must first establish exactly what is the purpose of education and its role in our modern day society.

This definition covers a lot of the main reasons for education:

Education is the key to move up in the world, seek better jobs and ultimately succeed in life. Education is the best investment for the people because well educated people have more opportunities to get a job which gives them satisfaction. Educated individuals enjoy respect among their colleagues and they can effectively contribute to the development of their country and society by inventing new devices and discoveries. Main purpose of education is to educate individuals within society, to prepare and qualify them for work in economy as well as to integrate people into society and teach them values and morals of society.

For this brief introduction of Learnd I will only focus on the first sentence: “Education is the key to move up in the world, seek better jobs and ultimately succeed in life.”

So according to this definition one of the main points of education is to acquire the skills necessary to obtain a better job.

That’s especially interesting because according to the problem section above a large portion of graduates end up with $300+/month loan payments and a set of skills that nobody wants.

The only winners here are the learning institutions who sold the degree, and the financial institutions who own the loan.

Learnd is the solution to these problems, and more.

What is Learnd

Learnd is an online learning platform comparable to other sites such as Udemy, CodeAcademy, and Coursera.

The main difference is that Learnd is 100% on the blockchain. This gives Learnd the technology required to issue secure, tamperproof, non transferable certificates using NFT technology, and additionally gives Learnd access to crypto wallets and transactions.

This enables the ability to incentivize every aspect of the educational process.

Learners receive crypto for learning, content creators receive crypto for creating lessons, moderators receive crypto for moderation, specialists receive crypto for reviewing and approving courses, and companies can donate crypto to specific skills they are in need of.

This creates an app that is constantly evolving with new content and is completely sustained by the contributions and the work of the community and the donors.

Case Study

Let me walk through an example to illustrate how it will solve the current problems.

Let’s pretend we are in charge of hiring for a large company, say Google just for example.

So we are a hiring manager at Google, and we are tasked with hiring competent Software Engineers who are familiar with our current tech stack.

Without Learnd

Traditionally this would happen by creating job postings on dozens of different apps and social media platforms, with a list of the desired skills we are looking for (we already know no applicant will possess ALL of these skills).

We would then have to screen each candidate and possibly test their knowledge to make sure they really do possess the skills they say they do. We could ask that they have completed some type of degree, but that doesn’t mean much considering 60% of individuals are not working in a position that uses their degree.

Then after we finally find the candidate we feel comfortable with, we would begin training them (some would argue this is where the actual job skills are acquired, “on the job training” as they say).

This is an incredibly tedious process created to make up for the deficiencies caused by the ineffectiveness of the educational system.

By the way in case you weren’t aware this process is not cheap:

Source: https://toggl.com/blog/cost-of-hiring-an-employee

With Learnd

Ok, so without Learnd it is very time consuming and expensive to hire Software Developers who already know our tech stack: React, Motoko, Education, Blockchain, and Tokenomics (I know, Google doesn’t use Motoko… yet!).

Obviously there is no standard university degree that ensures potential candidates will be skilled at this stack.

The closest you would get is a CompSci degree but even a CS degree would be missing some of the skills we need.

So instead we create our own NFT certificate on the Learnd platform, one that includes all the subject matter required to jump right in and work as a Software Engineer at Google.

Once the student completes all the required material for this new certificate, they will be rewarded their certificate and it will be recorded securely on the blockchain.

This is huge. There is no administration overhead, no bursar, no loans or financial aid, no campus, no housing costs, etc.

This is an educational system in its purest form.

As a result of our creating this certificate, we now we have several students who possess the skills we need our employees to have.

No more weeding out applicants who do not “really ”possess the required skills, and no more on the job training where we’re expected to teach our new hires 99% of the skills we need them to possess. We are guaranteed these potential employees have 100% of the skills we require, before they even begin the job.

Oh yeah, and no student loans. What? How is that possible?

Not only are there no student loans, the student actually made enough money to live while learning, thanks to the ‘Learn to Earn’ mechanic.

When we created our certificate, we also made a generous tax-deductible donation to the Learnd Foundation, a non-profit that is devoted to enabling ‘Learn to Earn’ forms of education.

This tax exempt donation is then allocated to the courses that make up the certificate we created. Now anytime a student takes one of those courses, they will receive a portion of the crypto that is allocated to that course.

Think of a reloadable wallet attached to each course. Benefactors can now target exactly the subject matter and content they would like to support, and are guaranteed that their donations are being used for their intended purpose.

So as a business in need of talent we have eliminated the very high cost of searching, screening, hiring, and training new employees. In return we donate a portion of the money we have saved in the form of a tax-deductible educational donation to the certificate we created.

Conclusion

Even though I didn’t touch on it as much as I would have liked, I hope you can see how this can create a self perpetuating entity.

‘Content Creator’ certificate combined with ‘Motoko Mastery’ certificate unlocks the ability to create learning material about Motoko. ‘Master Marketer’ certificate combined with ‘Tokenomics Master’ certificate, combined with ‘Learnd Platform Master’ certificate creates someone you can feel confident will write a solid whitepaper for the Learnd platform.

There you have it, I tried to keep it brief and relevant while still sharing enough of our vision to excite you about the possibilities that are now possible thanks to the Internet Computer.

Learnd is here to disrupt the current educational system using blockchain technologies and Web 3.0, and we welcome you to share the ride.

Stay tuned for more information and expect to start seeing more and more as the project advances.

If this idea resonates with you and you’re passionate, please reach out. We’re happy to work with like minded individuals who are driven to build solutions for these large problems we are facing as a society.


Jesse Neumann
Jesse Neumann

Internet Computer enthusiast and builder. Founder of Portal, a live streaming app on the IC. Co-founder of Learnd, an educational platform also on the IC.

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