As more employers incorporate blockchain technologies into their business operations, they are looking to colleges to fill the pipeline with new, highly-skilled talent. Yet, even as demand increases, few graduates possess the specific technical skills and background knowledge needed to meet it. How can colleges fill the so-called knowledge gap? Dr. Lisa Smith and Alex Hammel of SIMBA Chain along with Dr. Joan Nix of Queens College take on this topic and others in a webinar with The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The webinar is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 22nd at 2:00pm ET.
Topics will include:
- How industry practitioners, college administrators, and faculty can collaborate to create a situated cognition learning model.
- How multiple concepts can be taught through the creation of a learning community.
- Why practical application is so important.
- How SIMBA’s Smart Contract Design can provide a simplified approach that is easily applied in the classroom setting.
In More Detail:
Blockchain studies have evolved over the last several years and is now offered in multiple forums and now offered by both corporations and well as academic institutions. One of the key motivating factors for incorporating the sharing of knowledge between corporate entities and academia for blockchain studies is that there is very slow adoption of the technology on the academic side while simultaneously more widespread rapid development and innovation in technology was starting to increase in industry particularly as it relates to supply chain management. This created a perceived knowledge and skills gap within the blockchain space as the anticipated future need of specific technical skills, careers and background knowledge would be expected to continue to widen over time. To help meet this need, it was important for the development of a coordinated effort between business & technology to collaborate with academia in order to address this gap so that both sides can share and combine knowledge.
Further, current offerings including online certificate programs provided by top universities and other online learning platforms, despite covering the basic foundational concepts, were lacking a key component of learning which includes the interactions that typically exists between the instructor and student. Due to the abstract nature of the subject, case studies and other real life examples tend to provide the hands-on applications and tested knowledge to collaborate and discuss more complex concepts including the strategic alliance in academic literature and business models that demonstrate how this can be applied in multiple business disciplines including accounting, finance, supply chain management, and economics.
An example of this type of collaboration is noted with SIMBA Chain (“SIMplified Blockchain Application”), a technology firm that specializes in Blockchain business integration and Smart Contracts. SIMBA’s partnership, formed with several academic institutions, demonstrates the knowledge sharing community outlined in the Community of Practice model described by Kelley and Knowles (2016) which can be updated to reflect a modification of the original model to demonstrate how blockchain studies are currently implemented within the academic community.
The collaboration between industry practitioners and academia creates the situated cognition learning model where the combination of multiple concepts are combined together through the operation of a learning community vs. being cultivated all from one source. In situated cognition, proposed by John Seely Brown, Allan Collins and Paul Duguid (1989) the general premise is that learning cannot be abstracted from the situations in which it is learned and cannot be transferred or applied in school without some form of practical application. SIMBA’s Smart Contract Design (“SCD”) provides a simplified approach that can be easily applied in the classroom.
By using a combination of learning sources, including case studies and real life examples of the use of blockchain within the business school coupled with the integration of corporate technology entities, in this case SIMBA Chain, creates a very unique model in that the SCD software does not require a prerequisite of coding in order to learn and deploy smart contracting. This in effect levels the playing field to expand and cultivate knowledge of blockchain technology which is anticipated to accelerate the bridging of the knowledge gap leading to widespread adoption.
Dr. Lisa L. Smith, MBA
Director, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Compliance & Education @SIMBA Chain
Dr. Lisa L. Smith, MBA is Director, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Compliance & Education with SIMBA and her professional experience includes over 20 years in the securities industry, the majority of which has been in a regulatory compliance capacity. She also serves as Adjunct Professor at Touro College and Clayton State University. Dr. Smith completed her doctoral studies at Georgia State University- J. Mack Robinson School of Business where she obtained a Doctorate in Business Administration/EDB. She received a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from George Washington University located in Washington, DC and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Senior Product Manager @SIMBA Chain
Alex develops long term vision and strategy for education by defining product requirements that incorporate customer feedback and ensuring all users have the highest quality resources available. He has been involved in education for almost 20 years as a teacher, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director and Superintendent. He is passionate about transforming lives through technology and innovation. Alex is also the Co-founder of TeachMe3D.org and an Autodesk Certified Instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education from Ball State University. Originally from Wisconsin, he now resides in South Bend, Indiana. When he’s not working, Alex enjoys getting lost in nature on his motorcycle.
Dr. Joan Nix
Associate Professor of Economics @Queens College
Joan Nix is an Associate Professor of Economics at Queens College of the City University of New York. Dr. Nix graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Queens College and after receiving her Ph.D. in Economics from N.Y.U. joined the faculty at Queens College as a full-time member. In recognition of her excellence in the classroom, Dr. Nix received two college-wide awards, the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the President’s Award for Teaching Innovation. Her teaching career spans decades.