Blog Posts

Robots x Humans

The future of education will be humans partnering with artificial intelligence to co-create. I prototyped this partnership by building a multi-day lesson plan using a chatbot. Through this collaboration I was able to address the following needs that are common to many education professionals:

  1. Using time more efficiently
  2. Incorporating problem-solving and creative thinking
  3. Building scaffolded instruction
  4. Real-world application

The framework below was generated on ChatGPT using the following prompt: Create a multi-step lesson plan on teaching middle school students empathy in project design

Here is the lesson plan along with activities that I would use to complement the steps created by AI. The AI-generated text is in italics my original words are in plain text.


Introduction: Begin the lesson by explaining the concept of empathy and why it is important in project design. You might start by asking students to think about a time when they had to design a project for someone else. Ask them to consider what they did to make sure their project was meaningful or helpful to the intended audience.

This is a good introduction, but lacks any specifics on how to deliver the learning outcomes. An introductory activity I use for exploring empathy is to put students in pairs and have them design a “hybrid food” that contains the elements of their partner’s favorite food. Students interview each other about what types of foods they like, and what textures and flavors. One person takes this information and creates a new unique food from this description. In doing this activity students have created pizza with falafel or pasta with carne asada. It’s a fun way to get students to practice their listening and communication, integral skills for empathy work.

Defining Empathy

Define empathy: Provide a clear definition of empathy and explain that it involves understanding and relating to the feelings and experiences of others. You might use examples or scenarios to illustrate what empathy looks like in action.

For the “defining empathy” part of the lesson, have students watch this video and put them in small groups to write their own definition of empathy. Place the definitions somewhere for the entire room to see and do a short discussion/feedback to generate a class definition. Source your own materials on social and emotional learning such as videos and articles if the video I shared doesn’t resonate.

Practicing Empathy

Practice empathy: Next, give students an opportunity to practice empathy by asking them to brainstorm a list of different groups of people who might be affected by a project (e.g. elderly, children, people with disabilities, etc.). Then, ask students to think about what those groups might need or want from a project, and how they might go about designing something that meets those needs. Encourage students to share their ideas and discuss them as a class.

The chatbot did a pretty good job providing some specifics about an activity to use to help practice empathy. In addition to “brainstorming, a list of different groups of people who might be affected by a project” students can use observation to practice empathy. If students choose to design for people with disabilities, for example, walk around their neighborhood and take pictures of things that would be impactful on this group. Use the photographs to facilitate a discussion about what their needs are and how to solve for those needs.

Empathy in Action

Empathy in action: To further illustrate the importance of empathy in project design, you might show students examples of projects that were successful because they were designed with empathy in mind. For example, you could show examples of products that were designed to be accessible or user-friendly for people with disabilities, or community projects that were designed to address a specific need in the local area.

This phase of the lesson is a good time to expose students to case studies in design. Introduce how empathy is used in action by showing this news report on IDEO’s design process. Then have students work through three or four different products designed to solve a problem, for example Nike FlyEase shoes or this expandable conveyor system. Students can outline how the examples embody the principles of empathy identified in the first part of the lesson.

Applying Empathy

Apply empathy: Finally, give students the chance to apply what they have learned by working in small groups to design a project that demonstrates empathy. Encourage students to consider the needs and wants of the intended audience as they develop their project ideas, and to think about how their project will address those needs in a meaningful way.

It is important to use intentional scaffolding in this phase of learning. Provide students with an extended period of time to create a design or prototype (1-2 weeks depending on the depth of their application). The Stanford University “Introduction to Design Thinking Process Guide” has a section on prototypes. 

Their deliverable can be a written summary, a drawing or digital design, or even a physical prototype created using simple maker tools. This could include plastics, textiles, wood, paper, or lasers, 3D printers, sewing and embroidery machines, or a vinyl cutter. 

Closing the Lesson and Reflection

Throughout the lesson, be sure to emphasize the importance of empathy in project design and how it can help to create more meaningful and impactful projects. Encourage students to continue practicing empathy as they work on future projects, and remind them that it is an ongoing process that requires practice and awareness.

The chatbot did a good job including a final reflective piece for the lesson. After students have presented their prototypes in an exhibition have them write reflections in a journal or portfolio. Use the following as prompts: What do you understand about empathy? How can you use empathy in future projects? Or How can you apply empathy in your daily life?

Teachers and Robots Working Together 

There has been a proliferation of social media posts with articles about chatGPT technology. There is evidence that this tool is an effective way to help support teaching practice. But I have yet to see one that details how we can combine our own creative human abilities with AI. This is important because it shows how AI can help address the four challenges I identified at the beginning of the article.

  1. Using time more efficiently
  2. Incorporating problem-solving and creative thinking
  3. Building scaffolded instruction
  4. Real-world application

AI is also effective for other instructional tasks such as generating fact-based assessments, homework assignments, or even slideshow presentations. I learned that we cannot rely solely on AI to create these resources. This post was to demonstrate that the creative abilities of educators have an important role in designing supplemental activities and tasks.

I look forward to seeing how other educators use their skills to co-create effective educational resources with the help of artificial intelligence. I believe AI will make more room for teachers rather than move us out of the instructional experience. It will also help us focus on more creative components of our job as the mundane tasks of our profession get addressed by AI.

Ed3 Weekly: So Many Questions

Questions, questions, so many questions. Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Curiosity is an essential skill in the world of web3. There are so many new terms and ideas being introduced that it can get overwhelming to keep up.

The landscape of the future of the internet is becoming more apparent. We should all be asking questions about how it will function in our lives. How will our systems look? This will apply across all industries from healthcare, government, energy, and more.

This all ties back to education. Our job is to design conditions that allow our students to thrive. A fundamental understanding to do this is the discipline of “futures thinking.” This helps us what Alvin Toffler called our “possible, probable, and preferable futures.” These are important lenses that help us access new knowledge to guide our educational design.

My hope is that if you have been digging into the resources I have been sharing in the previous thirty-four issues of this newsletter you have some questions. If not, I am here to help with some questions of my own and I found some relevant resources to share with you.

🏫 Web3 founder writes about the impact of decentralization on our school structures

🎧 Podcast episode from The BBC breaking down the metaverse into simple ideas

📽 Video about the term “VUCA” and why it is important for educators to understand what this means

🧑‍🎨 Newsletter article about learning design and how it will change in the future

Will Decentralization Eliminate Schools?

Photo provided by mpeck.eth

I have previously shared articles by Mike Peck and ones he co-wrote with Vriti Saraf. As co-founders of the Ed3 DAO* they have a unique insight into the impact of the future of the internet on education. They have written about the impact of DAOs on education models as well as the ways web3 will have a positive impact on education.

This article by Mike Peck dives deeper into the topic of decentralization. Mike has a deep understanding of learning architecture and he brings a comprehensive understanding of how these structures will be impacted. This article is a great way to get curious about how the structures that we take for granted will shift in the future.

*Full disclosure I work as the community growth lead at the Ed3 DAO

Still Not Sure Why People Are Talking About the Metaverse?

Photo provided by BBC News

We’ve all been inundated by metaverse talk. But it never hurts to revisit the topic to make sure you have all your bases covered. This podcast episode by BBC reviews the foundational principles of the metaverse in an easy-to-understand and factual way.

There are numerous interpretations of what the metaverse may and may not be. I find that in each summary and analysis I discover new things. Part of being curious is remaining humble. Realizing you don’t know everything and that blindspots still remain.

Do You Know What VUCA Means?

Kevin Bushweller & Emma Patti Harris/Education Week

This video doesn’t relate directly to web3, but I find it extremely important. If you have an interest in web3 then you have an interest in the future. Along with that future visioning, you have an understanding of how volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous it is.

“VUCA”, an acronym with roots in military planning has a major role in how we design and plan in our schools. While it became a little trendy during the immediate months after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a concept that we need to keep at the forefront of our thinking as we continue to navigate these times.

How Design Will Change in the Future?

Graphic by Dr. Philippa Hardman

The role of the learning designer has changed significantly in recent years due to the proliferation of technology and the shift toward online learning. With the increasing use of digital tools in education, learning designers are now responsible for designing and developing a wider range of learning experiences. As a result, learning designers now need a more diverse set of skills, including expertise in instructional design, multimedia production, and technology. (Text generated by chatGPT edited by me)

This newsletter article is subtitled “How to get & stay ahead of the learning design game in a post-AI world.” As my AI-generated paragraph above demonstrates, tools like chatGPT have major implications on how we design learning experiences. It is crucial that we as educators critically examine these tools to best understand how to incorporate them into our instruction.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.

The Magic of the Hidden

By the Way

As a musician and educator, I source a lot of insights about my craft from the world of music. One recent insight came from an interview with John Frusciante guitarist in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He discussed how his guitar playing on the album “By the Way” was influenced by Eddie Van Halen. This helped me realize that instruction focused on content loses the magic of what is hidden.

Typically a guitarist influenced by Eddie Van Halen would be employing two of his signature guitar techniques, two-hand tapping and whammy bar dive bombs. John’s guitar playing on the album is void of these. His style is described as “recognized for the melodic and subdued emotions.” These are not things that you would associate with Eddie’s playing.

John explains it this way, “there’s a certain confidence between the way I am playing those simple things that I’m playing, and a certain precision in the accenting of things, and the rhythm playing. It’s a lot of things that I got from his style that just aren’t the obvious frontal parts of his style.”

Venice Queen

In that same interview, John also talks about how his rhythmic guitar playing was influenced by his interest in drum and bass music. When writing the acoustic guitar part of the song “Venice Queen” he used his exposure to the pulsating rhythms of electronic dance music to dictate his right-hand technique.

Listening to this driving and melodic rock-n-roll song it would be hard to hear the impact of music that uses samples and synthesizers.

Music shows us that instead of focusing on the “what” in education, we can focus on the “how.” This shift in focus can move us from only assessing content knowledge and make space for the assessment of self-knowledge.

Getting to Know You

A common experience at the beginning of the school year is a “getting to know you” activity. These commonly function as “ice breakers” or introductory diversions from the start-of-the-year routines. Adopting a musical mindset of assessing self-knowledge can help us leverage these moments to do so much more.

Frame these as important moments in which the students look inward and share valuable information about themselves. Use simple and free creative tools like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud to have students create original pieces of digital media. Co-create rubrics with students that incorporate language around competencies like self-awareness and communication.

One template I use was shared with me by Claudio Zaval Jr. With this template students can identify unique traits, characteristics, or interests that influence them. Combining these digital creations with the peer and self-assessment rubrics that you co-created with the students, both you and the students gain insights into who they are as individuals.

Teaching Like Frusciante

John Frusciante’s guitar playing is confident in its simplicity and its precise rhythmic style. I have followed John’s guitar playing my whole life and wasn’t until that interview that I became aware he had adopted those stylistic characteristics from Eddie Van Halen.

In a similar way, John’s guitar playing has influenced my style as a teacher. From deep studies of his guitar playing, I have developed my thoughtfulness and creativity. Much like John who does extensive examinations of various musical and guitar styles I immerse myself in a variety of instructional techniques.

Ask Yourself

What magic is hidden behind your own unique style? How do you incorporate your individual interests to shape your instruction? What are the unexpected people or places that sneak their way into how you approach the craft of teaching?

By asking these questions we can unlock the magic hiding behind who we are as educators.

If you would like to hear the entire interview it is embedded below.

Ed3 Weekly: How Do You Web3?

This tweet from the Ed3 DAO Twitter account got me thinking:

What is my strategy? How do I source all this information for this newsletter? Where do I go to find valuable resources to share?

I realized that this is a great opportunity to share how I approach these questions.

Most people’s journey in web3 is a mix of podcasts, YouTube videos, Medium articles, and maybe some sharing on Twitter. From the beginning that was my inspiration for creating this newsletter in the first place.

I started to realize that it is hard to find the signal in the noise. It was also a challenge to locate reliable resources that connected all of this information to my job as an educator.

My goal in sharing how I source information is to inspire you. I would love to see more educators producing content around web3 and how they apply it to their schools or classroom.

There’s no exact science to this. In fact, part of my “hack” is to trick the algorithms into feeding you articles and posts from people and topics that offer valuable information. I source a lot of my information from traditional sources like Twitter, Google News, or LinkedIn, the use of effective search queries helps to fast-track this discovery.

Enjoy this week’s issue with resources from:

📰 Misha da Vinci’s newsletter explains the role that web3 has in shaping the future of humanity

🤖 News and opinion website Vox discusses improvements in AI technology

🎙 Podcast interview with an Edtech founder about the power of blockchain and digital ownership for educators

🥽 Article shared in my LinkedIn network on the efficacy of VR lessons

Web3 and the Future of Humanity

Image from Misha da Vinci

Newsletters are a great place to get a mix of individual opinions/outlooks and interesting resources. You should already know that because you are reading a newsletter right now! There are a variety of newsletter types to access info on web3. Some are specifically geared towards the blockchain, but I would also suggest subscribing to ones that cover AI, NFTs, the metaverse, or futures thinking.

One of my favorites is this newsletter by Misha da Vinci. It’s a nice mix of thoughtful commentary and top-notch resources. I always learn something new and my thinking is pushed in a new direction. I’d recommend this issue in particular. It is a great reflection on how web3 can shape the future of humanity.

Can AI Be Too Good?

Jasu Hu for Vox

Major publications are getting hip to web3 and are providing well-researched articles on this topic. For example, quality resources can be found in Forbes, Time, Politico, Bloomberg, and CNBC. They vary in scope and focus with some being more finance-centered or metaverse. But in general searching large media platforms can be a great place to get insight into what the masses are reading.

This article on AI was recently published in Vox. It is a rather in-depth analysis of how AI is impacting our society. The viewpoint is more pessimistic than a web3-focused resource tends to be, but it is thorough. It is important to read how writers with backgrounds in futures, technology, and science discuss web3.

“Finally” a Real NFT and Education Use Case

Image from Luke Franks

I am a major podcast consumer. Apple and Spotify offer a huge library of podcasts on their platforms, especially on crypto and the metaverse. Sometimes it feels like it is too much. It is hard to find quality podcasts that provide thoughtful analysis and deep conversation.

I’ve recently become really partial to the Welcome to the Metaverse podcast. The host is really warm and covers a wide variety of topics from education, business, and finance. This particular episode was interesting for its focus on an emerging edtech product with an NFT angle.

VR Lessons Can Increase Learning

Image by Futuclass

I have spent a lot more time on LinkedIn over the past month. The reasons behind this could be an annoyance with Twitter’s algorithm tweaks, or just looking for something new. I have found that there is a huge community of educators, futurists, and technologists on LinkedIn sharing about AI, the metaverse, and blockchain. The content is much more thoughtful and informative than what I have been finding on “NFT Twitter.”

This study is on the learning impact of immersive environments that I came across in my LinkedIn network. I have previously shared about the importance of sound research exploring the learning impact of web3-related technologies. As educators, we rely on academia to provide research and data that either supports or repudiates what we do in our classrooms. I look forward to accessing more professional-level resources as I grow my Linkedin community.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.

Ed3 Weekly: Got Skills?

The web3 ecosystem has continued to grow which has increased the demand for future-ready skills. This isn’t just the relevant hard skills to build on the blockchain, code decentralized apps, or design artificial intelligence generators either. There are a number of soft skills that companies and builders are looking for as they hire more people in this space.

This demand connects to a broader shift in the interest in new job skills across markets. A recent report by BCG, The Burning Glass Institute, and Emsi Burning Glass has identified that one-third of the top 20 skills requested in postings for the average US job has changed since 2016.

This week I am sharing some platforms that are helping to foster these new skills. An interesting twist to this adoption is that the facilitation of these new skills is happening directly in the web3 ecosystem. This could create a “chicken-and-the-egg” effect where people need to learn web3 to move ahead, but the place to learn web3 is already on web3.

My primary purpose for curating the resources in this newsletter is to encourage educators to begin incorporating learning into their instruction that provides students with opportunities to interact with web3. A diversity of industries will interact with the blockchain, the metaverse, and AR/VR. These include fashion, sport, lifestyle, entertainment, art, design, and gaming.

The demand for job-ready skills in these industries will be increasing as we move closer to the “plateau of productivity” in the Gartner Hype Cycle. We can prepare young people for this emerging job market by giving them opportunities to use web3 tools in our schools. Here are some platforms and companies that are already implementing ways to engage with this upskilling process.

🧑‍💼 Announcement on how Sotheby’s creates the “The Metaversity for Creative Business Leaders”

👾 Summary of how a company utilizes gaming as a pathway for real-world education and history

🛠 The CEOs of Learnoverse and BitDegree announce the launch of a metaverse education project

💻 Fast Company explains the necessity for execution in the metaverse space for it to succeed

Helping Business Leaders Learn About Web3

Image source: Decentraland

The creative industry is an area that should see tremendous growth over the next 20 years. Sports, fashion, art, and design all appeal to the next generation that will be entering the workforce from high school and college. The Sotheby’s Institute is making a move into this space with this announcement about its web3 education program.

It will be interesting to see how Generation Z and Alpha approach these industry changes. How will their digital, multi-modal, collaborative approaches shape this next iteration of the internet? Programs like this one might be part of influencing that transition.

Using Gaming to Educate

Photo from

This recent announcement from the gaming platform CaesarVerse is shining a light on a new application for the gaming industry. Gaming has already positioned itself as a leading part of the transition into web3 with the incorporation of NFTs and cryptocurrency. Could they have a role in education as well?

This video game is a combat-style game set in the Roman era. The two founders have a passion for Roman history and have built a historically accurate open-world experience. In addition to the in-game NFT assets, the focus of the game will also be on blending Roman mythology with historical facts.

Educational Programs and Spaces Inside Web3

Image: Finbold Magazine

At MetaExpo Singapore they released an estimate that said there will be a demand for up to 150 million jobs “to bring the metaverse into existence by 2030.” They also estimated that “around 7 million teachers will be required to educate the next generation of people who will create the metaverse.”

This is where platforms like Learnoverse have the potential to have a big impact on this emerging job market. The announcement at the MetaExpo is to “commit to upholding shared ideals such as providing equal-opportunity learning, making education accessible around the globe, and establishing procedures for the responsible accrediting of educational material.”

Executing In the Metaverse

Photo: Greg Rakozy /Unsplash

“Poorly built video game” and “I don’t think it’s a good product. It’s not. It’s not fun, it’s not good.” These are a couple of examples of how the metaverse and metaverse platforms have been described.

But what about the “potential” for the metaverse? This article from Fast Company describes how the metaverse is not different from other forms of emerging tech. It will come down to one thing: execution.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.

Ed3 Weekly: Living In Two Worlds

Hello educator and web3 frens,

There are times in the web3 space that I feel like I am living in two worlds. One world is full of imaginative innovation in which new platforms are being built and distributed. The other world is skeptical and antagonistic full of doubtful projections of web3 applications.

Skeptical voices are healthy additions to the dialogue around innovation. An overabundance of optimism can cloud our blindspots. In order to create new things we need to account for the limitations and build around or over them.

When it comes to web3 there are four common skepticisms about its adoption:

  • Web3 is undefinable
  • The user interfaces are horrible
  • It’s not really decentralized
  • Uses way too much energy

I won’t go through each of these and try to dispute or argue them. Each has some truth to them. The purpose of this newsletter is to share out resources about what is happening in the space, relate it to education, and let you decide for yourself.

This week’s issue digs into the discrepancy between web3 as the next iteration of the internet and as a space built on delusion. I share some reflections from the doubters, and then some examples of how web3 is existing out in the world today.

Summary of this week’s resources:

🎧 Podcast interview from Bankless with the world’s most well-known web3 skeptic

🌐 An article from Venture Beat asks if Meta’s failures prove the metaverse is dead

🥽 EdTech Magazine profiles how students at Morehouse College are learning in the metaverse

🖼 New York Times covers how NFT artists are finding support from museums

Web3 is Going Just Great!

Image from

If you don’t know the name Molly White do you even web3? She is the pre-eminent web skeptic. Her website Web3 is Going Just Great is completely dedicated to questioning the value of web3 and highlighting every negative web3 news story that comes out. Hers is a voice to be aware of and understand. I have stated before that the willingness to immerse yourself in the ideas of the skeptics is an important trait for those in this space.

This podcast interview on Bankless is a great way to build your understanding of her thinking. I really enjoy listening to these conversations as it gets me to think deeply about my own views. It also gets you to ask some great questions for yourself, like “do I really understand web3?”.

Is the Metaverse Dead?

Image created by Louis Rosenberg using MidJourney

This article from Venture Beat poses the question Is the metaverse dead? Rather than present a skeptical view about the state of the metaverse, it argues that the metaverse is actually inevitable. It also makes some salient points like the metaverse is not NFTs and web3 evangelists are to blame for the confusion around the metaverse, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies.

So is the metaverse inevitable? That’s what the author proposes. Read the article to challenge your assumptions, rethink some norms, or possibly gain some support for your critiques.

Morehouse College Leading the Way into the Metaverse

Image from EdTech Magazine

I’ve covered the work being done at Morehouse College before. Their commitment to building metaverse platforms for learning at their institution of higher ed is admirable. This article in EdTech Magazine provides an update on how their project is advancing.

There’s a lot to love about the work that Muhsinah Morris and her colleagues are doing. This quote really stands out to me about the impact that immersive environments can have on learners: “As an HBCU, a lot of our pedagogy is based on culturally responsive spaces and making sure our students can identify with content that typically doesn’t feel like it’s for them.”

Check out the article to learn how they are leveraging these spaces to make the content feel more relevant for all students.

Museums Embracing NFTs

Refik Anadol Studio; via The Museum of Modern Art, New York

My entry point into web3 was through NFTs. I saw huge potential for this technology to financially support creators. I am a musician myself so I had a personal interest in understanding how this technology functions.

Now that the NFT hype has faded, it is nice to see that museums are maintaining interest in NFTs as transcendent pieces of art. The work of Refik Anadol is in that category of truly otherworldly art. The New York Times covers his art and how museums are working to support digital artists.

If the above link remains behind a paywall, you can also try this link that I can share with friends as part of my own subscription.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.

Ed3 Weekly: New Beginnings

Hello educator and web3 frens,

I am feeling a sense of renewal for a couple of reasons. First off, I have officially moved my Ed3 Weekly newsletter here to Substack. I thought it was a good time to make this move as the future of the Revue platform is uncertain with the recent purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk.

The format and purpose of the newsletter will remain the same: to provide curated resources to help grow understanding of web3 for educators and web3 learners. One small change is I will re-brand this newsletter specifically under the “Ed3 Weekly” name. This seemed like a logical step as I continue to build my own writing on my blog ( and my own substack (

I will continue to cross-post this newsletter on both my own blog and my LinkedIn newsletter. My goal is to make these resources as accessible as possible. Making sure it is posted in as many ways as possible seems to be the best way to achieve this goal.

The other reason I am feeling some extra web3 love this week is the amazing Ed3DAO “Web3 & the Evolution of Education Unconference.” It was truly a transformative event with hundreds of educators and education lovers coming together to share about reimaging education. If you missed it or just want to relive the experience, the featured talks are listed on this playlist on the Ed3 DAO YouTube channel.

But onto the web3🤝education resources for this week! As we celebrate new beginnings, I am sharing things that I think are building the foundations for the “post FTX” era that we are about to enter.

Since I mentioned the elephant in the room, I only have one thing to say. I am not a crypto or Defi expert and don’t know the technical details about what went down. What I do know is that we will look back on this as a defining moment when we reached an adoption infection point. I look forward to a bright and productive web3 future from here on out!

This week you will find resources about:

🤖 The Pew Center exploring the growing influence of AI and what it means to be human

🧠 Ed3 thought leader Scott David Meyers shares his thoughts on a post-FTX world

🌐 Metaverse expert Cathy Hackl writes in Forbes that yes the metaverse is a big deal

🏫 EdSurge continues its coverage of the metaverse and its impact on higher ed

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

As AI has moved into the mainstream (see this article from last week’s newsletter) questions about its ethics have been heavily discussed. This article by the Pew Research Center is a good summary of the main ethical concerns that we should be addressing as this technology is increasingly incorporated into our daily lives.

There are also a number of suggestions about how to effectively manage an AI-infused future. A variety of academics, experts, authors, and entrepreneurs share their thoughts about what this technology is and where it is going.

Web3 is dead. Long live web3

AI-generated image from Canva

I consistently lean on the thinking of writer and entrepreneur Scott David Meyer. He has been writing and developing in the web3 space for a while and always has the best perspectives on changes in the industry.

This brief article is a great perspective on how “true web3 might just find more fertile ground.” Whether it’s a change in nomenclature or interoperable credentials, the future of web3 will continue to ebb and change with the times.

The Metaverse Is Coming And It’s A Very Big Deal

Image from Getty

Cathy Hackl, aka the Godmother of the Metaverse, has an amazing ability to paint the clearest pictures about the ways that metaverse technology will exist in our future lives. This article from Forbes is another brilliant piece that takes you directly into our immersive future.

Cathy walks you through the economy, culture, shopping, and entertainment in this thorough explanation of what real metaverse experience will look like. Her insights are always foundational building blocks to help answer the question “how are you getting ready?”.

The Metaverse Is Built on University Innovation. Higher Ed Should Stake Its Claim

ProStockStudio / Shutterstock

EdSurge has consistently been exploring web3, NFTs, and the metaverse in its coverage of technology and education. You can see articles here, here, here, here, and here. This latest article looks specifically at how higher ed can guide the adoption of metaverse technologies.

I am a little torn on this. On one hand, I have appreciated how universities have traditionally led the way in adopting new technologies in education. Our educational institutions are slow to evolve and since the advent of the internet over 50 years ago we have relied on higher ed to push adoption. But I also worry about the disconnect between the learning being guided at universities and the needs of our K-12 students.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.

Happy Web 3 Birthday to Me

This week marks my 1 year anniversary in web3. My web3 birth was on 11/10/21 when I became the owner of the ENS domain dagan.eth. Unless you count the ethereum I purchased to exchange for the domain, it’s the first token I ever purchased on the blockchain. The transaction hash is:


Since then, I have reached a number of important personal milestones:

  • Presented at three conference events on web3
  • Started an NFT club at my middle school
  • Joined a DAO for educators
  • Attended an exclusive event at the World Trade Center for the owners of a specific NFT
  • Published 30 issues of a web3/education newsletter
  • Purchased many more NFTs

I have three main reflections to share after living for one year immersed in web3:

  1. We’re still early
  2. It still doesn’t work…yet
  3. We’ll figure it out

Planes and Blockchains

I will be using planes and flight to help describe what I’ve learned. Understanding where planes came from and how we got here is useful imagery for understanding web3. As author Steve Parrish of The Great Mental Models said, “The quality of our thinking is proportional to the models in our head.”

It’s written into the history of humankind that on December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered aircraft near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The history of flight did not start with that event. There was kite flying in China, designs of various flying machines by da Vinci made, attempts at hot air balloon flights, “the flying man”, you get the idea.

Let’s take a look into the past to help us understand more about what we may see in the future.

Dirigibles and Tokens aka “We’re Still Early”

Lesson 1: We’re still early

We are in the “dirigible”, or “airship” phase of crypto and NFTs. This can refer to both the language that we use and what the technology looks like.

Dirigibles are those big metallic lube-looking things that were invented in the early 20th century. Your image of them might be from the cover of the Led Zeppelin I album or that horrific video of the Hindenburg disaster from 100 years ago. There were a number of terms that were used throughout their development, “zeppelin”, “aerostat”, “airship”, or “blimp.”

We don’t think of aircraft in those terms anymore. We just call all anything that flies through the sky an “airplane.” Similarly, I don’t foresee a future in which we still use the term “non-fungible token” or “cryptocurrency.” In the meantime, we have prototyped other terms as replacements, such as “token”, “digital asset” or my favorite, “magic internet money.”

As this technology becomes more widely adopted those terms will become outdated and will no longer make sense. A similar example today is how “surfing the information super highway” is an unusable phrase. The terminology of web3 will change as the utility of crypto and NFTs changes with it.

The claims about crypto and blockchain being “just a phase” is a sign of how early things are. The proclamations that we should “move on” from web3 are signals that we have reached the adoption bottom. Remember the famous Daily Mail headline from 1994, “Internet ‘may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it’.” Do you think the internet was a passing fad?

I admit that I get overzealous putting the pieces of the web3 puzzle together in my head. It is a fun exercise to imagine the use cases when designing my preferred future.

I have also learned that things are really early. There is a tremendous amount of room still to grow. And that’s a good thing. We will get to experience all future phases of growth by taking an early interest as builders in this space.

Stick around, that dirigible one day will become a jet plane. Just like how that token one day will become “magic internet money.”

The Metaverse is a Hot Air Balloon aka “It Still Doesn’t Work…Yet”

Lesson 2: It still doesn’t work…yet

Imagine you’ve created something accessible by a limited number of people, functions sporadically, and whose use could potentially result in dangerous outcomes. I am not talking about interacting on the blockchain, I am talking about the first hot air balloons.

The two have a lot in common.

Web3 does “work.” I can purchase crypto, transfer it to my wallet, and transact on the blockchain with digital tokens.

Yet it doesn’t “work” in the sense that it is not easy to use, very few people have the tools to use it, and it’s not completely safe. There’s nothing wrong with that. Early forms of the internet behaved similarly.

I can share an example of one of my favorite early internet memories. It was the Mike Tyson-James “Buster” Douglas fight in 1990. We had an internet connection at our house and we were able to access updates after each round by entering text commands. It felt pretty cutting-edge to be receiving real-time information about an event happening on the other side of the globe without a cable TV broadcast.

That was a far cry from the internet we know today. Far removed from the internet that we knew ten years ago, or even the first graphic-based/hyperlinked internet from almost 30 years ago.

The parallels with web3 are similar. The Carlson curve helps us understand that over time almost all technology experiences both a decrease in cost and an increase in performance.

In 1994 downloading a song on Netscape 1.0 using a 56 kbps modem took over 10 minutes. It cost about $4,000 in today’s dollars to buy the Macintosh Classic II that you’d be doing that on. That machine had about 40 MB of storage and 2 MB of RAM.

Today a Meta Quest Pro VR headset that allows you to experience fully immersive 3D environments costs $1,400. It has 256GB storage and 12GB RAM. We have computers that fit in our pockets that can live stream millions of songs at any time from anywhere in the world.

So while many web3 experiences that we have available today may feel like early 1990s internet, we’ll get there. This leads me to my final reflection.

From Airships to Rocketships aka “We’ll Figure it Out”

Lesson 3: We’ll figure it out

It was 65 years between the first powered and controlled flight on earth in 1903 to the first human lunar landing in 1969. That’s pretty impressive.

Amazing things happen when technology catches up with humankind’s knowledge and desires. It produces the aforementioned lunar landing. It also produced electricity, the compass, penicillin, and of course the internet which is still evolving to this day.

One day we’ll be accessing an ever-present, inter-operable, immersive world with value exchange. It sounds crazy to say that. I believe the future will be even more “out there” than that. In 1903 making the prediction that we would be using air travel to land on the moon was pretty out there too.

A future with brain-computer interfaces is on the horizon. The ability to experience things with our brains that our eyes cannot see is going to happen. Living in multiple “worlds” with expanded communities and societies will be built in the next 50, 75, and 100 years.

The technology feels clunky now so it is hard to imagine all of these pieces coming together to create the novel future that I am explaining. I have listened through a lot of theorizing, conjecture, grandiose promises, and dire predictions during the past year that has forced me to question these possibilities. Having done the work to examine these futures with a skeptical and critical eye, I am comfortable saying that we will figure out how to bring blockchain technology into our future societies.

The Dream is Alive aka “A New Age Begins”

Prologue: A new age begins

Over this past year, I have experienced waves of surety and doubt about whether a blockchain-enabled future is real. There have been moments where I ask myself “what the hell am I thinking?” Maybe I am “sipping the web3 kool-aide.” Am I falling for the illusion that is being sold by charlatans? Am I one of the techno-clowns buying into that illusion?

If I didn’t see and experience some of the things this technology promises I probably wouldn’t believe it myself.

What I have come to understand during this year of exploration and learning is that the world will never be the same. In the future, we will speak about the post-COVID 2020s as being the moment when we entered a new era of how we (re)define the human experience.

I have concluded that there will be three things that define this human experience: ownership, value, and trust. Ownership in the way of NFTs (property), value in the way of cryptocurrency (money), and trust in the way of the blockchain (belief).

“To the moon” as we say in web3 lingo. It’s more than a meme, it’s an explanation of our shared human story.

Ed3 Weekly: #ed3con22

This is a very exciting week in the world of ed3. The first ED3 DAO conference will be held from Friday to Sunday in the ed3verse. There are a number of diverse speakers and presenters coming to share their work around web3 and education.

The issue this week is a special conference edition of Ed3 Weekly.

There is not enough room in the newsletter to cover everybody who is presenting, so my goal is to focus on the primary sessions for each day.

You can see the entire schedule of the conference here. If you’re reading this up to or on November 11 or 12, sign up and come participate. A few spots remain!

If you’re not able to attend hopefully this summary will help introduce you to some new people and platforms that are out there in the ed3 space.

Day 1️⃣

❓ Why web3 🌐 The internet of education 💻 Web3 edtech

Day 2️⃣

🏫 Higher ed 🔑 Crypto 👷 Building cities

Day 3️⃣

🧩 Solving big problems 🫂 Supporting diverse communities 🎓 The power of credentials

Day 1

Day 1 will start with a kickoff from the Ed3DAO founders Vritti Saraf and Mike Peck. The title of their talk is “What is Web3 and Why Does It Matter in Education?” They explain their thinking in detail in this feature article that they wrote for Getting Smart.

The Edtalks will start with a session on “The Internet of Education” with the Learning Economy Foundation, a steward of learning in web3, blockchain, crypto, ad DAOs, and Digital Promise, a global nonprofit working with educators, researchers, technology leaders, and communities to design, investigate, and scale up innovations that empower learners.

The final session will be on the “Landscape of Venture Backed Web3” with representatives of G20 Ventures, a capital partner that helps Web3 communities grow, and GSV Ventures a female-led, multi-stage venture capital firm investing in the $7+ trillion education technology sector across “Pre-K to Gray.”

Day 2

The second day of the conference will start with “Building a Web3 Center for Excellence in Higher Education.” This talk will be led by a Fordham University representative discussing the mechanics of building a web3 Center for Excellence at the university level. 

The other two Edtalks cover “The Crypto Renaissance for Education: Web3 as Recreation Ad Fontes” with Josh Rosenthal and “What if You Could Build a City from Scratch?” with City DAO.

Day 3

The final day of the conference will start off talking about “Solving big problems with learning, earning, and living” with Getting Smart.

The middle part of the Edtalk lineup will feature a large panel discussion on “Building Web3 Communities for Diverse Members.” Sharing will be the co-founder of Hug, the community lead at MAVIONWorld, the co-founder of Black Creators DAO, and the Head of Community at Flooz.

Public Consulting Group, Digital Credentials Consortium MIT, and Metacrafters will deliver the final Edtalk discussing “The inequity of grades & the power of credentials.”

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here or if you’re on LinkedIn go check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow.

Link to all my work by checking out my website.

Ed3 Weekly: To Whom It May Concern

Jason Henry for The New York Times

I’ve been reflecting deeply while preparing my presentation for the upcoming “Web3 & the Evolution of Education Unconference” with the Ed3DAO. I’ve been considering use cases, mental models, equity, access, relevance, scams, and so much more.

Web3 is a complex topic. There is a number of viewpoints about what it is and what it will (or won’t) be. As an educator, I need to use a critical lens to dissect the various options in order to identify what is the relevant information.

That’s where this newsletter comes in. I have a passion for sharing resources that add value to your job as an educator. I use my experience working with students and teachers to curate the information that you need.

This week I touch on some topics that are on the bleeding edge of concern in many educator circles. The dangers of AI, using NFTs to incentivize learning, teens in the metaverse, and VR education solutions. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to jump into the conversations early so we can help to shape the implementation of these technologies in our classrooms.

All of these articles are things that I am considering as I craft my presentation about “the key components of web3 that will transform society and education and the future-ready skills that are essential for engaging with this transformation.”

I look forward to a special “Web3 & the Evolution of Education Unconference” issue next week. But for now please enjoy this week’s resources on:

🤖 Like it or not AI is here, this article will help you understand who is driving its adoption

🎟 Story about how a classroom is using NFTs to increase student engagement

📃 Read a major report about GenZ and the future of learning in the metaverse

🧑‍🎓 This company outlines how VR can be used in your K-12 classroom

Why is Everyone Talking About Generative A.I.?

As the title of this New York Times article states, AI is definitely having its “coming out moment.” It’s for good reason. The technology has reached an inflection point where there are free and easy-to-use tools for image and text generation.

It is important to understand where these tools come from, who is designing them, and how it all fits into innovations in technology. One quote stands out, “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but you can at least have everyone look at the genie.”

Using NFTs for Positive Reinforcement

As educators, we are very aware of the dangers of positive reinforcement models. Many of us have at least a passing familiarity with Alfie Kohn’s “Punished By Rewards.”

So the idea of using NFTs to encourage participation by students will probably be met with eye rolls and sighs. But before we all “poo-poo” the idea, it is important to understand why and how it’s being used. Keep an open mind and learn about this example in the Dallas school system.

Report on Gen Z and the Future of Learning in the Metaverse

Here is a thorough report about the metaverse from the Federation of Awarding Bodies out of the UK. You can read some background on the report here.

What makes this particular report interesting is it focuses on how Gen Z will be interacting with this technology. The forward to the report uses this famous Abraham Lincoln quote, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Learn more about what those schoolroom philosophies will be in the future.

VR and the Way Students Learn

In reading through “Gen Z & The Future of Learning in The Metaverse” this company was particularly interesting. They have built out a number of VR learning environments and objects. These are ready to use and accessible through their website with a monthly subscription.

I haven’t tried any of the learning tools yet, but just viewing some of their sample videos, like this cadaver lab, gets me excited. I never thought I’d get excited about a cadaver lab, but the advancements in this technology are worthy of our attention.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here or if you’re on LinkedIn go check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow.

Link to all my work by checking out my website.