iSchool Offering an Open Online Course on Blockchain Technology


The San José State University School of Information has developed a massive open online course on the subject of blockchain technology to begin March 11, 2019.

Blockchain technology is gaining widespread attention as a means to decentralize information in the form of distributed databases. The potential for blockchain is of particular importance to libraries, as it may be used to connect institutions, build enhanced metadata or cataloging systems, host digital peer-to-peer sharing, and more.

The Blockchain and Decentralization for the Information Industries MOOC will be led by metaLAB at Harvard-affiliate Jason Griffey, who was the opening keynote speaker at the iSchool-sponsored Library 2.018 web conference on the theme.

The free, non-credit, fully online course will give participants the opportunity to explore the subject while using technology to work in a collaborative learning environment.

The following topics will be covered over six weeks:

  • Overview and history of Blockchain
  • Standards, legalities, security
  • Related Blockchain-like systems, decentralization
  • Limits of the technology, ethical concerns, new types of proofs
  • Use cases in public libraries, academic libraries, museums, archives
  • Future direction

The SJSU School of Information received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant (LG-98-17-0209-17) to fund a year-long project examining the ways that libraries can support city/community goals through the use of blockchains and while the implementation of the technology is still in the infancy stage. The MOOC is a related activity to the venture designed to further educate the public and information professionals about the technology.

The course will be held on the Canvas Network. For more information, visit the Blockchain MOOC web page.