By definition, LEARNDAC is a Decentralized Autonomous Community (DAC), which is owned solely by its members who hold the LEARN token. This borderless community is made up of parents, teachers, Education Service Providers, and students of every age. It provides the following benefits:
LEARN token transactions are fee-less. This immediately reduces the cost of each transaction by 3%, a typical fee charged by credit card processors. The LEARN token works worldwide, and anyone can access LEARNDAC-powered education services without needing to worry about usual currency conversion barriers.
Every LEARN token transaction is viewable on the blockchain. This means a parent/guardian can review their child’s LEARN token purchases as well as review how a teacher uses awarded LEARN Grant funds. This is the level of transparency that is missing from current donations to schools and Parent Teacher Clubs (PTC). When we know that our funds are being used for the right cause and can be tracked, the satisfaction of doing the good and the right thing is priceless. Not knowing where one’s hard earned income is going, especially when contributing or donating, is often a deterrent to getting funded.
Existing systems require credit cards, bank accounts, and adult-only decision-making when it comes to exploring educational opportunities. In most cases, a young adult is not equipped with a credit card or even a bank account to do an independent educational transaction on their own. This not only creates dependencies, but can also potentially mask the true interests of a student. We want our children to learn to think independently as early as possible, but we do not empower them with the most important mechanism that leads to independence — the ability to decide what to learn or explore on their own.
How many families in the world have a stereotypical view that music provides a poor livelihood and thus do not encourage their children to learn much about music? We know from research that children who are exposed to music early in life may have advantages in their adult life. How many children do not get to explore a language of their liking because their parents or guardians do not value the language’s commercial prospects? These restrictions are easy to impose on children because the financial transactions of learning are entirely controlled by the purse of a parent or guardian. In the LEARNDAC community, the parents, guardians, or the school provides children with LEARN tokens that they can independently use to explore the learning opportunities of their choosing. This is done within the safeguards of age-appropriate, regionally-rated content, courses, and providers. By having the ability to explore educational opportunities independently at an early age, this will open the door for infinite possibilities for children everywhere.
With LEARNDAC in place, a high school counselor can look up the history of the student’s LEARN token usage over the years and help identify the real interests of the student. They can then suggest higher education options based on the student’s interests and performance. Imagine the same school performing an analysis of all their students’ extracurricular educational activities outside of school on the LEARNDAC blockchain (EOS) and deciding to create courses to align with their students’ real interests!
If we empower our children with the ability to make decisions independently and give them total control of their own learning choices through the LEARN token, we will help them build a better future for themselves. The built-in RIDL reputation system for Education Service Providers, the immutable transparency of the underlying EOS blockchain, and the geographically independent community-enforced content rating system will ensure that learning independence becomes a positive force of change everywhere!
Most of the time, our children’s best interest in education is well known to their teachers in schools and colleges. However, our current educational systems throughout developed and developing countries often handcuff the teachers. They are powerless in helping our children explore new educational programs that can benefit our children in their adult lives. Teachers often resort to ineffective fundraising methods that require our children’s participation to get things done. For example, in North American elementary schools, the Parent Teacher Club (PTC), which is made up of motivated, volunteer parents, often takes on the role of fundraising for extracurricular activities. This may include any educational activities such as field trips, art classes, science labs, book drives, STEM conferences, etc.
The volunteer organizations often have to send out flyers, newsletters, and make deals with ice cream vendors or local fast food chains to create fundraising drives. Most school fundraisers often consume a good part of the funds it has raised to pay back vendors, print shops, etc. The LEARNDAC community offers a better solution — the LEARN Grant Fund.
Teachers can request funds for deserving projects via the LEARN app or the website. The fund requests are reviewed by their peers, who are randomly selected from the same geographical location when possible. A two-thirds majority decision is upheld by the smart-contract, which issues or denies the fund to the requesting teacher. See Appendix G for details on how the funding process works.
Teachers are underpaid worldwide, yet they are tasked with building our future generations. This is why LEARNDAC makes every task for teachers a paid job. When a teacher performs a content review for an ESP, requests grants for students or projects, reviews a grant proposal and votes, or validates a new teacher’s account by reviewing credentials, etc., the teacher is paid in LEARN tokens. The teacher is free to convert these token payments to any fiat currencies from an exchange as they wish. This allows active teachers to earn an income that does not require them to adopt a new profession or gig on the side. All of their activities in the LEARNDAC ecosystem enhances education in their region and creates a win-win situation for the teachers and the rest of the LEARNDAC community.
LEARNDAC wants to encourage parents, guardians, individuals, and employers to budget for education. This is why it includes a token staking option. Staked tokens earn interest based on the length of time tokens are staked, the account type, as well as other factors.
By saving for education in LEARN tokens, a parent or guardian can build an education fund for their children. These funds can be spent on any type of education within the LEARNDAC ecosystem, which is unlike the government approved 529 plans in the United States of America. Also, unlike other complex savings plans, LEARN tokens can be exchanged for fiat currencies at any time by a parent or guardian without any penalties for early withdrawals or breaking fixed deposit terms! Since people everywhere can save small amounts of LEARN tokens, the likelihood of saving for education will increase. It is noted that only 3% of American households save for education today due to the complexity and regulations around educational savings plans. The LEARNDAC savings plan hopes to make education a priority when it comes to saving for the future! See Appendix D to learn more about token staking.
Not so long ago, going to a four-year college to spend all of one’s time in a single field of study was the only way to get advanced skills. Now, the market demands a multi-disciplined skill set in just about everything that requires higher education.
Most American public K–12 schools rely on their Parent Teacher Club (PTC), student organizations, and volunteers to raise funds for extracurricular activities including (but not limited to) field trips, STEM exhibitions, science, music, and art programs. Often our children are asked to “sell” products or services that promise to give schools a small percent of their profits from the sale. Other common fundraising tools include box tops, referral programs from online stores and pharmacies, etc.
All of these are very inefficient and lack transparency. We hardly know how much impact these have, and it is hard to get motivated to do any of the above for busy families. Now imagine a school that creates a fundraising campaign for a project of their choosing on the LEARNDAC platform. Parents who are part of LEARNDAC are notified by the LEARN app that a new fundraiser is in place. Parents can now transmit as many LEARN tokens to the fundraiser as needed. Once the project is funded and the tokens are used pay for their projects and needs, parents can see the spending reports and also rate the school within the RIDL reputation system.
The LEARNDAC community understands that like everything else in life, the acceptability of age-appropriate education levels varies amongst cultures. What is an acceptable education for a minor in North America is not the same in the Middle East or South East Asia. Therefore, a centralized rating system for educational content, programs, and services would not be appropriate. This is why LEARNDAC uses a random, geographically selected group of teachers to review and rate Education Service Providers (ESP) and their offerings. These reviews and ratings adhere to the norms of the culture and geographic region that the teachers represent.
Since these are credentialed teachers that are onboarded by their peers, we have a high degree of trust that these teachers will act in the best interest of their students and the local community when deciding content ratings. The LEARNDAC-published LEARN catalog of ESPs and their content (such as online/offline courses) are all reviewed and rated by credentialed teachers in each geographic region.
For example, teachers in America are randomly selected to rate and review the ESPs that want to offer their content, courses, training, and programs to American students. The American teachers will perform these reviews and ratings of the materials using the LEARN app and website portal. Rated and reviewed ESPs are listed in the LEARN catalog. If the same ESPs want to offer their services to South East Asian regions, teachers from the same geographic areas will perform their review and rating of the materials. This enables students from their region access to the appropriate materials that conform to the norms of their region. However, a parent or guardian may choose to allow their children to access content based on a different geographic rating or use multiple rating sources to make their children’s educational experience more customized.
Also, by using the multiple-signature (multisig) EOS accounting system, each minor account can be controlled by one or more parent or guardian accounts. Parents or guardians can set thresholds for:
- A maximum amount of LEARN token transactions that a child can perform without their signature
- A minimum level of reputation that an ESP must have for receiving transactions from a child account
Parents or guardians can also delegate signature requirements (aka review of the pending transaction) to a third party such as a teacher or a review service provider. Also, parents or guardians can set up weight levels so that any of the parents, guardians, or teachers can approve a transaction above the thresholds. This makes it so that the learning opportunity is not delayed by multiple people being busy with their own lives.
More than 60% of American employers offer some form of tuition assistance, and approximately one million employees benefit from such programs. This group of employees represents about 20% of all students over the age of 40. You can easily see that there is a huge gap in educational opportunities through employers. What if employers not only offered tuition assistance for college degrees but also provided LEARN tokens for employees to learn anything of their choice? How about an employee taking an online course in time management or learning how to cope with stress through yoga classes using LEARN tokens? If employers routinely offered their employees a small amount of LEARN tokens to spend on educational opportunities, they will enrich their lives with the knowledge that will most likely help them in their work manifold.
Today, if a talented guitar player wants to open a guitar training facility or even an online site, they have to deal with credit card processing fees and setup, purchase PCI compliant web services, open business bank accounts, etc. The barrier to entry for a new ESP is vast, and these issues are amplified at a much higher level in developing countries. Starting a business based on educational services is often very hard. This changes with LEARNDAC.
LEARNDAC provides all of the tools needed to launch a new educational service for anyone who is interested in such a venture. Using the RIDL reputation system, each ESP earns a reputation which showcases their effectiveness and performance as rated by the students and teachers. The more reputable an ESP is, the more potential business they can earn worldwide. This will allow many new ESPs to come to the market faster from everywhere in the world. We think this boom in educational services will increase competition in the education space and thus increase the quality of education everywhere.
The importance of having an unique mix of skills
Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist, and I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it.
Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining two or more “pretty goods” until no one else has your mix.
— Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert)
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