Possibility of an open, wiki-like school

I’ve had an idea for a while, but never really known of a way to integrate any type of compensation for anyone. I believe safe offers this, but I want to make sure a few of my premises are correct before I let myself get too excited.

I believe the current school system, at least in the US is broken. I’m not talking so much about early years of school, but the college system in my opinion is a complete farce. Pay 20k a year to get a degree which does not prepare you for real work.

I want to create an online school, curated by the brightest minds in the world, much like Wikipedia but for school. We live in an age where communication is instant and nearly free. Why should Japan, Germany, India have such superior math and science skills than the US? Share the methods you use, improve the world. Why do you need to go to college for four years, then law school to be a lawyer. You need to know the law, you need to understand and be able to use it, but if you can pass the test proving you know those skills, you should be a lawyer. No?

So here are my thoughts and assumptions:

App developers are paid directly by the network. The more their app is used, the more they are paid directly. This would allow for free content to an end user, while allowing the app to pay contributers for their service.
Beyond that, it’s a matter of devising a method to get the funds to the creators, and I think that’s the easier part.

People can contribute lesson plans, videos, record audio for all the different learning styles. Want to learn from a deep voiced baritone? Click it. Want to learn from a cute lady with a British accent? Click it. Want to learn in Spanish? Go for it. Just want to read the information and research on your own? You may.

Linux is a free software, contributed to by people all over the world for free because they believe in it and want to improve it. Wikipedia is the same thing. Why not school? What if we could add a natural incentive in the form of money, and still let the end user have it for free? Now add structured learning.

Have I gone wrong somewhere? Is this actually possible? If so, I will be so very excited to get to work on this.

I just realize that this could open high level education to a whole new realm of people… People far away from University, with little money… It could literally change the world for those people.


Competence based system > diploma based system.

There’s so much to this subject, I’ll come back later :slight_smile:


My coworker and I were just talking about this and he brought up another possibility to this. Distributed hands on classes. Taught by people who teach it because they love it, not because it’s their job.

A mechanic who is rebuilding a motor offers to have people come watch and ask questions.
A computer repair guy walking people through their process.
Endless possibilities. Distributed learning, not centralized teaching.
Not because they have to, but because they want to teach people their passion… I get more excited about the potential this the more I explain the vision people.


Teacher could cryptographically acknowledge someone mastery of a subject using the Safe PKI system.

Then you could use some kind of cryptographically backed reputation system to put weight on each acknowledgement.

Me saying you mastered algebra doesn’t have the same weight as if Harvard is saying it. Something like Google’s search algorithm. This creates a massive mesh network of cryptographically acknowledged competence that anyone can be part of.

When you need to find a candidate you go through the network and filter on your desired competence.


Hi Wes

Another great idea, you push forward. The thing with education and getting a job is that no matter how much somebody knows, if they don’t got a diploma, it might be difficult to find a job (I think).

If your talking about education in the sense of learning to code SAFE apps, then I think you might be on to something. Because if people learn to code their own app, they can see the results of that in the form of Safecoins. Likewise the people creating courses, will get Safecoins for their content creation. I’ve once fired this idea to Codecademy to allow parents to give their children money if they learn to code. On Codecademy you can learn to code for free, but what if the incentive was a price @ the end of your course? I’m not saying that doing chores for allowance is bad. I never got an satisfied answer to the question. If you expand this idea, you could have companies outsourcing their code work to coders.

I’m really looking forward to a Weschool nevertheless as a place to go to learn some new skills. What would also be fun is if newbies can see the results, of somebody that is Weschool educated. For instance if I made an app through this school and people could see, how many Safecoins I generated. How many users I accumulated etc…

You could also design the app, to allow people to ask to be taught about a specific content. I for instance always wanted to know how to create an altcoin, but there are no in depth video’s out there showing the process, which is a shame when you think about Bitcoin being opensourced. If people can ask what to be taught, you can create a whole marketplace around an idea like that. For instance I’ll offer 200 euro’s for whoever make a video course how to create an altcoin. In this context the person wishing for the content and the content creator, could even split up the Safecoins that flows out of this work.

Besides teaching the people who are taught stuff, could also offer their service to other people.

The way I envisioned it, what you described would just be one class. “how to make altcoin 101” if you will. The bounty idea is great. Your topic isn’t up yet? Ask for it.

Edit: it could also be built in that if you put a bounty up for something, then further users use that lesson through the app (again, I’m assuming more app use =more coin generation. I hope that’s right as that’s the premise of my reward scheme for contributing) then a portion of the funds created by that lesson being used could go back to you. You had the content creator make useful content on your behalf, you should be compensated as well I think.

I’m talking about an entire school. “the University of the internet” where anyone can submit a lesson or modification, or even a while class. It would be vetted by those with “rank” or possibly straight Wikipedia style where it will just edit, and enough people using it will make it “right” and eventually we could build the best curriculum for any given subject. Not approved by some random voted in administrator, but approved by the best minds the world has.

This is a fantastic idea. Searchable resume by design. Built into a school… Amazing.

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Maybe I was thinking a bit to limited about this, because when you ask question like what is a diploma? What is a teacher? What are school books? What is knowledge and know how?

With your idea teacher on current schools could move that knowledge to your platform. Because they are teachers in the “real world”, they could teach online, the only barrier could be schools forbidden them to share that knowledge.

You know about Khan academy right?

I’d like to see them try to keep people from sharing their information on a network like safe.

I do now. I’ll look into it deeper later. After a really quick browse through its similar.

Now imagine you’re very knowledgeable in calculus and you browse a lesson. You feel you can explain it better so you write your own lesson. It is. It gets used more, so you are compensated. If not, maybe it will be used a little bit, but at least you tried.

Maybe there is a history lesson and you thought it was great. You record it in audio for the auditory learners. Or make a video for visual learners. If its well done, explains the topic and people use it, you are compensated.

I’ll look into khan a little more, but my vision at least from what I’ve seen is khan on steroids.

Obviously peer review, filtering and search will be huge aspects of this to keep it from getting completely overloaded. So far it’s worked for Wikipedia.

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Great initiative… if you aren’t aware, check out existing free courses published by established Universities etc, and also websites where teachers share lesson plans and other resources. In the UK some tuition is also done through online lessons where the students submit work that is marked electronically, or work through online lessons etc. I think you have plenty of reading to do if you haven’t already :slight_smile:

I’m aware of some free classes. I mean allfree classes.

I agree I have more reading and research to do. I didn’t know khan existed, which is a big part what I’m talking about. But I don’t think it’s quite there. At least, it doesn’t appear as distributed and built by a mass of people who are experts in a field. <- could be totally wrong, I didn’t look in depth and am about to drive home. I’ll check more later.

It also doesn’t seem to cater to all learning styles, auditory, visual. Again, I could be wrong, I’ll find out more in a few hours.

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I totally agree with you that your idea would be Khan Academy on steriod. Because content creators, content users would all profit.

Good point, with your platform you could have audio/visual/online and on site learning. If you can answer the question to yourself why content creator would put their content on your SAFE university, then your closer to your idea. You do have an advantage since your planning to launch a school format on the SAFE Network. The thing is existing platforms could/might/will switch over to the SAFE Network, but that goes for basically everything when people find out, that they can pay less money to run their ideas on a robust/secured/SAFEcoin generating environment.

Just do what you do and be super creative about it, because this could really be something BIG and disruptive, as the SAFE network will be.

This is exactly what I want. I want everyone to put all their learning/teaching content in one spot using this app. The less effective ones will die out, the more effective ones will rise to the top. Rather than trying to go to khan, or a UK university site, or something else, they go one one spot.

I guess the essence of the idea is I want to build a learning platform and let people put content on it. Build in some nice ranking, filtering (of learning content) and resume building (thanks @DavidMtl, awesome idea) and you have a learning, proving and job recruiting platform all in one.

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You’re assuming that the person viewing the search result puts more stock in Harvard than the avarage mentor. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t believe at all in institutionalized certification and would actually put more stock in individual mentorship that kind of messes with the results. I think weighting should be up to the one doing the search because they’re the ones who’s values matter. So if user A believes in Harverd or whatever they’d put more weight on those results whereas person B would put more weight on individual person to person reputation.

A few TED talks you might want to watch.

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Sure, you could filter out the weight of institutions from your search result. Though, consider that under such system, Harvard wouldn’t get more weight because it’s an institution. It would gain more weight because it brings with it the weight of everyone else who vouches for it. It’s organic. Like Google searches.

If I’m looking for a mechanic, a field I don’t know much about, I’ll just go to the one with the more weight.

Anyway, I won’t pretend my idea is really fleshed out, just food for thought.

One thought about weight/ranking. Why have a single figure?

Let the person wishing to use the learning decide what “weight” he puts on different aspects.

For instance someone may want to be a theoretical physicist so they would potentially put more weight on teaching/lecturing by professors who major on theory. But an engineering student may put weight on the “experience” aspect and lesser on the “theory vs practical” aspect.

Then you have the student who wishes to be a mechanic’s assistance and they would potentially put weight on the "local"mechanic teaching.

Thus there would be a range of criteria that a budding student can use to decide which is best for them. There may be > 10 > areas that the student would use sliding scales to help them choose a teacher/course that is right for them which balances the various aspects that is possible in teaching.


It would be interesting to compare this yes because there would also be a lot of people who WOULDN’T vouch for it, or any institution as well. Especially with the rising tuition rates, social engineering, or the fact even with a degree these days you still aren’t guarenteed a job. I’ve never been to Harvard, never seen what it’s like there, I don’t know what they believe, what’s in their text books, what their professors are like, what classes they offer, or anything about them. Moreover I don’t even believe in top down authoritarian learning in the first place. I’m a supporter of unschooling and interest based self education so that would put me off from most institiutionalized academia in the first place. I’d be more interested in mentors, apprenticeships, self directed studies, tutorials, MOOCs, workshops, and libraries of information. Come to think of it though to cite your point if the system is based on people vouching for something then a lesson, tutorial or MOOC that’s used by a thousand or million people over the net could garner a decent amount of reputation. And of the author puts out a lot of them they too garner reputation. Just think of youtube with all the views on various tutorial videos there.