Dear Polkadot Community!
The Polkadot Blockchain Academy team is thrilled to present our new project, PBA-X. This is an opportunity to aggressively scale the impact of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy as well as the W3F edX courses. We will use the power of online education and online communities combined with the academic rigor proven to be effective by these existing programs.
We are committing to launching a new online offering to educate aspiring Polkadot Blockchain developers, expanding the educational footprint of the in-person Polkadot Blockchain Academy program and building on the foundations of the online edX courses from the Web3 Foundation.
The current proposal aims at building the content, online program and operations to aggressively scale the reach and educational impact, whilst creating a sustainable program which is able to onboard and train multiple cohorts of hundreds of online learners each year.
To support and seed the Polkadot ecosystem with next generation developers, there is a need to sustain growth in general understanding of both blockchain and Polkadot and to create a sustainable funnel of highly skilled technical engineering talent. The Polkadot Blockchain Academy (PBA), since its inception in the Summer of 2022, has made such rapid progress that it can now confidently contribute to both these key objectives. However, given its highly selective and in-person nature, the PBA can only support a controlled growth in the numbers of students who are being trained and supported onsite.
The edX courses developed by the W3F have built strong introductory content on Blockchain Technology and Polkadot and have acted as an accessible gateway for knowledge seekers and has over 10K registered learners across the globe. They have created a stepping stone and community of learners that need to be harnessed and developed alongside other courses and programs with technical rigor.
To design and deliver the program, we will build on our core value proposition of designing and developing extremely high value educational content, for speed we will buy proven third party services for the other aspects of online content delivery. By focusing our core resources on creating a rigorous academic experience and by buying services and white label solutions for the rest, we will deliver a quality scalable learning offering for the Polkadot ecosystem before the end of the year.
The online content offering will rely on the top Faculty and experts who have contributed to the previous waves of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy developers track. The content will be redesigned to accommodate an online format with a mix of pre-recorded lectures and live streamed sessions.
The students’ experience will also differ from the in-person program with a higher focus on online forum, peer collaboration and online mentoring and support.
To deliver the program, we will resort to proven platforms for online learning and MOOCs combined with Github to store the content repos and a learners management system.
Unlike the fully sponsored in-person PBA, the online program will charge students who wish to participate, this will help us work towards financial sustainability. A pricing scale will be introduced with options for online learners to buy their seat in the full program or to buy incremental pieces of the course.
Our team has launched and run the PBA and the edX online Polkadot courses for the last year and a half, we have gained relevant experience to support the planning, creation and maintenance of these educational offerings. We also bring a mix of relevant prior experience in online and in-person education, curriculum expertise, student support and student management experience to guarantee success.
The Polkadot Blockchain Academy is the first of its kind — a classroom-based educational program covering the conceptual underpinnings and the hands-on application of blockchain technology, using Polkadot and Substrate as its foundations. Founded by Gavin Wood, the Academy is run by leading engineers, researchers, and project founders from the Polkadot ecosystem, Parity Technologies, and the Web3 Foundation.
The Academy’s goal is to equip developers with all the necessary knowledge to build blockchains and give Web3 entrepreneurs practical guidance for project founding and growth within the Polkadot ecosystem. Deep Dive in the PBA curriculum and slides
edX-W3F online courses
Two online courses were launched in October 2022 and have educated a total of 11,185 Enrolled online learners so far, among which 429 graduated with verifiable credentials.
We are currently building our full proposal but wanted to submit already the core idea to the Community and are looking forward to engaging with comments, inputs and suggestions.