At TalTech University in Estonia, a unique interdisciplinary approach to blockchain education is being pioneered by Professors Innar Liiv and Tõnn Talpsepp. Liiv, a Big Data educator, and Talpsepp, an expert in FinTech and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), have collaborated to create a master’s level course that integrates students from diverse academic backgrounds, including information technology, finance, and law. This course is not just an educational program; it’s a hub where different perspectives converge to explore and understand the complexities of blockchain technology.
Professor Liiv was speaking on Education on a panel at Cardano Summit in Dubai here he explained their approach to blockchain education and its importance.
“The course leverages Ethereum blockchain for teaching smart contracts, a pivotal aspect of blockchain applications. Additionally, it employs Cardano and the cardano-db-sync project to delve into big data analytics and information visualization. These tools are not merely technical instruments; they are gateways to understanding the intricate workings of blockchain technology in various sectors,” he says.
A key highlight of this course is its commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. Building on the already multidisciplinary background of IT and finance students, the course takes a step further by pairing these students with a lawyer or a law student for a series of practical exercises. This approach enriches the learning experience by blending diverse perspectives and expertise, enhancing the depth and breadth of the educational journey. Together, they identify and scrutinize high-value smart contracts. Their challenge is not limited to analysis; they must collaboratively translate these contracts into traditional British or US contract formats. This collaborative process enhances the students’ technical grasp of blockchain, while also providing invaluable insights into the integration of this advanced technology with conventional legal systems. By doing so, the course not only deepens the technical understanding of students but also establishes a vital link between innovative blockchain solutions and established legal norms, ensuring a holistic understanding of blockchain’s impact in various sectors.
“From our extensive experience in teaching this course, we have extracted several key insights. We need to continue to emphasize the need to expand blockchain education beyond its current developer-centric focus. By incorporating data analysts into the blockchain education sphere, there is an opportunity to unlock a deeper understanding of the vast amounts of data that flow through blockchain networks. These analysts can provide crucial insights into the patterns of digital value circulation, thereby enriching the overall understanding of blockchain system,” says Professor Liiv.
Furthermore, the professors advocate for a more inclusive role for legal professionals in the blockchain field. By involving lawyers and law students not just as advisors or external consultants but as active innovators and creators in the blockchain space, there is an opportunity to develop more comprehensive and legally sound blockchain applications.
Lastly, Professors Liiv and Talpsepp highlight the necessity of tailoring blockchain education to suit a variety of academic disciplines. They argue for specialized courses that cater to the unique perspectives and needs of students from business, finance, law, political science, and even international relations. This tailored approach ensures that students from these varied fields can contribute meaningfully to the blockchain dialogue and development.
In summary, the blockchain course at TalTech, led by Professors Liiv and Talpsepp, is more than just an academic program. It is a visionary project that seeks to demystify blockchain technology and foster a new generation of professionals who are well-equipped to navigate and shape the blockchain landscape. Their approach is not just about imparting technical knowledge; it’s about creating a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment where diverse ideas and perspectives can flourish, paving the way for innovative applications of blockchain technology.