"Knowledge is like sand on a beach. Sure, you can go for a dip and roll around for a while, and some of those grains may stick, but no one man can take the whole beach home."
Now, forgive me for the shabby misquote (originally from the great Stephen Fry, if I'm not mistaken?), but this turn of phrase is one that has stuck with me for years, and is appropriate for this particular piece.
You see, as a thirty-something-year-old, I've probably forgotten more than I'll ever know by this stage in my life. This is particularly true when it comes to my formal education (biology, of all things!?), and I'm sure this isn't a problem suffered exclusively by me.
So, circling rather nicely back to the sand metaphor, while we might not be able to excavate an entire beach by ourselves, we can make regular trips to replenish our pockets.
What has all this got to do with blockchain, you ask? Well, it just so happens that Free TON, and specifically, the Free TON Academy sub-governance are building their very own beach (of blockchain-based knowledge!).
Head over to Free TON Academy (I'll wait here, don't worry), and you'll notice that, for now, the resources on offer are a little sparse. There is a reason for this though, and, in my not-so-humble opinion, this is what makes Free TON Academy special: anyone with wisdom to share, is free to do so via the academy.
In other words, the creation of courses and materials is entirely decentralised.
No matter your specialty; creating smart contracts and DeBots, making beautiful NFTs, or writing psuedo-intellectual infotainment articles and content *ahem* -- you can build a custom curriculum on Free TON Academy.
More than this though, you are free to decide upon the worth of your wisdom.
So whether you're an altruistic soul like Katya, or you're looking to make a profit from your teachings, the choice is yours.
Depending on which institute you attended for your formal education, chances are you have a dusty folder hidden away somewhere containing a few pieces of paper confirming your qualifications.
Now, being made of flimsy old-fashioned paper (card maybe if you went to a posh school), should you destroy or misplace it, your only choice is to pay for a replacement. And that's if the institute offers this!
Now, one of the hottest topics in the crypto-sphere, if not the world, right now, is NFTs. Can you see where this is going?
Imagine an educational institute that permanently stores your qualification on-chain, in the form of a unique, identifiable, NFT.
How much more secure is this than your old bits of paper!?*
Why just certificates though? Why not (eventually) those big important essays you spent days, weeks even, toiling away at, only to receive the mark and never let them see the light of day again? Why not the notes we take at important meetings?
The doodles in our journals?
Maybe I'm taking this too far, but the intentions are noble.
(*Yes, you can still lose your private keys to access NFTs, but there are geniuses in the Free TON community working on solutions to this too!).
Present at the most recent Free TON Academy meeting, was Molly Jane Zuckerman - head of content for CoinMarketCap. She's been doing some brilliant work in building their own educational resources at Alexandria, which she described on the call as:
"...One source of truth for anything you need to know, aimed at beginners and new people to cryptocurrency coming into this space. We've got over 500 articles including in-depth how-to and getting-started guides for many of the leading projects. We've even some ventured into more technical areas recently, and these pieces have done relatively well."
Before going on to say this:
"We'd be interested to work with Free TON Academy and see how we can help one another."
I'm hoping to speak to Molly soon and get some more of her insights into the space.
Another beautiful partnership in the works is between Free TON Academy and the GBA. With several key members of the association already motivated initial members of the initiatives sub-governance (including my friend, and founder of the GBA, Gerard Dache), there has been much talk of utilising their vast educational resources. Again, more to come in this area soon.
I'm going to assume if you've read this far, you're the type of handsome go-getter with an insatiable thirst for knowledge I could share a beer or two with.
So what are you waiting for?
Get involved while things are new and help shape the future of decentralised learning!
Maybe, one day, we can have that beer at our virtual graduation ceremony!
Got questions? Got value to add? Join the Free TON Academy telegram chat and find out more (you know you want to!): https://t.me/FreeTON_Academy