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Beau Brannan Utilizes NFTs in the Classroom

Calves and cubs NFTIn spring 2021, Beau Brannan, visiting professor of humanities, minted copies of an NFT and awarded them to the students who completed his personal finance course. The students issued him one for sufficiently teaching the class. At the time, Brannan was at another institution, but he plans to issue NFTs to his Seaver College HUM 111 students this Fall.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique units of data stored on public ledgers. They cannot be changed or destroyed and prove the uniqueness, authenticity, and ownership of a digital asset.

Brannan’s “education NFT” involves three pieces: The syllabus for the course is posted publicly, acting as a contract between the teacher and student; a student or group is made responsible for creating and minting an original NFT for the teacher, which includes a score based on teacher evaluations; and the teacher mints an NFT with the roster of students embedded in it. At the end of the course, the NFTs are transferred to recipients for them to own and display.

Brannan sees these educational NFTs, or “academic tokens,” as he refers to them, as a way to put individual educational experiences on a public ledger where they can be collected, displayed, and valued as a library of authenticated experiences, potentially creating a new kind of resume. These tokens would allow students in various situations to better leverage “credentialed” and verified education through recognition and proof of completion of classes both inside and outside of official institutions.

Beau Brannan, visiting instructor of humanities, is leading students through Western culture in the Humanities and Teacher Education Division. Brannan brings nearly 20 years of mentoring, teaching, and coaching experience to his classrooms. He relies on his blend of athletic background, entrepreneurial experience, and interest in humanities to connect with students on a deeper level and inspire them to own their education.

For more information on Brannan’s Education NFTs, visit his website.