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Innovation in Learning

Innovation in Learning

Our girls recently featured in the Sunday Age ‘Master of Coding’ edition, where their keynote addresses at a recent International Blockchain Conference were highlighted. Read below to learn more about their experience!

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Blockchain isn’t a household buzzword, such as the internet, the cloud or smartphone. But it soon will be.

Blockchain is a digitised, decentralised, and immutable public ledger database technology that seeks to provide an alternative approach to facilitating trust, and is what underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and also Decentralised Applications (DAPPS) that employ blockchain based smart contracts.

“We are here, in the present, ready to shape our futures”

Evangeline Mullins, Year 12

Across the globe organisations are scrutinising how blockchain technology can transform current processes, free them of the middle man and save significant costs.

Last month the 2018 APAC (Asia-Pacific) Blockchain Conference, held in Melbourne, brought together more than 420 participants from a broad range of industry sectors including banking, finance, government, insurance, supply chain, ICT and legal, to look at the impacts and potential of blockchain technologies in Australia.

Keynote speakers at the conference, developed in partnership with the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA), included Ivan Carlisle, Director of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.

Melbourne Girls Grammar (MGGS) has a long history of integrating the latest technology into its learning environments.

Carlisle actively seeks to connect MGGS students with authentic opportunities to engage with emerging technologies and has been working with his students to develop decentralised applications incorporating smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

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MGGS was also represented by three students who delivered keynotes at this major technology conference, taking their place among a field of predominantly professional participants including Robert Kahn, known, with Dr Vint Cerf, as “one of the fathers of the internet,” and NEO founder Da Hongfei.

Opening the conference, Year 12 student and MGGS School Captain Millicent Perkins welcomed Chinese delegates in Mandarin, the official language of China.

“I am incredibly proud of our students for stepping up and demonstrating that they have the insights, creativity, and skills to be digital pioneers.”

Catherine Misson, Principal

Perkins, who has already completed a university level Algorithmics subject among her many STEM studies, also served as a judge at the Melbourne Smart Cities Blockchain Hackathon in October last year.

The 17-year-old is keen to see more young women like herself engaging in the leveraging of blockchain and other emerging technologies.

“I have the ability to develop something that becomes the standard that everyone uses because what I create really works, not because some big institution tells me it should be that way,” Perkins said in her speech.

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Next on the podium was MGGS Boarding House Captain, Evangeline Mullins, also a Year 12 student, who spoke of her interest in the intersection of technology and policy.

“We are here, in the present, ready to shape our futures,” said Mullins. “While the world talks about being on the brink of a technological revolution, we are proud to say we have already entered this space, and we are here to stay.”

Year 10 student Serena Malatesta, who took part in a MGGS Senior Years STEM and Enterprise tour of Europe last year, spoke of her blockchain project on peer-to-peer tutoring, and how she is working with Civic Ledger – an emerging Australian technology company that uses blockchain technologies to transform a wide range of business process challenges – to bring this to fruition.

“The possibilities that will arise from this course, for me personally are liberating as they will allow me to provide a solution that benefits my community and allows me to develop my entrepreneurial capabilities,” said Malatesta.

Melbourne Girls Grammar principal, Catherine Misson, who also attended the conference, expressed pride in the students.

“It is exciting for Melbourne Girls Grammar to be involved in fostering innovative technologies that can impact the community in such a positive way,” said Misson.

“I am incredibly proud of our students for stepping up and demonstrating that they have the insights, creativity, and skills to be digital pioneers.”

Master of Coding Feature
The Age

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