Blockchain in Education
Does Blockchain have the potential to transform the education regime as known today?
The answer to this is affirmative as smart classrooms are shortly going to become an integral part of the schools across the world. The ed-tech market is rocketing and by 2020 it is expected to reach a high fame figure of whopping $93.76 billion.
The other sectors of industry have been benefitted greatly by the Blockchain technology as the underlying processes of these sectors has improved to a great extent. Now, the education industry is following their footsteps and is entering into the new era bestowed upon by the Blockchain industry.
In this blog post, we have outlined some of the exciting possibilities for Blockchain in the education industry and how they can transform the educational landscape.
1) Payment of tuition fees in Cryptocurrency
Few universities have taken the initiative to accept the tuition fees in cryptocurrency already. The examples of these universities are King’s college in New York, University of Nicosia, and Simon Fraser University in BC.
Few other universities announced that the fees will be accepted in Bitcoin from students enrolled in technology-related courses only, which makes sense given the extra infrastructure required to accept this form of payment. Also, till now, relatively very less number of students have paid for their tuition with Bitcoin which so far is equivalent to nearly 2% of the entire student body as reported by Cumbria Institute for Leadership and Sustainability.
This indicates that average college students are slowly adopting alternative modes of payments.
2) Verification of Graduation Certificates
Verification of diploma requires a lot of time as confirmation of credentials is to be requested to the universities by potential employers and graduate programs. Therefore, few universities are experimenting with pilot programs in which diplomas are available on an app which is built on Blockchain technology. Students can share their credentials with anyone then and the forgery is impossible because of inalterability and security of distributed ledger technology.
MIT is already forward in this area and has taken an initiative to develop an app for the above purpose. The app used by MIT’s media lab for such pilot programs is known as Blockcerts. This app majorly aims to facilitate digital self-sovereignty for individuals’ diploma records.
Currently, this app is in pilot version, in case this app is fully implemented, it will eliminate a whole department of officials for verifying graduates’ certifications. Given the formalities required for this process, this app will be certainly a big leap into the future.
3) Academic Credentials on Distributed Ledger
To further the agenda of securely recording education data on a decentralized platform Sony and IBM have taken initiative to create an educational platform which will serve the purpose. The students’ records that will be put on distributed ledger will include attendance records, transcripts, graduation certificates and more.
This technology is equally beneficial to school students as now better records can be kept for student transcripts, school lunch, transfer records, standardized testing scores, attendance and so on. More and more data can be put on the distributed ledger for cutting down paperwork to a minimum level and making school processes more efficient.
The one main challenge that will hinder the process of record-keeping is that every institute will put the information differently on the distributed ledger. This will hamper the comparability of the records and parse desired information at ease. There arises the necessity of a standardized regulation for record keeping in the education sector. With the advancement in technology, the intervention of regulatory authority will be necessary in the times to come.
4) The Lifelong Learning Passport
Next, in line is Open Badges created by Open University as tokens of affiliation, authorization, and achievement which present details of an individual’s learning experiences all through his life. This will include graduation certificates, official certification, community involvement, participation in an event and likewise.
The usability of these badges is that these badges can be shared with potential employers for obtaining a suitable job offer and also can be shared across social media.
The year 2026 will look a lot different than the world we live in now. With distributed ledger technology anyone will be able to mentor students with the ledger. Also, by teaching forward what you have learned in school, you can pay back your education loan.
The ledger will track your skills and you will get credits for your learning. Based on your credits, employers can approach you with jobs that perfectly match your level of learning. It doesn’t stop here!
There will be a complete record of income that each skill you learned helped you to generate. Surprised? Now, this is what we called a tech reality.
The learning passport initiative mentioned above requires a vast change in the educational domain as of now. Blockchain offers a great way to track untraditional learning outside educational institutions. But, the transition and adoption will take longer than expected.
But, it has to be accepted that Blockchain has the potential to advance the education sector far into the future. The students who are already learning and using Blockchain right now are the hope as they will pave the way for Blockchain in their respective industries. Then the era of e-portfolios, Blockchain based credential system, and a badge-like system are not far away.
At GoodWorkLabs, we have a team of skilled Blockchain professional that can assist you in expanding in the horizon of education by Blockchain-aided solutions. For more information, drop your details here.