Blockchain was a term that was not even recognized properly a few years back. But today we hear a lot about this technology and this technology is also being adopted widely across the globe in all sectors, and education is no exception. The impact of blockchain in the educational sector can be huge if applied properly. Today we will be discussing the various applications of blockchain in education that can take the future of global education to the next level.
We have all seen a ledger before. It is the books where records like the grades of the students or the accounting records are maintained. Most of these in the present day has been changed to electronic mode. But all of these are centralized, implying, an intermediary has complete control over all these data. But each passing day, people have started to identify the advantages of decentralization that blockchain offers and also the added security that comes with it.
If a centralized ledger gets stolen, for instance, it will be a big issue. So keeping duplicate copies of the ledger in varied locations can act as a good safeguard, provided that each duplicate copy was faithful, verified, and the exact copy of the original.
In the blockchain, each of the multiple individual digital nodes keeps a complete copy of the ledger and also continuously verifies the combination of the latest recorded data and the copies that it already stores. If any one from the many nodes fails or is compromised, the information in the ledger remains intact. The impact of blockchain in education paper cannot be even imagined.
It is convenient to witness how this could be advantageous in many areas. But along with holding ledgers, blockchains also offer varied services like smart contracts, a built in system for rewards, and many more. Let us have a look at the impact of blockchain in education in 2022 and beyond.
Applications Of Blockchain In Education
Blockchain being decentralized along with being highly secure can look for varied applications in healthcare, real estate, education, manufacturing, and many other sectors. The benefit of using blockchain in the educational sector is the security it offers to the information and can even safeguard the data even if any particular node is compromised for instance. Some of the areas in education where blockchain may make an impact have been stated below. Here is the future of blockchain in education.
Academic transcripts are among the most labor-intensive, time-consuming, tasks in academic institutions presently. Before granting a certified transcript of a student’s grades, every entry must be verified manually to ensure accuracy.
Another form of student record that is often requested is the authentication of course contents. In K-12 education, it might occur that a student in one state conducts a class called ‘Algebra’ and then shifts to another state where she is registered in a school that also teaches a class known as ‘Algebra.’ So far, so good. But do both the classes share the same content? Verifying this implies comparing the content of the course. In K-12, this can be boring. At the university level, it is a bad dream. There are many universities where the complete course contents are nearly 700 pages. For every student who requests this record, every page should be stamped and signed. But if this data were stored on a blockchain, with only a few clicks, a person could get a complete, verified list of content courses and all academic rewards.
Diplomas and certificates
Similar to grades, diplomas and credentials of a student could be granted and stored on a blockchain. Rather than asking the institution issuing the diploma to verify a paper copy, employers would only be required to be offered with a link to a digital diploma. This is already being performed. In 2017, MIT started to issue digital, blockchain-stored diplomas to its graduates. This has been a great development of blockchain in education in India. This stops people from submitting sham degrees to potential employers, a scenario that is, regrettably, all too common.
Along with degrees, the typical resume of a person has a lot of added information that could be useful to employers. We are talking about technical knowledge, foreign language skills, or specific abilities not needfully related to the profession of a person. For instance, if somebody is a medical doctor with a master’s degree in primary care diabetology, doesn’t tell anyone that he can set up computer networks, speaks four languages to varying levels of fluency, knows about digital currencies, or is a trained cook. Then again, these skills are not easy to verify. But a person can go for an expert third party to authenticate that skill and issue a certificate or badge. If these are kept on a blockchain, they show that a person actually has the skills in question. Services like Open Badge Passport are among the first steps in this direction.
If institutions wish to store digital records, curricula, degrees, and other data, that is going to use a lot of file storage space, then saving everything on local hard drives gets us back to the issue of centralizing the files. If the hard drives are compromised or damaged in any way, that would be a big issue. Cloud storage is a choice, but purchasing the amount of cloud storage space required could be out of attainment for many institutions. A possible solution would be b cloud storage services that are based on blockchain like Filecoin.
Lessons and courses
Numerous blockchains are also capable of smart-contract. That implies that courses and lessons can be programmed into the blockchain and implemented automatically when several conditions are met. For instance, a teacher could set up activities for students. The fulfillment of every task could be automatically authenticated by the smart contracts of the blockchain. Upon finishing all tasks, teachers could get payment with crypto tokens like Bitcoin or Ethereum, or any other digital currency, and students could be awarded credits. Complete courses could be laid out in this manner.
The Closing Lines
Blockchain is a vast matter and is not constrained only within cryptocurrencies. There are varied applications of blockchain and almost all the sectors can avail this. In this article, we have solely discussed the impact of blockchain in education and what applications of the same can be applied in this sector. We have also spoken about the blockchain in education use cases.