It is important for educators and other stakeholders to reflect on all possible impacts, both positive and negative, that blockchain might have on the future of learning.
From tracking absences to managing homework deadlines, new technologies are often geared towards solving a problem in a school or classroom.
But if instead of solving a problem, the technology could open doors for learning? What could be done if it could increase the capacity for schools to provide increased support for teachers, to provide open opportunities for parents and community members to participate, to enable new learning structures, and to increase learning opportunities for students?
The role of technology is not just about solving problems. It can or must also open new perspectives. The study “ Learning on the Block: Could Smart Transactional Models Help Power Personalized Learning? The US-based KnowledgeWorks in 2016 takes the example of education in the United States to investigate how blockchain and smart-contract technologies could help improve learning and learning conditions, and even improve develop personalized learning.
A revolution and a boon for technologies related to the field of education (Edtech), a booming sector where the need for certification is paramount. According to a study by the firm IFM, the leading network in Human Resources consulting, 33% of job applicants most often attribute themselves to a false degree. The need to verify this type of information is no longer incidental and may be useful to avoid certain subsequent disputes.
Whether to attest to the veracity of digital diplomas or not, or for the certification of MOOCs ( Massive Open Online Courses), or even to authenticate diploma supplements (Bologna Process), the possibilities and advantages of Blockchain seem very promising. Where it often takes several days to verify the authenticity of a diploma, it will then be possible to securely control this information almost instantaneously.
Digital certification is an important step in the digital transformation of education and its ecosystem of learning-training institutions-human resources. Sony Global Education President Masaaki Isozu said he wants to provide “a new kind of platform for education that would contain the verified school records as well as the degrees obtained,” and that the Blockchain is “one of the options considered to help achieve this goal”…
The blockchain is the technology that will upset the bank, the currency and the very nature of commercial contracts. It can be used to create a kind of e-book that tracks the purchase and sale, who owns what, or even the provenance of valuables, such as diamonds, for example, to make sure they do not fund conflicts. Unlike the centralized database of a bank, for example, there are several versions of this registry stored on computers around the world, which means that it is virtually impossible to hack and modify it. Blockchain technology will eliminate academic and academic degree fraud.
The idea is that it creates security and trust, and eliminates the need for an intermediary to validate transactions. The relevance of this for universities might not be immediately obvious, but the blockchain can be used in higher education, as this technology is a useful way of reducing administrative costs and making certification validation more secure. More ambitious, however, the blockchain will change higher education and help establish a system by which academics will directly validate the knowledge of students. The idea is to use technology to create a secure and publicly accessible registry of academic qualifications where universities are ratifying a blockchain degree.
In theory, it is useless for each company to check that their new employees have not lied about their CVs. Each university will have a small team that will handle applications from employers. But by validating the degrees on the blockchain, they would no longer be needed. A centralized system is needed to check whether people hold the degrees they claim, a data service on the higher education degree. The problem of fraud is important; about one in four CVs will contain lies about degrees. Without the use of the blockchain, the cost of qualification verification will only increase if people move more and more from one institution to another to build an education portfolio. Instead of just checking out a person’s undergraduate university,
Technology can also be useful if a university is paralyzed, for example, by war. Depending on how the blockchain is set up, there is a good chance that documents held in conflict zones will persist in the face of local disasters. Validation takes place in a blockchain environment by returning to the record in the blockchain, not necessarily to the issuers of the record themselves. The blockchain could also thwart corrupt politicians or other public figures who lie about their qualifications. For example, a minister from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been confronted with repeated questions about his qualifications, allies holding certificates in support, but opponents claiming they are false. In theory,
But a concern about such an open system is privacy. Do you really want your degree to be available to everyone to see on the blockchain? There are solutions. Your qualifications can be encrypted and employers receive a key with limited time to view them. Blockchain opportunities go far beyond simply allowing employers to check a new recruit’s credential. This will potentially transform the entire hiring process, at least in areas where the necessary qualifications are clearly defined, such as data science, for example. If a sufficient number of people put their qualifications in the blockchain, employers can simply filter candidates who have studied the desired subjects or have taken certain courses online.
Making public CVs reduces fraud, but the blockchain will completely eliminate the problem. The real difference that the blockchain can bring to higher education is to allow us to go beyond the current structure of universities. Academics could check on the blockchain that students have passed modules online, without any universities. But the big advantage of blockchain technology is that it implements trust. Everyone in the system can check what a student has learned, what certificates he has rather than having to rely on a particular institution to store that data. It is possible to provide graduates with a QR code to put their CV, which employers can scan to verify their qualifications.
The blockchain is a steadily growing concept which can offer many different advantages to a lot of people. As a ledger which records transactions, among other things, there are many different applications for the technology and the education sector is just one example. We’re going to be taking a look at some of the different kinds of ways that blockchain can improve education, and ultimately make things better.
Keeping track of your identity can be difficult when dealing with a whole selection of different applications and software. However, blockchain prevents this from becoming an issue by providing software that helps to manage everything.
Cloud storage can help to make education a more streamlined process. It allows you to collect information from any device, thus making learning more flexible.
Pre-paid cards can be used to help students to get access to supplies or food without the need for physical cash-in-hand. As Dr. Roy Ale, Marketing Executive at Oxford Summer School says, ‘it’s a good idea to prepare the generation of young learners for a world which deals with cards because they’re an essential part of everyday spending’.
Record keeping is often a challenge for education providers because it’s easy to get files mixed up and confused, as well as updated promptly. With blockchain, this becomes a much easier task by offering an automatic variant.
Charitable donations are often a big part of education because from a young age we’re encouraging children to be considerate of others. Being able to track donations and their impact can be a useful tool to have.
The ability to perform detailed checks on drivers, substitute teachers and other visitors to the school can be advantageous and can help to streamline the selection and employment process.
A world where libraries are electronic is no laughing matter — but being able to more precisely monitor which books go out and when could be a source of relief for many.
This one may not be as common an occurrence in the world of education, but some places will benefit from a fast and responsive sale of bonds.
A blockchain system could be used as a useful tool to try and run school shops and supply chains. It’s a more simplistic way of keeping track of everything.
Smart contracts are exceptionally helpful and could be set up to make sure that the funds for say, tuition, are released to the student when specific criteria are met.
All in all, these are 10 of the different ways that blockchain can benefit the education system. There is no doubt that an electronic edge for many of the standard processes which we take for granted would be very much appreciated.
It is essential to embrace the changes which are being made and work to improve them instead of shying away from them. This attitude is one which we need to impart to our children as well because they will be even more immersed in this new world than we will.
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