Blockchain technology, like other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and extended reality, has broken down barriers and introduced cross-industry solutions that extend beyond its initial financial and cryptocurrency focus. Its main advantages are decentralized storage, the immutability of stored data, traceability, and transparency.
Education is one of the top industries that is expanding and growing, but it is also facing challenges due to the inefficiency of traditional educational models, limited access to credentials and educational records, and the validity of transcripts – issues that blockchain-based software could easily solve.
Blockchain education addresses these issues by storing and making universally accessible credentials on a decentralized ledger, optimizing educational processes with smart contracts, and incentivizing students to learn with cryptocurrency rewards. Continue reading to learn more about blockchain education examples and how introducing blockchain education has definite benefits.
Table of Contents
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger that stores information and tracks transactions. Every member of the blockchain community has a copy of the data. The data is then recorded into units called blocks and encrypted, forming a data chain. Because the blockchain system architecture forbids changes to blocks, every action and event can be traced back to its source.
A blockchain could store data on the parties’ agreements, credentials, transactions, and any other digitally presented information. Members of the blockchain community can see any attempt at fraudulent activity because this information is distributed and highly secured. This builds trust and transparency into any ecosystem into which the blockchain is integrated.
What Is The Importance Of Blockchain?
Blockchain, as a data storage option, has the potential to provide enormous benefits to organizations in manufacturing, healthcare, and education. According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Survey, 2% of higher education institutions have already deployed blockchain, with the remaining 18% planning to do so within the next 24 months.
This industry acceptance reflects the numerous benefits that blockchain brings to the table, including:
- Speed and Efficiency
- Reduce Cost
Blockchain solutions can help universities, schools, startups, and non-profits improve the efficiency of student data management and create new ways to engage students. Furthermore, blockchain enables external stakeholders, such as employers, to evaluate the legitimacy of students’ skills.
How Blockchain Can Aid The Education Sector Challenges
The education industry is facing the same problems that have dogged it for years. Inefficient paper-based record-keeping processes, a lack of transparency, poor student and teacher accountability, a lack of genuine motivation for students to learn and perform well in class, and a lack of trust in educational merits and academic degrees due to falsification are all examples.
Blockchain has the potential to improve education and address these issues by providing tangible solutions, as detailed below.
How Does Blockchain Work In Education?
Blockchain works in education by increasing transparency, improving accountability through smart contracts, and incentivizing learning.
For example, Blockchain’s immutable ledger technology generates a chronological list of real-time events. This can be used to validate transcripts, diplomas, and test scores. Furthermore, smart contracts can be used by teachers, university administrators, and students to agree on assignment due dates and even to deploy student loan payments.
Furthermore, it may not be long before academic institutions can incentivize students to repay student loans on time and teachers can motivate students by awarding cryptocurrency to those who perform well or complete a specific major. Tokenization’s gamification of education has proven to be extremely beneficial.
Although it is still in its early stages, blockchain in edtech has already been hailed as “the right technology” for modernizing a system that has long been regarded as antiquated.
What Are Blockchain Applications In Education?
1. Maintaining Records
Blockchain enables institutes’ administrative departments to manage student records efficiently. Because all credentials and certificates are stored on a distributed ledger, no intermediaries are required to verify academic papers, degrees, certificates, and so on.
2. Certificates and Courses
Certification of course contents is one of the most frequently requested student records in both the K-12 and higher education systems. This information is critical in determining whether or not a student should advance to the next academic level. Transcripts, which display students’ grades in various subjects, also serve as a badge of achievement.
To ensure accuracy, records in the traditional educational system must be manually stamped and signed multiple times. Blockchain applications, on the other hand, do away with the need for such time-consuming and labor-intensive processes. With just a few clicks, one can obtain complete, verified documentation of completed courses and academic achievements on a blockchain.
3. Preventing Fraud
Consider the following scenario: a person applies for a job using forged academic credentials, and the interviewer hires him based on his credentials. The organization’s performance will suffer if the candidate is unqualified for the position. Such scenarios can be avoided with blockchain.
Another possible risk in data management is hacking. Hackers can exploit flaws in educational systems to manipulate and delete user data. However, if the institution uses a blockchain to store all student data, no changes can be made without permission to use the online ledger.
4. Decentralized Online Learning
Learning institutions typically have distinct requirements for their study programs, resulting in inconsistent course content. In addition, students rarely have a say in what they are taught and instead sit passively through recorded lectures.
When blockchain technology is added to the mix, the potential for real-time data exchange and interactions between students and teachers increases.
Diplomas and degrees, like course materials and grades, can be saved on the blockchain. Hiring companies will no longer require a paper copy certified and stamped by the university. Instead, they can use a link to gain access to a verified digital copy. Thus, blockchain not only makes it easier for employers to verify qualifications but also prevents the submission of fake degrees.
Blockchain-stored diplomas have already entered the market, with institutions such as MIT pioneering the use of virtual academic credentials in 2017. Accreditation is another application. Blockchain applications can be used by concerned authorities to verify the quality of education provided by a learning institution.
6. Skill Badges
A resume includes information such as technical knowledge, language skills, co-curricular activities, and so on, in addition to the standard work experience. These particulars are difficult to confirm, but third-party experts can validate a candidate’s abilities by awarding a digital badge or certificate.
The digital skill badges can be easily accessed by storing them on a blockchain. Open Badge Passport is an excellent example of a portable and shareable application. This service is used by schools, vocational organizations, education companies, and associations to create digital micro-credentials.
7. New Digital Asset Market
Financial transactions must be made with students, parents, banks, and donors. These include things like charging fees, processing payments and awarding scholarships. To make this process go more smoothly, custom Blockchain protocols can be developed. In 2014, King’s College in New York City demonstrated the same by replacing credit card transactions with bitcoin payments for student fees.
More universities may begin to accept and disburse payments using cryptocurrencies shortly. A new type of digital asset is likely to be created and traded on secure cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken. Within the academic community, cryptocurrency can even be used to purchase goods and services. Custom tokens can be seen in bookstores, cafeterias, and tuition centers.
8. Plagiarism Check
In the academic world, it is all too common for students to present someone else’s work as their own. When an undergraduate student submits a research proposal or final dissertation, and it is discovered to be plagiarized from the internet, for example. The result? The institute has the authority to revoke certificates and even suspend the individual.
Digital content creators can use blockchain technology to control the distribution of copyright materials. Academic information is stored on a secure chain using advanced encryption, and the network is only accessible to authorized users. Owners can then track, access, verify, and allow safe use of their content.
9. Improved Online Platforms
One of the most popular projects among blockchain enthusiasts seeking to transform the education space is the creation of online learning platforms.
The system would operate as follows:
- Blockchain applications are being deployed in schools to connect students and teachers.
- Study materials are shared and available on the online platform.
- Users can purchase internal tokens to resolve doubts and receive feedback from on-call tutors.
- To facilitate self-paced learning, educational materials can be downloaded.
- Students can accumulate more tokens by watching tutorials, interacting with the content, and inviting new users to the platform.
As you can see, blockchain makes education more convenient, fast, and engaging for everyone involved.
What Are The Difficulties Of Using Blockchain In Education?
Despite the numerous benefits blockchain provides to the education industry, many schools and higher education institutions remain hesitant to adopt it. This lack of interest in blockchain technology could be attributed to implementation challenges such as adoption rate, security, scalability, and cost.
Rate of Adoption
People are still hesitant to adopt technology because they are afraid of the unknown, but blockchain offers enormous opportunities to education providers and is poised to revolutionize the traditional education process.
Although blockchain’s security is its distinguishing feature, this does not imply that it is impenetrable. More stringent security measures, such as using permissioned networks or encrypting data on the blockchain, may be required for educational institutions.
Educational institutions benefit greatly from blockchain because it allows them to store a wealth of information, including student and alumni data, propelling the industry forward. However, it should be noted that the more information stored on the blockchain, the more blocks must be created, necessitating additional investments.
Although blockchain integration will save money in the long run, it will require an initial investment. The implementation of new technology may necessitate an increase in computing power as well as changes to the existing infrastructure, both of which are costly. Furthermore, to work properly with the new infrastructure, the staff will most likely require blockchain training.
Example of Blockchain Education
Below are some examples of how blockchain is affecting the education industry by overhauling outdated systems.
1. Sony Global Education
Together with IBM, they decided to build a network infrastructure where numerous institutions can upload individual academic merits of students and other relevant information so that students can easily prove the authenticity of their transcripts or other education-related achievements if they want to change universities or move to the next level of education.
A platform based on open-source code that produces, issues, and verifies blockchain-based certificates in such a way that any falsification is impossible. All educational achievements could be stored on the Blockcerts blockchain to ensure that they are never altered.
A discussion forum where people can gather to discuss a book or other publication. It’s similar to a social media site, but the main difference is that participants are awarded GIL tokens for sharing their thoughts; these tokens can then be used to purchase new eBooks, incentivizing people to engage with the content through reading and discussion.
A platform that uses blockchain, machine learning, and smart contracts to validate the credentials of potential students or teachers. A user creates a profile, completes a CV, and the system verifies its authenticity by further encrypting information in its blockchain.
A platform that aggregates students’ academic achievements and assigns a score based on the skill set they possess. Universities can create an individual study plan based on student performance. By the way, the app allows students to view their study history, teacher profiles, and available courses.
A technology-focused online platform that provides free and paid courses in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and gamified coding to introduce the DLT to more people and allow them to jumpstart a career in blockchain. Tokenized grants are awarded for course completion or other merits, incentivizing students to learn.
A platform is a service that provides digital credential services to students, educators, and employers. Teachers in grades K-12 upload any progress in the learning process, while higher education institutions process applications, revise academic achievements, and create permanent diplomas. Furthermore, students have 24/7 access to blockchain records and can easily share them with prospective employers.
8. Blockchain Education Network (BEN)
This is a global network of students and alumni who contribute to the advancement of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. Students from MIT and the University of Michigan founded the network, which now has 4,000 members who share ideas, build prototypes, and design solutions.
A decentralized marketplace where students and educators can search for educational products or courses. For example, using smart contracts, students and professors can agree on some courses to take that will help them advance in their careers. Every course a student has completed and every course an educator has taught that improves their market reputation is recognized by ODEM.
SotaTek is one of the best blockchain education platforms because of its young, enthusiastic, and promising IT talent, as well as the country’s stronghold on the pandemic outbreak. Outsourcing Vietnam soon is a good way to protect your money and project. SotaTek is a subsidiary of Sota Holdings, a Vietnam-based global Software Development as a Service (DaaS), IT Outsourcing, and Consulting firm.
The introduction of blockchain technology to the educational sector has the potential to structurally change the way students learn by providing curricula flexibility that promotes student growth. Furthermore, through the metaverse and advancements in AR/VR technologies, it may be possible to create an academic environment that meets the demands of the twenty-first century.
As people become more aware of blockchain’s positive impact on education, the time will come when institutions will adopt blockchain on a global scale.
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to supporting lifelong learning, blockchain technology can provide universal access to public domain open educational resources such as books, podcasts, and movies. Blockchain enables the inexpensive and secure sharing of these resources in a public setting.
Blockchain technology is transforming the financial services industry by enabling distributed networks for the exchange of digital currencies. This same digital infrastructure can be used to validate critical claims and credentials, such as educational and academic records.
The most promising use case for blockchain in higher education for colleges and universities is the ability to make credentials digital, placing them under the student’s control, encrypted without the need for an intermediary to verify their authenticity.
Blockchain is now being used by organizations to secure data, reduce inefficiencies in the supply chain and logistics network, and manage intellectual property. Blockchain technology is also used in food safety, healthcare data management, fundraising, and investment via security token offerings and notaries.
- builtin.com – Blockchain Education: 9 Examples to Know