Blockchain in education: goals and examples
Due to the maximum data security and transparency of the processes that take place in blockchain, the technology has become attractive for use in various areas, first of all in the financial one. However, according to the report of the European Commission, blockchain is gradually being introduced into the education field as well.
How to apply blockchain in education?
To understand how education can benefit from blockchain, it is necessary to consider the main advantages of the technology. They are as following:
• Decentralized storage of data.
• Availability of information in the system (everyone can read it).
• Possibility to automate and accelerate the transfer of various data (for example, using smart contracts).
• Absence of intermediaries and controlling authorities.
All this results in the fact that the information is well-protected from counterfeits, changes and cannot disappear at one time (for example, due to the failure of any server).
In such a way, blockchain can radically change the system of control over educational processes and the distribution of finance in the education sector. Today data on students, teachers, as well as the distribution of investments in education are controlled by such institutions as schools and universities. With the help of the distributed ledger technology, the information will become more accessible, and it will be easier for teachers and students to communicate with each other.
For example, the ODEM platform offers a new learning paradigm. Using the application based on the Etheruem blockchain, it is possible to search and add the necessary trainings to your education plan, quickly find teachers and communicate with them directly.
Thus, students will be able to choose a training course offered in the system, without the university as the intermediary. At the same time, students will quickly get access to knowledge, and teachers – money for their work.
Where blockchain is used in education today
The introduction of blockchain into the field of education is a slow process, which requires the development of software and separate smart contracts. Currently, the new technology is used in the experiments of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Open University of Great Britain and several universities in Malta (i.e. in countries where the authorities are loyal to the blockchain and cryptocurrencies).
But the first one to introduce the distributed ledger technology by starting to store diplomas in the system and even accepting payment in bitcoins, was the University of Nicosia (in 2017). The institution belongs to the European Association of Universities; its diplomas are recognized all over the world.
The University of Nicosia has Mass Open Online Courses (MOOC), and their popularity indicates that blockchain can revolutionize the idea of online studying: in particular, to promote and legalize it.
Which educational issues can be addressed by blockchain?
The report of the European Commission for 2017 covers several areas in the education sector, which can be optimized with the help of blockchain. They include:
1. Identification of the students (for granting access to libraries, dormitories, laboratories).
2. Payment of education and scholarship for students.
3. Providing loans for study.
2. Verification and confirmation of the authenticity of diplomas and certificates.
Verification of data (for example, whether a person studied in a particular institution) using the blockchain technology is made in a couple of minutes, excluding bureaucracy and third parties. It greatly simplifies the submission of documents for the enrollment, as well as the process of checking the uniqueness of students’ works.
With the help of blockchain, diplomas can be standardized and stored in a single database for all universities in the world, and companies that are looking for employees can easily and quickly get information about specialists with the relevant education. In their turn, applicants will be able to keep track of the skills relevant for a particular employer. According to this information, students will have an opportunity to quickly change the training program by adding required training courses.
The introduction of the blockchain technology into the education system requires time and financial investments. But as the result it will reduce some expenditure items and save a lot of time for students, teachers and employees of educational institutions.
In the future, blockchain will reduce bureaucracy, thus saving a lot of paper.
The need to verify the authenticity of the diploma in a traditional way will disappear (sometimes the feedback from the university can be waited for weeks). Blockchain will also help to monitor plagiarism and address intellectual property issues.
Would you like to learn more about the practical use of blockchain and its advantages? Visit a large-scale event Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Malta, dedicated to the prospects of the modern technology and cryptocurrency. The event will feature the subject-related reports of leading international experts of the crypto industry and enthusiast. Come and talk to them in person!