Blockchain is a hot topic nowadays. With the advent of Bitcoin, distributed ledger technology has gained a lot more attention than it ever had before. Some experts predict that it will be much more significant in ten years, especially when it comes to the world of education, writes Gillian Ward.
This Is How Blockchain Could Change Education:
Education is changing, and blockchain technology will have a big impact on it over the next five years. Every decade brings new technology advances, which in turn drive changes across many industries. Education is no stranger to such sweeping change. As we enter the third decade of this century, its emergence may end up dramatically altering how people learn various subjects.
The following are 10 ways blockchain could impact education in 2022:
Blockchain-verified academic credentials:
This technology is used for the verification of the academic credentials of the students. The university or the college in which the student has studied can store information about their degree or certification on a digital ledger. For example, when an employer asks for academic credentials, he/she can verify them easily as all the information is available on a digital ledger
Storing student academic records:
Currently, most educational institutions store data in siloed databases that are isolated from each other. These databases are not interoperable and make it difficult to access data across institutions. This is where the cryptographic ledger comes into play. This technology makes it possible to create a shared database or ledger that can be accessed by multiple schools or institutions simultaneously. Each institution will have its own node on the network. They can share data securely through encrypted channels. As all the nodes maintain a copy of the ledger, no single institution can tamper with the records or delete them.
Creating a global academic record system:
The blockchain, in a nutshell, is a decentralized database. It can be used to create a secure digital ledger of transactions, and share it among a network of computers. Each block is linked to the previous one and encrypted. It is impossible to hack or alter any record without simultaneously altering all the blocks that have come before it in the chain.
A network of academic institutions could use this technology to create a distributed database for student records. It will eliminate the need for each institution to maintain its own records. The database could be open to students, educators, employers and other authorized parties. Students would own their records and grant access as needed.
Its potential extends beyond creating digital versions of paper forms; it can also host apps on top of the platform, called Smart Contracts. These contracts could automate processes such as admissions, enrolment and financial aid disbursement.
Blockchain-based payments and tuition disbursement:
The cryptographic ledger can help in simplifying the student loan process. The current system is very complicated and time-consuming. As per an article published by Forbes, it requires many steps to complete a loan application process and many days to issue a loan to a student. It is not only time-consuming but also requires manual intervention at every stage which increases the chances of errors in the process.
With the advancement in technology and cryptographic ledger implementation, it will be possible to simplify the entire process and make it faster as well as error-free. Since there is no need for manual intervention, it can reduce transaction costs by 50%.
Affordable online degree programs for all:
In 2022, digital ledger-based solutions will help edtech companies to process micropayments for educating students. It will allow providing affordable online courses and secure payments for them. A digital ledger will also allow verifying the identity of a student, teacher, or anyone who interacts with the system. Thus, it will help to facilitate payments for education in the easiest way.
Blockchain education is on the rise and will continue to grow as more people realize the value of gaining skills in this new technology. The beauty of cryptographic ledger-based education is that it’s affordable. On Udemy, you can find a plethora of courses that are as little as $10-$20.
If you’re looking for free courses, there are plenty of them on Udemy as well. You can even learn essay writing if you want to make essay longer with words. The top-rated ones include “Bitcoin or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crypto” and “Blockchain A-Z: Learn How to Build Your First Blockchain” by Hadelin de Ponteves.
Blockchain-powered scholarships and student loans:
In this brave new world of digital ledger-based scholarships, students would no longer have to fill out lengthy applications. No painstaking submission of their financial information over and over again. Instead, they could just upload their academic records onto their personal digital ledger.
Their grades, degrees and test scores would be there for all to see (or not see), depending on the student’s privacy settings.
Students can get a scholarship or a loan directly from universities or other private investors without intermediaries like banks. Digital ledger-powered microloans would allow students to pay their tuition fees in small instalments through smart contracts.
Blockchain-powered identity management for students:
Our education system has always been based on the notion of issuing credentials as a reward for learning. From grade school to college and beyond, we’ve used certificates, diplomas and degrees to allow students access to opportunities.
This established system is now broken — filled with holes and inconsistencies that are easily manipulated or falsified. This technology can provide a solution by storing student records in a secure and immutable ledger, allowing them to be accessed anywhere in the world. While ensuring they cannot be altered once they’re issued.
This will make it much easier to verify credentials throughout a student’s lifetime, eliminating fraud and spurring new growth in educational opportunities, such as micro-credentials that offer certifications for individual skills or subject matter areas.
Global identity management for educators:
This is an interesting one because it could have several applications across the board. Educators could have a global identity that includes their credentials, teaching experience, peer reviews and ratings etc.
This would help students as well as employers or training companies to decide if they want to work with a particular educator based on his/her reputation in the ecosystem. It can also help students or employers decide what courses they should take or offer respectively based on peer reviews of those courses and instructors.
A new decentralized learning model:
Blockchain technology enables the decentralization of data storage and analysis by creating a distributed ledger of information. This means that no single person or institution is responsible for managing or analyzing data. Instead, all members of a network can access and contribute to data storage, processing, and analysis. In this way, students will be able to self-manage their own information without needing an intermediary such as an educational institution.
Enhanced lifelong learning with digital badges:
One of the biggest issues for educators today is how to stay relevant in an increasingly fast-paced world where knowledge becomes outdated within months or years. Fortunately, blockchain makes it possible to get new skills or qualifications in seconds.
It can enable the development of digital badges that learners can use to demonstrate their competencies at any time—even after they finish school or university. These badges will be stored on a public ledger so they are easy to verify.
In conclusion, there is a strong argument to be made that blockchain could revolutionize education in years to come. However, this case is still a relatively new idea—more research and testing need to be done before it could be used on any kind of large scale. Nevertheless, we can be sure that some exciting developments will occur in the next few years that will change the way we look at education.