Blockchain tech is innovating education, and schools are catching up to the trend

Bhupinder Kour
Blockchain tech is innovating education, and schools are catching up to the trend

Immutable ledgers are verifiable, secure and accessible from anywhere and anytime

Blockchain technology is hogging the headlines. Its potential is going beyond the concept of smart contracts, fund-raising, and supply chain verification – disrupting almost every industry including Education in a way no one can overlook.

Although the education sector has become more diversified, decentralised and democratised than ever before, there’s still a strong demand for maintaining reputation, building trust in certification and ensuring proof of learning. And, this is where Blockchain technology can be seen as a feasible solution: a huge open, decentralised, and secure system.

Want to know how blockchain technology can bring a new wave of innovation in education?

Here I’m sharing some of the ways blockchain can be employed in education:

Secure and Accessible Records

Since most of the educational processes like storing records, transferring credits and issuing certificates are done offline, one has to suffer when the important papers are misplaced or lost. The situation gets even worse when the institution shuts down or the entire record-keeping system collapses due to server breaks or some other reason.

Blockchain, in this scenario, helps by offering the feature of making entries on an immutable ledger, which are verifiable, secure and accessible from anywhere and anytime. That means, both the students and institutions need not bear the pain of managing heavy paperwork.

For instance, Holberton School in San Francisco, which offers project-based education, uses blockchain technology to create, store and send issued certificates. Schools for K-12 employ the technology for managing student transcripts, attendance record, test scores, transfer records, and much more. Likewise, Sony has invested in an in-house certification-issuing system that records educational and activity achievements of students using blockchain technology.

Also read: Blockchain tech will disrupt education in more ways than we expect

Simplified Payment Systems

Blockchain can be considered as a perfect medium for making instant payments. Students will no longer have to wait for approval and transfer of funds; They can utilise their time and efforts in a profitable manner. Interestingly, several universities like University of Nicosia, Simon Fraser University (BC), King’s College (New York), and FPT University (Vietnam) has already begun accepting cryptocurrency as tuition fees. While some of them are accepting bitcoin payments only from students enrolled in tech-related courses, others are providing this option to all the students.

Besides, the ‘new technology of trust’ is also being taken into consideration for creating customized cryptocurrencies for fund grants and vouchers.

Validation of Certificates and Degrees

Verifying a certificate/diploma from the concerned university or employer takes a lot amount of time. One has to request the graduate programs and employers for official transcripts for certificate validation, which is quite slow and complex process.

In response, various schools and universities like MIT’s Media Lab have started making diplomas available to the students through a mobile application based on blockchain technology. The students can easily share their credentials with others in order to show their certificates/diplomas. And the best part is that no one would be able to make alterations in the certificate due to blockchain encryption security, which is an effective tool against the increasing trend of fake doctors and degrees.

Apart from certificate verification, blockchain will also keep a record of the publications and citations and ensure that the author of the cited work gets paid automatically.

Also read: 3 startups are using blockchain tech to improve the lives of millions

Long Lasting Learning Passport

Various educational organisations are looking forward to endorsing blockchain technology for creating open badges that will act as a token of achievement, authorization, and affiliation to the programs a person has participated in throughout his life. These open badges are supposed to be shared in job applications instead of carrying the complete file of certificates and degrees to prove one’s achievements.

The Ledger Project is one such scenario that is envisaging education system in 2026 where blockchain will track everything you learn on “Edublocks”. In addition to this, the edublocks will assist the students to find the right investors for their education as well as help the employees to find skills they need to grow in their respective field.

Cost-Effective Processes

With everyone participating in the blockchain-based educational process having authorization over the data, the institution need not spend a hefty amount on the data management and security processes. Besides, they get an escape from the legal cost emerging out of liability issues.

Wrapping Up

Blockchain technology can enhance the old educational system and leverage everyone with a myriad of facilities. However, the involvement of blockchain in education is still in its infancy. And the prime reason behind this is that the education industry is a slow learner and adopter industry.

While other industries are abruptly investing in the blockchain technology, only a fraction of educational organisations have turned towards the ‘technology of trust’ – rest are still wondering whether to integrate the technology into their processes or not.

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