We hear a lot about blockchains, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. Several industries have started experimenting with blockchain to improve their work and operations. As per IDC (International Data Corporation), global spending across industries on blockchain technology might grow from FY 2020 to FY 2023 from $4 billion to $14 billion. Now the question arises – Is blockchain for education too? Gartner – a research firm- revealed that with only 2% of the institutions using blockchain technology, it would increase to 18% in the coming 2 years.
How can blockchain be used in education?
Since privacy, security, and data protection are blockchain’s core features, it may positively impact certain areas of the education sector. One can gauge the future of blockchain in education from the following points:
- Maintaining Student Records
- Issuing Degrees/Diplomas: Universities can issue online degrees and save student-related information on blockchain. With this process, employers can eradicate the arduous process of manual verification of documents.
- Storing information: as records, curriculum, and documents
- Course evaluation: With smart contracts, the instructor can outline specific tasks necessary for course completion.
- Online exams: Covid-19 brought out various lags in the education sector. One was mainly conducting the exams. But with smart contracts, instructors can easily design papers, answer keys, and scoring patterns. It’s possible to do the students’ grading via blockchain.
- Transfer of student’s records: In case of migration, the student’s records can easily be accessible to the other organization.
How is blockchain technology transforming the education structure in the US?
Using Blockchain technology in the education sector seems more promising if we talk about the USA. Reflecting on the role of blockchain in University, blockchain has found its use in issuing digital diplomas. Maryville University, in 2019, first implemented blockchain diplomas and transcripts, letting the alumni and the students be the owners of their academic records. Students use the app – Blockcerts Wallet – to access their digital records. With this Blockchain app, the students get a tamper-proof and verifiable degree or diploma that they can share with potential employers or organizations.
In February 2020, Education Blockchain Initiative (EBI) was launched in partnership with American Councils on Education. EBI was designed primarily to explore blockchain capabilities and distributed ledger technology applications to address complex concerns of education, such as facilitating traceable, secure, and verifiable data exchange.
CBSE goes paperless using blockchain, and making results tamper-proof
CBSE has collaborated with the Center of Excellence for Blockchain technology and found a solution “Academic Blockchain Documents (ABCD) software” to formally enhance blockchain for education. This software records the results certificates in a linked chain format. This helps to furnish paperless, tamper-proof, and transparent certificates. With this blockchain technology, the result certificates are stored at multiple locations in a distributed ledger, which protects against tampering or alterations.
Educational institutes and employers can use the ABCD (Academic Blockchain Documents) for certificate verification. Currently, the digital certificates are available for classes 11 and 12 (2019-2021), but CBSE will gradually push the credentials for even the previous years.
University of Melbourne – The first institute in Australia to pilot the blockchain technology
In its first, the University of Melbourne is set to test this blockchain technology for recording students’ credentials. This will allow the students to share verified copies of their credentials with other institutes and employers as they need. The university also used this technology for Melbourne Teaching Certificate – an internal teaching course in Melbourne. This technology has put the University of Melbourne at the vanguard of developing technology.
Even Deakin University has shown interest in unblocking blockchain capabilities for a wide range of activities such as digital payments, creating digital identities, and credentialing.
Blockchain is transforming the education system world over. The above factors can ideally be only the tip of the iceberg of how blockchain can revolutionize the education system shortly.
From improving the communication between teachers and the students to handling the academic documentation, benefits of blockchain in education are numerous. Blockchain technology is all set to touch each aspect of education with its magic wand!