Blockchain is one of the fastest growing technologies in the modern day landscape. Although it is best known as the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, its applications now extend well beyond banking and finance. In this blog, you will learn about the importance of blockchain applications on education sector.
But before we get started, let’s clear out a few technical terms.
What is Blockchain all about?
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger or database that stores data in a “chain of blocks.” Transactions, dates and times, participant information, and so on can all be linked to the data.
While electronic databases have long existed, blockchains have revolutionized data storage and administration by providing secure access to all participants. Because all information is stored in one location, a traditional (centralized) record is more difficult to protect against theft and loss. A distributed ledger, on the other hand, stores authentic and validated copies of the original files in various locations. This also improves the transparency and democratic nature of the data sharing and maintenance process.
Blockchain can be categorized into the following categories
- Public: Anyone can join and contribute to this decentralized network, which is open to all.
- permissioned: Such blockchain network can only be joined by invited and vetted participants, such as the members of the organization
- Private: Private blockchains are similar to permissioned networks, except they are owned and operated by a single entity.
Another important concept in the blockchain language is “smart contract.” It is a computer program that runs on the blockchain and enforces the contract’s negotiation and performance. It comprises the terms of the buyers’ and sellers’ agreement. Today, technical improvements have made it possible for educational institutions to carry out such contracts.
Digital agreements are now available for use by university officials, teachers, and students for a variety of purposes, including assignment submissions and loan payments. In a separate section below, we go over these blockchain applications in further depth.
Importance of Blockchain
For businesses in manufacturing, healthcare, and education, blockchain as a data storage option has immense potential. According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Survey, 2% of higher education institutions have implemented blockchain, with 18% planning to do so over the next 24 months.
This industry adoption reflects the various benefits that blockchain provides, including:
- Costs saving
- speed and efficiency
Universities, schools, startups, and nonprofits can adopt blockchain solutions to enhance the efficiency of student data management and create better ways to engage learners. Additionally, blockchain allows external stakeholders like employers to assess the validity of students’ skills. Let’s dive into the specifics.
Blockchain adoptions in Education
The administrative department of institutes can manage student records without having to deal with any additional problems thanks to blockchain technology. There are no intermediaries needed to verify academic papers, degrees, certificates, etc. because all credentials and certificates are maintained on a distributed ledger.
Decentralized online learning
Learning institutions typically have their own set of requirements for their study programs, which can lead to inconsistencies in course material. Furthermore, students rarely have a say in what they are taught and are essentially passive recipients of recorded lectures.
When blockchain technology is added to the mix, real-time data sharing and interactions between students and teachers become ever more possible.
Courses and certificates
Course content certification is one of the most frequently sought student records in both K-12 and higher education.
This information is crucial in assessing whether or not a student should advance to the next academic level. Transcripts may function as a badge of honor, displaying pupils’ grades in various courses. To maintain correctness in the traditional educational system, records must be manually stamped and signed many times.
Blockchain applications, on the other hand, do away with the necessity for such time-consuming and labor-intensive operations.
In the academic arena, incidents of students presenting someone else’s work as their own are all too common. When an undergraduate student presents a research proposal or final dissertation and it is discovered to have been plagiarized from the internet, for example. What is the repercussion? The institute has the authority to cancel certificates and even suspend an individual.
Digital content creators can use blockchain technology to control the spread of copyright materials. Academic data is saved on a secure chain with strong encryption, and the network is only available to authorized users. The content owners may then track, access, verify, and approve safe usage of their content.
In this blog, we discussed the potential of blockchain applications in addressing the challenges of poor learning and fraudulent conduct in the academic field. Technology is still witnessing massive innovations and holds a bright future ahead.