Many companies see blockchain as hype or still maturing technology which is years away from industry adoption . While blockchain is still evolving , just like any other emerging technologies, its gaining grounds fast. While finance and insurance industry had an obvious use case and were early adopters but it’s may be surprising to see how Blockchain is disrupting other industries especially in Education. Education ecosystem is changing, traditional ways of education no longer appeal to the new generation. Students are much more aware of advancements and are looking for alternatives, Forcing institutions to re-look ways of engagement. Below info-graphics by HolonIQ gives a snapshot of some key players in this space.
Lets look at some of the use case in the sector in more detail
- Certification and Global Assessment: The current system of assessments has its limitations and needs a revamp. the system is subject to lose, even fraud. With an increasingly mobile population of students and workers, a universal database of credentials and achievements with properties of open access,Security and authenticity,is needed so that as people move to another educational institution, a new job or a new country — and for refugees who have no paperwork, some kind of universal credential can be leveraged.
- Blockchain can securely and permanently store all records, issue reliable certificates and awards, transfer credits and keep track of learning achievements across a whole lifetime. college won’t have to share transcript and authenticate degree. The distributed nature of system gives the capability to create validation for the entire academic journey of candidates from school to vocational certifications across multiple institutions and geographies. Employers can validate the certificates on demand without going through cumbersome background check process. Some notable work has been done in this area by Blockcerts , Certchain, Appii
- Academic Intellectual Property tracking. Registering and tracking intellectual property is a key part of all academic systems. Intellectual property creates value and in turn, its use may apply costs. To this end, a host of central authorities manage intellectual property of various kinds. In particular: — research journals certify that a piece of research is new, and that the research has been conducted in line with rigorous scientific standards — this information is used to determine scientific truth, Data companies certify the number of times a piece of research or an open educational resource (OER) has been used. This determines the significance of the research and thus compensate the author accordingly. However, the current systems has multiple intermediaries like journal publishers, data companies, professional bodies etc. Leveraging blockchain these IP records can be decentralised and maintained without the need of intermediaries and researchers can be paid directly as per the citation or usage.
- Learning Analytics: In Future like several other industries , analytics in learning space will become one of the significant area of blockchain for education, with a positive impact on both the institution and students: “Imagine a scenario where every learning activity is registered on the Blockchain, including informal learning — together with informal feedback. All assignment test scores will be mapped on learning environments. The best Courses across participating geographies and institutions by subject could be easily identified. Learning would become that much more interactive — and course reputations built on more tangible matrices”
- Corporate learning : Companies invest significant amounts of time and money on training to their employees.Current learning and talent management system technologies, SCORM, et al, are a old . we need an open,universal and secure system for use not only by individual company, but also by others when employee leave an organisation,thus creating a lifelong learning credential.
- A la carte education. In the near future, students may not want to embark on a three- to four- year university Programme, for a variety of reasons — from financial to opportunity costs and industry may support it too to get faster access to manpower. A degree could be deconstructed as an ‘a la carte’ set of courses. Students may use plug and play models studying components in different education bodies, locations and different contexts. Some modules might be undertaken through face to face classes and some blended or online means. Within this emerging model, micro-accreditation will take place through a blockchain. Transferability of skills will be facilitated through the accreditation of MOOCs like platforms. There are also significant opportunities in areas increasingly positioned as alternative educations such as vocational training, corporate training and the qualifications awarded by professional bodies.
Opinions expressed here are my own and not the views of my employer ,client or institutions