Wondering how blockchain can revolutionize the education system?
Blockchain is a powerful new tool that has the potential to revolutionize many industries.
Challenges facing the education sector that blockchain can help with
The education sector faces several challenges. A few of the challenges faced by education institutions are as follows:
- The annual spend on education is estimated to be $4.7 trillion worldwide, however, it’s far from equitable. High-income countries spend $3 trillion on education per annum, whereas low-income countries spend merely $22 billion, i.e., 0.5% of the total. This anomaly is glaring, considering both groups of countries have approximately the same school-age populations! Read more about this in the “Education data” report from the “Global Partnership for Education”.
- The above report also states that as of 2016, 132 million girls of school-going age couldn’t attend school.
- Globally, the profile of the teaching profession needs to be raised, which will help it to become a desirable career.
- The curriculum in schools and higher education institutions needs to meet the demands of the 21st century, however, it often doesn’t.
- Learning programs need the flexibility to promote growth among students. Read more about this in “‘Big five’ challenges in school education”.
- The education system needs to support disadvantaged and underperforming students.
- In the USA, student-debts amount to $1.5 trillion as of mid-2019, and it’s a challenge. Read more about this in “Here’s why America’s $1.5 trillion student-loan crisis has spiraled out of control”.
Why blockchain matters
Before we delve into how blockchain can revolutionize the academic institutions, it’s worth understanding what blockchain is. It’s a decentralized “Peer-to-Peer” (P2P) network with the following characteristics:
- Public blockchain networks are open to all, whereas private blockchain networks restrict participation to trusted parties only.
- Computers on a blockchain network are called “nodes”, and they all maintain a shared ledger of all transactions. This distributed ledger makes information sharing easier, moreover, it promotes transparency.
- The decentralized nature of blockchain, coupled with the security features like digital signatures, encryption, cryptographic hash functions, and consensus algorithms protect the data against tampering.
- Ethereum brought smart contracts into the mix, which transfer cryptographic assets based on the fulfillment of predefined conditions. Smart contract is transparent and tamper-proof, moreover, smart contract execution is irreversible. They can improve contract administration.
Read more about blockchain in “How to build your own blockchain using Node.js”.
How blockchain can transform the education sector
Blockchain can add value to the education sector in various ways, e.g.:
- The security features of blockchain can help protect student records.
- Forgery of education certificates and academic credentials is a key challenge, however, education blockchain initiative can change this, since it’s tamper-proof. Read more about this in “How will blockchain transform the education system?”.
- In addition to preventing forgery, blockchain-powered digital certificates help students and potential employers since they are easier to manage. You won’t need to worry about losing or forging a certificate or records of academic achievement that has a permanent digital presence on a decentralized blockchain network!
- Since blockchain ensures reduced data management, record keeping such as of academic transcripts, learning materials, academic achievements and administrative costs significantly, education will become more affordable. This can help to address the burgeoning problem of student debt.
- “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs) are increasingly popular for lifelong learning process and improving economic mobility, however, providers of such online learning courses need to prove their credentials. Blockchain can help here since users know that credentials can’t be falsely embellished on blockchain networks. Read more about this in “How blockchain could disrupt the education industry”.
- Open Source Universities (OSUs) are gaining in popularity, again due to the high cost of education. Blockchain education can make it easier to manage OSUs with its efficiency, transparency, and security.
- Blockchain digital identity management solutions can help educational institutes to manage the IDs of their various stakeholders.
- Charitable donations can advance the cause of education, however, transparency of operations is paramount here. Blockchain can help educational institutes to maintain this transparency, as you can read in “Blockchain could revolutionize education next. Here’s how”.
Examples of using blockchain in the education sector
As I have mentioned, Decenture uses blockchain to help communities tackle the problem of student debt. The platform offers an integrated educational technology platform to bring all transactions under one roof, and it creates an ecosystem for people to contribute to tackling student debt.
Decenture addresses the following functionalities as part of its platform:
- Payment remittance;
- Attendance monitoring;
- Certification management.
It aims to build a complete ecosystem including students, universities, and governments.
Many colleges and universities all over the world have started to use blockchain to effectively combat diploma fraud. A few examples of blockchain in education are as follows:
- The University of Nicosia, Cyprus;
- Sony Global Education;
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT;
- King’s College in New York;
You can read more about this in “Benefits of blockchain technology in the education system”.
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Planning to launch a blockchain-powered app for the education sector?
This guide, platforms, tools, and frameworks will help, however, developing a blockchain-powered app for the education sector can be complex. Blockchain technology is new, and you should consider working with a reputed software development company for such niche and new technology projects.
Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” to find such a partner.
If you are looking for experienced blockchain technology developers to build blockchain apps for educational institutions, DevTeam.Space can help you with their expert software developer community skilled in the latest technologies. Get in touch by providing your initial blockchain development requirements via this quick form and one of our technical managers will get back to you for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
At the current time in real life, there are not many blockchain solutions being used in education. However, companies are racing to develop blockchain-based education solutions that we should see very soon. One example is of Education Blockchain Action Network helping students, educators, etc. in open source project development, etc. Education Blockchain Initiative in collaboration with the American Council is another example.
Blockchain is not currently a practical solution to replace all types of existing solutions. This is mainly because blockchain platform is quite resource-intensive due to problems such as blockchain bloat. However, for certain tasks, blockchain distributed ledger technologies are far better than many existing ones, especially that require data security, transparency, etc.
Spotify currently uses a blockchain solution to authenticate agreements between artists and distributors. DevTeam.Space uses a blockchain system to guard against code theft, and Maersk uses a blockchain-based supply chain solution.