Global education scenario is very much varied depending on demographic regions. Some core aspects still stay intact, while most of the methods are evolving and adapting technology. Many K-12 schools in various countries have adapted a Global Education Framework that was created for worldwide implementation. Though the curriculum and methods tend to change, the problems and challenges still remain the same.
In the last decade or so, with the penetration of the internet eLearning is becoming a common term. Many higher education concerns provide online courses and academic programs on remote basis. Even test, grading and certification can be done online. With a deep integration of technology into the education system, the day is not far when blockchain would make its way and aide the global education systems.
As far as education goes, there is formal and informal education. Also there are a variety of streams of education such as Open University courses and other online courses, workshops and conferences, co-learning spaces and crash courses. However all of the mentioned streams are centralized.
“The centralised model of present-day learning is no longer sustainable,” the authors of the report write. “Blockchain technology allows for a total disintermediation and disaggregation of higher education.”
Micro-accreditation could take place through a blockchain, allowing for the easy validation and transfer of skills and credentials.
As all academic records can be stored permanently on a blockchain, important documents such as degree and course certifications can be safely stored and verified irrespective of whether a student has access to the institution’s records management system or not.
Even in worst case scenario’s like the institutions that issued the certificates were to close down, or if the entire system of education collapses because of economic, political or functional stability; these certificates are still verifiable against the records stored in a blockchain, the European Commission has written. “Furthermore, once institutions issue a certificate, they do not need to spend any further resources to confirm the validity of that certificate to third parties, since these will be able to verify the certificates directly themselves on a blockchain.”
With the aid of blockchain, students can identify themselves online while maintaining complete control over the storage and management of their personal information. This has been a major challenge over the years. The process of profile authentication by companies when student join a job is done manually and is a time consuming process.
Inside bigger institutions, students need to regularly identify themselves with different departments. In such cases, either each department would collect the student data for itself, or the organisation will use single sign-on, whereby one shared copy of the student data is used by all parties within the organisation. In both the scenarios many people would have access to a student’s personal and sensitive information. Keeping that data safe requires managing access rights for all those people, and also making sure that their devices are completely secure and protected end to end.
When blockchain is brought into the picture only a select few parties responsible for verifying a student’s identity would have access to their data. Apart from these parties, the records would be in control of the respective student. This would mean that institutions are no longer required to maintain the complex systems for access rights, and only needs to secure the device or network where the verifications initial verification is taking place. Blockchain integration would save few resources spent in hardening the network against data breach, hardware, personnel training on protection of data and also easily manage access rights.
With Blockchain educators can publish their academic and other content publicly, all the while keeping track of reuse, without adding any limitations on the source material. This would allow educators to reap benefits based on the level of actual use and reuse of their published teaching materials, similar to how they are rewarded based on citations to research papers. This would allow for students and institutions could to take decisions based on the metric data as to which teaching materials to would be apt.
Educators and writers could also announce their publication of their resources and link to those sources. They would also be able to announce the supporting reference material which has been used while compiling their publication. Token could be awarded to educators according to the level of reuse of their respective published materials.
Smart contracts can be used to manage payment of rewards to educators and authors based on how often their material is cited or used. This would eliminate the approach towards intermediaries such as research journals, which often limit use by charging the authors a higher fee for use.
An Institution’s validation credentials across education systems are not an easy task. In countries across the globe there are a number of accreditation pathways through both public and private institutions. So when recruiting, employers therefore need to verify not only the issuer of the credential, but also the quality of the institution that has issued the certification. Currently, the verification process involves consulting the institution itself, determining the quality of the accreditation the institution claims to have, confirming this issuance with the accrediting body itself, and checking with the governing authority to see if the accrediting body is authorized to operate in its particular capacity.
Blockchain offers a more effective and efficient alternative for this. Using a blockchain, rather than researching these connections, institutions needing to check the ‘pedigree’ of a degree could easily do so with a single click. A fully automated process would then be able to visualize the accreditation chain and verify that certificates had indeed been issued, and (critically) that they were still valid for each step of the chain.
A fast growing blockchain firm with expertise in delivering quality products, solutions, service and consulting in the tech side of things; Scala Blockchain (www.scalablockchain.com) looks to tread new roads with the prominence of Blockchain technology being optimistically possible. As the horizon of blockchain in various aspects of technology being explored, it is only imminent that businesses would indeed adapt and move toward blockchain base in the foreseeable future.