Blockchain Technology and the Education Sector: What’s the Progress?

The blockchain technology has come a long way since the time it was introduced back in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Today, the latest statistics show that global spending on blockchain solutions is expected to grow from 1.5 billion in 2018 to an estimated 11.7 billion by 2022. 

Blockchain’s growing popularity prompts global public awareness of the importance of this technology. In fact, authorities and educational organizations are already pushing forward some fundamental changes in the system. Just like that, many well-known and innovative universities, including Cornell and Georgetown Universities, are already offering programs focused on Blockchain technology. 

However, aside from disrupting the usual education programs across global organizations, there is another way Blockchain changes the global educational system. 

Blockchain Disrupts Education System

Some of the greatest features of blockchain include decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Thanks to these functionalities, the technology is able to improve global industries in many different ways. Today, we will talk about how blockchain could make the education system better. 

As mentioned before, the blockchain technology has a ton of applications, and the same is true for the education sector.  In the course of the past several years, blockchain companies and enthusiasts were working on solutions that can allow us to improve the higher education sector. Below are some of the ways blockchain can start a fundamental change in the global education system, according to Gartner.

Record Keeping

One of the greatest applications of blockchain in the education sector involves the digitization of educational credentials, including the degrees, certificates, diplomas, and the like.

This kind of record-keeping can significantly enhance the security of the credentials and make sure that there is no need for an intermediary to verify them. 

Furthermore, blockchain technology can be applied in the case of accreditation of educational organizations. At the moment, this process involves a number of complex steps in some of the countries. This time-consuming and cost-inefficient procedure can be easily substituted by using digital records.

Boosted Efficiency 

There is no doubt that blockchain-stored credentials for university are already a great improvement over the traditional education sector’s approach. Yet, a step-up from this method of application would be the establishment of the virtual transcripts.

These transcripts would include all the information about the educational activities and achievements of a person’s history.

This application would diminish resume fraud and speed up student transfers. Another great advantage of this application is the diminished need for staff related to credential verification. Overall, the blockchain-fueled virtual transcripts would streamline a lot of internal processes and increase efficiency for the educational organizations.

Streamline the Payments

Today, paying for your higher education with cryptocurrencies might sound like crazy talk. Yet, a couple of years from now on, it might very well become the reality. In fact, back in 2014, King’s College in New York City became a pioneer in this field by accepting bitcoin as payment, and thus marking its place as the first accredited US institution to do so. 

Processing payments for the studies requires a lot of labor and time. It also involves a lot of parties, including parents, financial institutions, scholarship-granting companies, educational institutions, and governments.

By simply paying the student fee with a cryptocurrency, people would eliminate the need for intermediaries and cut down on processing fees as well as save a ton of time.

New Business Models

Aside from the use-cases, which focus on improving record storage, security, and efficiency, there is still a lot of potential in the blockchain technology that can be utilized in the educational sector. One of the ground-breaking applications of blockchain is the creation of new business models. 

Following this strategy, 

Woolf University aims to become the very first blockchain-powered borderless university. The university was founded by a group of academics from Cambridge and Oxford. 

This non-profit organization will be based on blockchain and smart contacts. These will act as the foundation of the relationship between teachers and students. 

How Far Are We From This Future?

While the majority of countries have acknowledged the potential of blockchain, there is still a long way to go before we will use blockchain on a daily basis in our lives. One of the main obstacles on the way of wider blockchain adoption is the lack of awareness among the general public. 

When it comes to learning about this technology, people are usually divided into two groups: those who are not interested in understanding the ways this technology works, and those who are willing to learn but have limited resources to do so. 

The latter group usually comprises of younger individuals, and they are eager to learn and apply their knowledge in the industry. Yet, due to the limits of the educational system, not many universities offer blockchain-focused degrees. So, many ambitious students are choosing to learn about blockchain online, via guides and video courses. 

Nevertheless, as blockchain becomes more popular, many global organizations move to help educate the growing generation about this technology. In addition, the help also comes from within the industry, with a number of blockchain projects organizing events and seminars to teach students around the globe about the ins and outs of blockchain. In addition, many blockchain projects are heavily investing in developing the education sector with the help of technology.

One such blockchain company, APPII from London, has collaborated with The Open University to launch a qualification and accreditation platform. The platform would be helping to manage incoming students and create tamper-proof academic records. 

Another ambitious project, Tokoin, has come forward with its initiative that is dubbed “Campus Meeting Events”. As a part of these events, the Indonesia-based blockchain project is visiting a number of universities across the country. 

In the same fashion, another blockchain startup from Estonia called Disciplina, helps students and universities get acquainted with the technology. The project’s Student App enables students to monitor their educational records. The Educator App from Disciplina helps professors build their profiles.

Conclusion

It is crystal clear that blockchain application is a game-changer in the education sector: it can increase productivity and security, boost efficiency and help cut costs. In addition, blockchain technology gives life to many new beginnings and projects that inevitably improve the quality of life. 

Hopefully, thanks to the efforts of the global authorities, educational organizations, and blockchain projects across the planet, people will soon be more comfortable with using blockchain technology in their everyday life. 

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