In our previous article on Blockchain in Healthcare, we have defined what Blockchain technology is and what the key features of it are. To have a recap you can go through this article here. Summarising in short, Blockchain is a public ledger technology that automatically records and verifies digital transactions. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) powers several services and Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies (which have taken a beating this month).

Having gone through the overview of Blockchain technology and its perks, let us now identify the benefits of the introduction of this technology in the education world.

Overview of Blockchain in Education

Education is the primary focus in all the developed countries. It is the youth who lay the foundation for a better future. Their proper education and overall development will always help ensure a better future for the nation. In many countries, the private institutions as well as some of the government educational institutions have started implementing this technology or are conducting a research to analyse the benefits that this technology can serve. No doubt it is the next big thing after implementation of smart class and virtual board concepts. To depict it in a simplified way, we can consider this:

As it can be inferred from the picture, one and all personnel involved in the education department over the globe can interact with the Blockchain technology and enjoy the benefits it provides. Let us now deal with these benefits in details.

Role Of Blockchain In Education

Technically speaking, Blockchain in one form is a distributed database, spread across a large number of computers with no central controlling node. Each ‘block’ in the chain of computers is fully transparent but tamper-proof. A ‘block’ has a timestamp associated with it for recording transactions and offers indelible proof for all of the transactions and records. Blockchain can be easily implemented within individual educational institutions, groups of educational bodies, and both national and international educational institutions. As a matter of fact anyone wanting to securely store badges, credits, and qualifications – and make educational data that highly matters, available to others – could consider using blockchain technology.

Why ‘Blockchain in Education’?

As education system becomes more and more diversified, democratised and decentralised, we still need to maintain the key parameters like reputation, trust in certification, and proof of learning to keep a check on the education quality. The drastically increased focus on relevance and employability may also push us in the direction of Blockchain, as we also need more transparency. Blockchain could provide just such a system: a massive open, online, distributed and secure database. This won’t only make the education system more digital and advance but also help us in terms of saving paper and making it less tedious and more entertaining to get involved in the education business.

Nowadays, the education world is in desperate need of central authorities to focus on checking certificates. Every day, the reputed educational institutions have to process thousands of requests from a whole lot of educational organizations for sending copies of documents. This is just to ensure the applicants have graduated from a certain industry. Such is the case when we consider only one aspect of the education industry, which is getting in it. There is a wide range of other features and operations that can be considered to understand why we should implement Blockchain in Education or how Blockchain can help in the education industry.

Let us now consider these pros individually.

Blockchain Replaces Paper

An incontestable advantage of blockchain technology in education which is most often discussed is that it will make the dematerialization of documents possible. It is also expected to provide full aid in avoiding the risk of losing or falsifying any paper documents or certificates. Hard copy or paper-based higher education diplomas, school merit certificates and extra training course certificates often get lost and the original can be lost over time. This is a very common scenario and many of us might have faced this once in life or heard any of our friends facing this issue.
But once put in the blockchain, the information about any student’s grades and the courses that have been undertaken by him will never get lost or tempered, securing it from being falsified. It also ensured the availability of these documents with the owner’s consent. Thus the implementation of Blockchain in education is not only authentic but also eco-friendly saving papers.

Blockchain in Educational Financing

Financial accounting is a crucial component in the work of schools, universities and other educational institutions. Use of Blockchain technology will improve the accounting system for calculating scholarships for students and wages for teachers, and will also provide a transparent and highly secure mechanism for funding grants and projects. This will ensure no corruption and no improper use of educational funds.

Implementations of Blockchain in Education

The most forward-looking developed educational institutions in the world have already embarked on improving the sphere, enabled by modern technologies. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the world’s most specialised training institute for various technical areas has provided hundreds of digital diplomas for graduates. The University of Nicosia, the largest private higher education institution in Cyprus has already implemented a completely functional Blockchain Library for storing student records.

A lot of such examples are there in the world where the top institutions have implemented the Blockchain technology and enjoy the benefits. You can refer this Link for a list of all such institutions.

Conclusion

Traditionally the educational institutions have been a source of trust: universities, for example, are trusted “brands”. In finance, where blockchain is nowadays a ubiquitous hot topic, banks exist to enact transactions, creating an environment in which blockchain’s advantages are readily obvious. (Source)

Even after the perks, the culture of education which is a slow learner might be an issue. But one thing that is for sure is students and youth are looking for alternates and the Blockchain technology is highly promising in this field.

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