When you hear the word blockchain, you probably think of cryptocurrencies, games build on a blockchain, NFTs, or other blockchain-backed concepts that create an investment value or some entertainment. But have you ever wondered how blockchain technology could also influence something as big and meaningful as the educational sector?
Blockchain technology is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it is much more than that. It is a distributed ledger system that can be used to record transactions securely, transparently, and completely tamper-proof.
This technology can potentially transform many industries, and the education sector is no exception. In this article, we will discuss how blockchain technology can be relevant in the educational sector and provide a few examples of where the technology can shine.
For a long time, the education sector has been struggling with specific challenges, with plenty of room for improvement. The challenges that the education sector faces include credential fraud, lack of transparency, inefficient record-keeping, and high cost of administration.
You don’t solve complex challenges like this in the blink of an eye, but blockchain technology can, in fact, help solve some of these with time. It can do so by providing a secure and transparent system for managing stuff like educational records, certifications, and more.
A key advantage of blockchain technology has always been its decentralized model and tamper-proof ledger. To put that in an education context, it can be used in a way so educational records and certifications can be recorded on the blockchain so it’s secure and cannot be tampered with.
One could imagine that this will prevent something like credential fraud, which is a significant problem in the education sector on a global scale. With a secure and tamper-proof system, employers can be confident that the educational credentials presented by potential employees are genuine and accurate and avoid hiring people who don’t have the educational background or skills that they say.
Another advantage of blockchain technology is its transparency – one of the key points that made crypto so revolutionary years ago. In the education sector, this means that students and employers can access educational records and certifications transparently and securely.
It can help reduce the administrative burden on educational institutions, as students and employers can access records and certifications immediately without any real boundaries. It can also help to reduce the cost of administration, as blockchain technology can automate many of the processes involved in managing educational records. Even in 2023, you will find many educational institutions that manage the paperwork in the “old-fashioned” way.
If you think a bit out of the box, blockchain technology can even be used to create digital credentials. Credentials essentially verify an individual’s educational achievements and background. Making these credentials fully digital and stored on the blockchain would only provide yet another layer of security and make it pretty much impossible for an individual to tamper with them.
Digital credentials have numerous advantages over traditional paper-based credentials. They can be easily verified on any occasion and avoid any lack of trust between the individual and a potential employer. Additionally, digital credentials can be easily shared with other educational institutions, making it easier for students to transfer their educational achievements and continue building on top of their education.
To pick an example of a company that is using blockchain technology to create digital credentials, Learning Machine is great to look at. Learning Machine has developed an open-source standard for creating and verifying digital credentials on the blockchain. This standard, called Blockcerts, provides a secure and tamper-proof system for managing digital credentials. Educational institutions can use Blockcerts to create digital credentials for their students, which employers or other educational institutions can then verify.
Blockcerts could just be the beginning of how blockchain technology is used to improve the educational sector. Education is an essential piece of society worldwide, so improving that sector makes sense in so many ways. And if blockchain can help do that, why not explore every possible option? Since blockchain is still a new concept, there’s no guarantee that the maximum potential of blockchain in the educational sector has even been found yet. Who knows, maybe some revolutionary utilisation of blockchain is still waiting to be explored.
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