Blockchain has been the talk of the town for some time now, for its extensive application in various industries. The global blockchain market value is expected to reach $60 billion by 2020, showing its tremendous potential in the coming times.
The Blockchain technology has massive implications in politics, helping in adding transparency in elections, registering immigrants, storing national records, and so on. And its next hit is the education industry. Blockchain’s distributed ledger restricts editing of stored data, enabling high-end security.
Let’s explore the implications of blockchain in the education sector!
Security of Educational Records
Blockchain will enhance the security of educational records, ensuring that students are able to track their data till the end of time. Several students lose their degrees during a natural disaster or shifting from one place to another. Educational institutes rarely provide years old data, making it difficult for students to continue their education and professions without verifiable records.
Blockchain’s distributed ledger will store educational records, so they are accessible whenever and wherever required. This means that even if your educational institute is no longer operational or you’ve lost physical copies of your degrees, you can easily access them through a personal code or USB.
Fake diplomas and degrees are a major concern, as it raises concerns on the reliability of educational institutes and their operations. Blockchain’s distributed ledger makes it almost impossible for hackers to attack the system. Data is stored across several nodes, and each node requires an individual attack. Therefore, no more fake degrees forged.
Easy Verification of Credentials
Verifying degrees and educational credentials from an applicant’s educational institute takes a lot of time to request and receive feedback. Till then, the applicant’s file is withheld which is frustrating for both, employer and candidate.
Blockchain has the ability to speed up the process. Some universities have started experimenting with Blockchain, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All students have their degrees available on a Blockchain-based mobile app, called Blockcerts. The degrees can be shared with potential employers, protected by Blockchain’s distributed ledger. The app is being run as a pilot project by MIT, aiming to achieve maximum self-sovereignty for students.
Blockchain will soon replace institutes’ departments required for verification of degrees.
Preparing Students for Educational and Professional Challenges
Blockchain will help prepare students for educational and professional exams. For example, a chatbot will address student queries, guide them about admission and examination processes, help solve sample tests, identify individual shortcomings, and so on. The platform will present problems for students to solve, increasing difficulty levels as the students proceed.
The portal will serve as a student diary, storing data of students’ area of expertise, interests, learning speed, competencies, and shortcomings. The profiles created by the application will help employers find relevant candidates as well as recommending relevant open vacancies to students, based on their interest and expertise.
This platform can help students looking for financial help to pursue their educations. Non-profit organizations and donors can find deserving candidates for education loans and aid.
Opet Foundation is working on a similar model. It helps students gear up for the challenges ahead and connects them with potential employers.
‘People who are underprivileged or don’t have the access to the right kind of finances, end up falling behind or having to struggle a lot in admissions’ – Ameya Kulkarni, Co-Founder of Opet Foundation
One of the most popular uses of Blockchain is payments via cryptocurrencies. Educational institutes will soon start accepting tuition fees in cryptocurrencies. This is exciting because young adults are interested in digital currencies and are investing in Bitcoin and other currencies.
University of Nicosia, Simon Fraser University, King’s College, and a few other are accepting payment in cryptocurrencies. Various universities have given the facility to tech students meanwhile testing the feasibility of the system. Later, the institutes will accommodate the infrastructural requirements for supporting cryptocurrency payments.
More students will be inclined towards paying fees in cryptocurrencies in the future, as the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies begins to match the college fees.
Featured image via BigStock.
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