With the passage of time, new means are emerging for the application of blockchain technology in the world of education. New and high-profile projects are now receiving the attention of the media which is acting as fuel in the fire grabbing the concept of blockchain the attention that it deserves in the educational sector. Such was not the case a few decades ago when authorities across the globe were hesitant in trying and adopting the changes. It was back in 2017 that the reputed University of Melbourne started use of blockchain to grant digital credentials which gave students the power to share the verified copies of qualifications they possess with the employers or any third party within a tamper proof system. According to the survey of Gartner 2019 CIO Survey, 2% of higher education respondents are already using blockchain while 18% of more respondents are planning to do the same in coming years. There is no denying the fact that there are still many who are hesitant towards introduction and use of blockchain in the field of education.
Scope of blockchain in field of education
There are plenty of educational institutions who are still following the wait-and-see approach, taking into consideration the extreme hype, immaturity as well as the potential threats that blockchain gets along. While some have strong belief in the positive outcomes of blockchain introduction in education, there are others who are sceptical about the same. While there are still many who believe that the technologies that are currently being used have greater potential than blockchain, there are still few who assert the opposite. The time has come when we ought to lay more emphasis on practical uses for blockchain and at the same time keep an eagle eye on the long-term transformative potential that it offers. Here we are going to discuss few ways in which blockchain can totally result in transformation of the education sector:
1. Potential to make record keeping easy
Paper work is the most important aspect of the educational sector. Be it your degrees or other certificates, it is vital to keep a track of all the papers. Blockchain plays an extremely promising role in higher education resulting in transformation of record keeping of degrees, certificates as well as diplomas. It facilitates making credentials digital as well as facilitates keeping these under the control of the learner with no need for any intermediary in order to verify them. In addition to this, it also finds use in accreditation of educational institutions, which is otherwise a very complex process in a lot of countries, facilitating verification of quality or qualification for teaching. Blockchain also has the potential to enhance record keeping making it a natural fit for solving intellectual property (IP) management issues. There is still potential to take this sort of management to another level using blockchain.
2. Improves efficiency in the current business scenario
Blockchain-based diploma provision by university is an enormous leap forward. However, it appears that the eventual use case is creation of virtual transcripts or records of all the educational achievements all your life. With verifiable lifetime transcript the chances of CV fraud reduces in addition to facilitating streamline student transfers between the universities, reducing the overhead cost pertaining to verification of credential. It also makes movement between the states or countries comparatively easy. This is one initiative that goes well beyond the record keeping seeking streamline processes. Overall, it is making all of it a fabulous play.
3. Creation of a new market for the digital assets
Processing as well as keeping a record of all the payments for different purposes including fees that the students make is currently a very laborious task. This involves a lot of entities including students, their parents, the scholarship-granting agencies, the financial institutions, public authorities as well as the educational institutions. Blockchain has a lot of potential in this aspect. In times to come, cryptocurrencies or you can also say the custom cryptocurrencies, has the potential of being used as a means of making payments by the students. back in 2014, King’s College in New York City took the first step to become the first U.S. institution that was accredited to accept bitcoin as the mode of payment. Doing so totally eliminated the transaction fee related to the use of credit cards that was earlier charged from the students. This example is a perfect reflection of how efficiently blockchain can be employed in higher education for creation as well as trading of new digital assets.
4. An insight of a business model that is disruptive
In the current scenario, the potential of blockchain use in higher education has only been restricted to record keeping as well as efficiency. However, there is always a scope of real disruptive power in creating the business models that are totally new. The universities can simply rely on the use of blockchain as well as smart contracts to lay the foundation of the relation or say the connection between the learners and the educators.
5. Address core problems efficiently
The potential of blockchain is such that it promises to address even those problems and concerns that are proven arduous to be solved with help of the traditional technologies. The achievement of such an educational platform, further promises to reduce the tuition fee on one hand and enhances the faculty remuneration on the other hand. Use of blockchain smart contracts can help automate the administrative tasks and at the same time protect as well as secure not only the faculty but also the students thereby reducing the administrative overhead cost. Educators now have an option to consider getting the salary in Woolf tokens or in the currency of their choice.
Overall, there is a huge scope of blockchain technology in totally transforming the world of education. This is going to make receiving and imparting education comparatively easy and stress free.