There’s no denying that blockchain technology is changing the world at an ever-increasing rate and has impacted the world in ways that could never have been predicted. Of course, the finance and cryptocurrency industries are the most affected, but that hasn’t stopped the technology being used in other areas of the world, such as education.
Education, I hear you ask. How is education being affected by blockchain technology, apart from maybe students trying to invest in new currencies to become millionaires? In today’s article, we’re going to find out.
1. Improving Student Record Databases
Due to the way blockchain technology works, a ledger with all student records on it could be one of the most game-changing uses since colleges, universities, and schools, including the government, would have access to these records and would be able to hold so much information on students and their learning abilities.
Acting like a directory for students, you could share grades, applications between institutions, and minimise the risk of misinformation. Sony Global Education has already created a version of this educational platform that is both comprehensive and secure and could be used to help students learn in the best way possible for them over the coming years.
2% of the people surveyed by Gartner already use blockchain for this.
Watch this space.
2. Copyright and Digital Protection Technology
One of the best, if not the best, feature of blockchain technology is just how secure it is. The information stored can be highly encrypted and safe from hacks but ensures the content is still shareable and accessible to those who need it. Refer this to the higher education sector, and big things can happen.
“Let’s say you have a group of researchers in university who want to share confidential research with other researchers and universities around the world. Before, you’d have to use email or cloud/file-sharing platforms which just aren’t secure. Nowadays, they can use blockchain technology, which is far more secure, and far safer,” shares Charlotte Harrison, a journalist at Paper Fellows and StateOfWriting.
There is great demand for development of simpler digital protection laws and policies in higher education, to keep up with the digital revolution. Blockchain can help with this. Already, companies like Bernstein are helping to protect content using blockchain.
88% of people surveyed by Gartner were planning to deploy or had already deployed cybersecurity measures like this.
3. More Varied College Funding Options
Paying for college is perhaps not any student’s favourite time in their life, but there are problems with the current system that make it even worse. For example, paying off part, if not all, of your student debt on a credit card means you’ll be subject to a huge amount of interest and credit card fees, which means you end up paying way more than your original bill.
“However, thanks to blockchain technology, you can safely and securely make transactions anywhere in the world using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to make payments for free, thus eliminating those original fees. As of 2014, King’s College in New York City became the first college to allow Bitcoin payments, and many more have followed since,” shares Nick Turner, a tech writer at Boomessays and Australianhelp.
Even funding in schools can be revolutionised. Such platforms as Gyft are offering Bitcoin-based prepaid gift cards that aim to remove the middleman from transactions used by people in education. This can be used for anything, including college cantina purchases, and buying course-related software online directly from publishers and developers.
For example, imagine using a Gyft card using Bitcoin so you can safely purchase your new Adobe Photoshop suite for your graphic design course. This is especially important is funding bodies, either the college or university itself or an external investor, is paying for the software but don’t want students potentially spending the money on other things.
In Ireland, the company ConsenSys have started a €50,000 blockchain-funded scholarship aimed at Master Level Computer Science students who are interested in getting in to a blockchain related career.
4. Advanced Record Keeping Capabilities
Hand in hand with point number one, blockchain technology allows for much more advanced record keeping of everything. While we’ve touched on student records, a lot more can be processed, especially from a business perspective.
Everything from registration of students into new schools and colleges, transfer evaluations, and intellectual property protection can all be managed securely and safely through blockchain technology platforms.
There are even the ideas that the risk of fraudulent degrees and transcripts can be minimised thanks to the security that blockchain technology provides, meaning the future of higher education can be far more authentic and far more genuine than it has ever been before.
Even today, the Open Source University project already “provide educational and career history verified by blockchain technology in a transparent and traceable way.”
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