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Blockchain in Academy
There a ton of institutions or individuals developing blockchain technologies for cryptocurrencies or trading. But ‘Educational Institutions’ in specific haven’t exactly been excited about the use of blockchain. There are still a few institutions trying to up the game in education sector like Sony Global Education, B.E.N., Groningen Declaration etc.
Sony Global Education
Sony recently said that it has finished developing a digital system for storing, accessing and managing educational records on the blockchain. The Japanese firm has built this system on top of IBM blockchain.
The goal of this system is to allow institutions or school administrators to manage and consolidate student data. Furthermore, this platform can track learning history with certainty and establish transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools, allowing both professors and students to track the latter’s learning progress.
It is difficult for the institutions to assess the ability of potential hires, since the certifications are mostly from online courses and other non-traditional courses. Since blockchain provides both the student and the teacher a digital trusted record, the issue can be resolved.
Groningen Declaration aims to create highly transportable, accessible and secure education credentials using blockchain technology.
The Why ?
Accessing transcripts and academic records takes a ton of time and is labor intensive. These transcripts have limited information, like the grade, course title. Being able to access these records around the world is a must, and that seems impossible. And physical records tend to perish and are open to fraud.
Education is an ongoing endeavor and is likely to cross different geographical areas and institution.
For all the above mentioned reasons it is necessary for education credentials to hold more information and has to be easily accessible while being both secure and verifiable. Blockchain seems to provide an easy fix for all the above issues.
So far the Groningen Declaration has about 100 signers from all education institutions from all around the world, including 40 schools from the U.S
B.E.N (Blockchain Education Network)
Formerly known as College Cryptocurrency Network, B.E.N. is a blockchain network of students and alumni across the world. B.E.N, allows students and undergrads to create blockchain for campus, which is essentially a discussion room. Students explore on socioeconomic experiment within the safety of their peers. And this leads to new innovations and combined efforts of all such clubs, local and global via the blockchain network will have a huge impact.
B.E.N. is spread across 5 nations, Italy, Columbia, Vietnam, India and UAE and is continuously growing.
To make the education credentials verifiable and accessible MIT developed Blockcerts. Blockcerts lets you share your educational credentials/achievements on the blockchain. Once verified and uploaded, the educational records are found forever on the blockchain and can be accessed easily. The technology can be used to store important government documents as well. This will allow employers, banks, institutions to verify your documents with click of a button.
With blockcerts, blockchain for education has never been so easy and secure. Blockcerts is available as an open standard under MIT license. Interested developers can use the standard to build apps for blockchain based apps for document verifications or for blockchain courses.
Education sector on a whole is a slow learner and is even slow at adopting. While exciting technologies and ideas are being discussed and developed everyday to be implemented, it is still a long shot. Like all research, blockchain research is still new and yet to be exploited. And the question of “How global will it be?” still persists.
Education and blockchain, is certainly a topic to be discussed not by investors but by the students and teachers. Collecting their ideas and implementing them will kick-start a journey. That however is my/our opinion; discuss with us on Twitter