The Education Sector is finding ways to enhance their opportunities, facilities, and teaching methods to proliferate more understanding and interest among students. For instance, AI technology introduced Chatbots for better communication among the school and student, digitalization has been intensifying the digital tools in classrooms and schools, diversity programs are introduced in schools to accept international students more whole-heartedly, this all efforts are initiated to improve the education system and change it with the changing time and technology. Therefore, Blockchain technology is mitigating the ways to improve the strategies and methods in teaching and interacting with students.
Blockchain was usually used in Bitcoin and cryptography, but it is driving its technology in supply chain and business initially, but now it is entering the education sector. Blockchain has the potential to alter a wave of innovation around learner data including ending paper based certificates .
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain refers to a bookkeeping method that "chains" together with the information which are hard to modify later. At its basic, a blockchain is a computer file used for storing data – information. Like any computer file, it exists on a digital storage medium, such as a computer hard drive. And it converts in the form of a string of binary “bits”, 1's and 0's, which can be processed by computers to be made readable by humans.
There are different fields in the education sector in which blockchain has replaced the mediocre methods.
With millions of young students enrolling and graduating every year worldwide, profiles of information are exchanged and move around constantly. These piles of files can be messy and chaotic to manage, and it contains the most important and confidential data such as personal information, academic records, residency files, financial statuses, and more. Shielding these essential records through a decentralized blockchain system which can maintain a protection against cybersecurity attacks. This guarantees student privacy in a growing world of database profiles.
Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education, a subsidiary of Sony that works to provide global educational services, have developed a new blockchain-based student education records platform. With the solution, school administrators can consolidate and manage students' educational data from several schools, as well as record and refer to their learning history and digital academic transcripts with more certainty. IBM Blockchain, uses blockchain technology on the IBM Cloud to track students' learning progress, as well as establish transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools.
Blockchain based technology used in transcripts which is not a traditional hard copy but a virtual copy, which has a record of all the education achievements throughout the lifetime of a student. This blockchain virtual transcript would reduce CV fraud, streamline student transfers between universities, reduce the overhead related to credential verification, and make moving between states and countries less complex.
Two companies, MIT's Media lab and Learning Machine, had built a open source project "Blockcerts' ', that offers a standard for initializing, issuing and verifying blockchain-based certificates. The Blockcerts platform are capable of validating certificates for academic credentials, professional certifications, and civic records. These digital records are registered on a blockchain, tamper-proof, cryptographically signed, and shareable. The goal is to give the innovation that gives individuals the capacity to possess and share their own official records. We invite feedback, contributions, and general discussion.
Storing Student Credentials:
Most higher education institutions maintain the credentials records in proprietary formats. These databases are structured by an institution's staff and has a little or no interoperability. However, documents like course certificates can be secured and verified, regardless of whether or not a user has access to an institution’s record-keeping system, even if the whole institution get closed or collapsed, the certificated would still be verifiable against the records stored in a blockchain. Additionally, once institutions issue a certificate, no further requirements are required to confirm the validity of that certificate to third parties, since the certificate can verify itself directly on the blockchain.
Blockcerts is an open standard for building apps that issue and verify blockchain-based official records. It perceives the open-source libraries, tools, and mobile apps enabling a decentralized, standards-based, recipient-centric ecosystem, enabling trustless verification through blockchain technologies.
The MIT has created Blockcerts Wallet, which enables students to quickly and easily get a verifiable, tamper-proof version of their diploma that they can share with employers, schools, family, and friends.
If institutions want to store the digital curriculum, records, degrees and other information, that gonna use the file storage space alot. And saving everything on the local hard drive can be risky because if it get tampered, it can destroy all the data in a minute without any backup. But other option of cloud storage is also not valid, because but buying the amount of cloud storage space needed could be out of reach for many institutions. A possible solution would be blockchain-based cloud storage services.
Filecoin is an open-source and digital payment system intended to be a blockchain-based cooperative digital storage and data retrieval method. Filecoin gives the authenticity that files will shared and transferred on the platform securely with sound end-to-end encryption.
The Advantages of Blockchain in Education Sector:
1. Increased transparency
Blockchain technology creates a chronological list of content that has been transported in real-time. This is useful for verifying, securing the data, and displaying the data to all the users who are involved in the chain. On the student side, having students submit their homework with the help of blockchain ensures the security of homework that it doesn't lose or claims that the teacher lost it.
2. Accountability through smart contracts
Accountability is an assurance that a person or an organization will be evaluated on their performance or behavior related to something for which they are responsible. With the help of Blockchain, the teachers, universities, administrators and students are engaged to bind in an administrative contract which is a digital agreement that stipulates an assignment's parameters, due date and grading deadline.
3. Improve record keeping:
The most promising use case of blockchain is to store the valuable credentials such as degrees, certificates and diplomas, to replace the traditional methods of storing, making credentials digital and verify them. Blockchain could be also used for authorization of educational institutions, a complex process in many countries, enabling them to verify quality or qualification to teach. Blockchain's ability to improve record keeping can solve the administrative and management hassels.