Although the term blockchain is mainly associated with cryptocurrencies, as it turns out in practice, this technology is increasingly widely used. For example, medicine, insurance, logistics, and education are sectors that blockchain effectively supports. How can blockchain be used in education? What are the benefits of blockchain in education? Please find the answers later in this article.
Blockchain and new technologies in education
New technologies are effectively supporting the education sector. This trend has been particularly noticeable recently, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The need to carry out remote lessons has required educational institutions to adapt and implement systems for e-learning or electronic diaries quickly. Blockchain also finds applications in education – data protection, the secrecy of grades, correspondence with students and parents, elimination of cheating during exams, and issuing certificates – these are only a few of the possible examples.
Blockchain in education use cases
How can blockchain be used in education? As we have already mentioned, there are many applications of blockchain technology in education. First, blockchain technology can be successfully used as an infrastructure to secure, share, and verify learning achievements. For example, digital certificates that are secured on blockchain have significant advantages over legacy digital certificates due to:
- trustworthiness – it is easy to verify that the certificate was initially issued and received by the same people indicated in the certificate,
- high level of trust and security – the record of given and received certificates on the blockchain can only be destroyed if every copy on every computer in the world hosting the software is destroyed.
Secondly, blockchain technology in education can be used to verify the competence of candidates or students. For example, when applying for admission to a given school, a candidate sometimes decides to falsify their diploma. Such a solution was introduced by the University of Nicosia in Cyprus (UNIC), which implemented blockchain technology to record students’ achievements. This type of centralized data repository improves data storage procedures, providing faster access to the collected information and greater security.
Third, blockchain in education can be used to make courses accessible. This is possible through smart contracts. Lessons can be programmed into the blockchain and executed automatically when certain conditions are met. For example, a teacher can assign tasks to students, and the completion of each level task can be automatically verified and result in unlocking the next level.
What are the benefits of blockchain in education?
The blockchain application in education bring many benefits. First, using blockchain in education minimizes costs.Under normal circumstances, tracking student achievement with available tools can be time-consuming and expensive, so blockchain becomes an essential step toward cost optimization, security, and transparency. Costs are also affected by the need to issue diplomas in physical form, as well its duplicates. Another benefit for educational institutions using blockchain is also building a leadership position. A high degree of innovation is usually a factor in achieving a competitive advantage, which in the case of education means more significant interest in a given school or university by candidates. And from the students’ point of view, storing diplomas in blockchain gives them the ability to share and access them anytime, anywhere easily. Finally, the ability to make payments for training or certificates with cryptocurrencies is also not without significance.
Will blockchain technology revolutionize education?
Blockchain in education means greater transparency and ease of data verification. In this context, an undoubted advantage of this technology is the ability to easily prove who was the original creator of a given piece of content. This is especially important in the case of graduation theses or exams.
On the other hand, blockchain also provides significant development opportunities – taking courses and acquiring certificates. Furthermore, the global sharing of information with the help of blockchain has become much more accessible, and borders have practically disappeared. Therefore, we can be sure that decentralization will help future generations reach higher education levels. Today, we already feel that knowledge is more widely available and cheaper to achieve. With the use of blockchain technology in education, progress will come more rapidly. So, we can say with certainty that the benefits of blockchain technology in education are significant, and further development in this sector will soon reveal its full potential.
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