Due to its decentralised and secure design, blockchain can be applied in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, land registration, and education.
The term “blockchain” wasn’t very common a few years ago. These days, we hear a lot about it and how it is used in the financial industry. The phrases blockchain and cryptocurrency have occasionally been used synonymously. Bitcoin and the blockchain, for instance.
Does blockchain have a place in other sectors, including education? Yes, that is accurate. Data security is a benefit of using blockchain in education, as it can secure data even if one or more nodes are corrupted.
The Advantages of Blockchain in Education
In University Research
Both transferring knowledge to upcoming generations of students and advancing knowledge through new research are objectives of higher education.
Professors spend a large amount of time performing original research, publishing their findings, and advancing the boundaries of their areas while exposing future-oriented study subjects.
Importantly, the influence and accessibility of those papers may affect researchers’ ability to secure significant financing for ongoing research. Authors have a stake in monitoring how their works are used and avoiding blatant infringement.
Researchers would be able to publish without limitations, but in a way that would enable them to monitor the reuse of their research, such as how frequently work is cited and used as teaching materials, enabling them to monitor its impact in the field, which is important because it can result in accolades and future funding.
Reward for Learning
A key component of blockchain technology is tokenization. Professors will soon be able to motivate students by rewarding them with cryptocurrencies if they perform well or complete a specific major, and academic institutions will be able to incentivize students to repay their student debts on time. The gamification component of tokenization’s teaching methodology has shown to be very successful.
Blockchain in Edtech has already been acknowledged as “the appropriate technology” for modernising an antiquated system, despite the field’s relative youth.
Blockchain’s immutable ledger technology creates a chronological record of current events. This works well for looking up transcripts, showing a complete report card, and updating pupils on their progress. When a student turns in an assignment using blockchain, they cannot “lose” it or argue that the teacher misplaced it.
Accountability with Smart Contracts
Soon, academic staff, students, and teachers will all have access to smart contracts. For instance, a digital agreement detailing the parameters of an assignment, the due date, and the grading deadline might be signed by both students and professors. Student loan repayment may be possible with smart contracts.
Lowering the Cost of Education
Blockchain technology has the ability to offer universal access to open educational resources like books, podcasts, and movies that are in the public domain and are free to use and redistribute, in addition to supporting lifelong learning. Blockchain enables the cheap and safe sharing of these resources in a public network.
Blockchain has the ability to change the educational environment by creating new, more accessible channels for learning and upending the current relationship between schools and students.
Managing student tuition payments is a time-consuming process that involves many parties, including students, parents, foundations for scholarships, lending companies, federal and state agencies, and the frequently enormous bureaucracy of university financial departments. This procedure can be streamlined with blockchain, resulting in lower administrative expenditures and perhaps even lower tuition rates.
The technology has already been implemented for pay-as-you-go courses and other types of open learning situations, using smart contracts and cryptocurrencies as a payment method.
The Disadvantages of Blockchain in Education
Like other technologies before it, blockchain can only thrive if enough organisations and companies believe in it. Graduates won’t gain from owning their credentials unless the institutions or businesses to which they are applying recognise their legitimacy.
Though they are presently recognised and issued by hundreds of organisations, as well as promoted by a network of job sites like Upwork and ZipRecruiter, blockchain credentials may soon become the rule rather than the exception.
Due to the abundance of data that educational institutions have about their students and alumni, scalability issues with blockchain technology may arise. Peer-to-peer verification is necessary for every transaction, therefore as the volume of data involved increases, more blocks are needed.
The speed of transactions on the blockchain is slowed down as a result. If widely used, this might be a significant obstacle. However, compared to permissionless blockchains, permissioned blockchains have a higher transaction rate per second.
Adopting and putting into practise new technology is expensive, despite the fact that it can save money in other areas. The expense of adding computer power and altering the current infrastructure can add up quickly.
Additionally, many institutions do not have the expertise necessary to manage student data on a blockchain platform, mandating the investment of time and money in educating school officials on how to use the technology.
Although security is one of the features that sets blockchain apart, this does not mean that it is impregnable. Institutions must be careful about what data they retain and how they preserve it since the data saved on the blockchain is so sensitive—students’ academic records and transcripts.
Compliance with local, state, and federal data protection laws can be challenging. To embrace more privacy protections, universities may need to employ private or authorised blockchains or encrypt data on the blockchain.
Thanks to Blockchain, cryptocurrencies are already causing a significant financial shift. By automating record keeping and sharing, speeding the recruiting process, enhancing data security and trust, and granting students lifetime ownership of their academic records, technology has the ability to fundamentally alter the education industry as well.
Blockchain adoption in education improves resource utilisation and the effectiveness of the school ecosystem. In the process, issues including cost, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and compatibility with legacy systems will need to be addressed.
Being able to bring in a more safe, open, cooperative, innovative, and future-ready educational system that can accommodate rising enrollment makes it well worth the money.