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Does Involvement Of Blockchain Technology Is Burgeoning The Education System? Or Dwindling?

Blockchain technology is collectively an ingenious invention that originated as groundwork for digital currencies but it is suddenly growing apparent that blockchain is higher than just bitcoin. The encrusted ledger technology that potential bitcoin is primed to module the future of several enterprises. Whether it is social insurance, account, media, or the legislature, blockchain innovation will achieve a progressive change across numerous enterprises.

The technology is certain to obstruct every enterprise, including education and pedagogy. There is no denying the certainty that the education practice is far from where it requires to be. Adopting this technology, a lot of alterations can be made in the education sector.

The technological sector is enormous. It is thought that it will relinquish $93.76 billion by 2020. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality are presently creating their way into the education sector and now it is a matter of time for blockchain technology to convert notoriety too. Student records are limitless, and with blockchain technology, assets such as attendance, programs, fees toward education and tuition if they register in a private school, grades and marks, coursework, and also their degree can become an element of their individual blockchain record.

Considering certain records cannot be erased, this assists with data protection in that it is permanent. It also refers to the student than to school or any organization. The blockchain cannot be tamper with by any participants once it is saved. If an account has an erroneousness, a new record requirement is to be joined to fix it and both the incorrect and correct records will prevail.

Hence, does it matter for the education sector to adopt Blockchain technology?
Anywhere activities happen between participants is a scapegoat for disruptive applications based Blockchain technology. This involves educational systems that hold records concerning students. Traditionally, students were depended on schools or educational institutions to maintain data about their educational achievements. These activities are centralized and build a lifetime executive responsibility for schools or institutions to determine, and students to obtain.

If one is enrolling for a postgraduate qualification and has to communicate with each school or institution where previous requirements performed and request a separate copy for every requirement usually cost up to €20 each.

Blockchain technology could modify these methods by assigning a student's record over the web. The student's data becomes available, translucent, validated, and protected without the requirement for renewing interference by a third-party educational organization.

How and when personal experience education ought to improve adequately in the last two decades. Education takes place in a diversity of circumstances including assigned and modularized studying with established organizations, administrative education compact courses, combined learning, digital learning, and certification on performance from a host of providers beyond the globe. Shared ledger technology ensures translucent, reliable applications that can be obtained by students, employees, and employers to support educational records self-sufficient of provider or position.

Accreditation records are just one application of Blockchain in education. More possible applications related to education and learning are appearing as the intensity of Blockchain development accelerates. The illustration below from Open Blockchain demonstrates how Blockchain technology could empower students to access and control their own educational data on e-portfolios, feedback, and accreditation.[i]

As education becomes more diversified, democratized, decentralized, and disintermediated, we still need to maintain reputation, trust in certification, and proof of learning. The increased focus on relevance and employability may also push us in this direction, as we also need more transparency. Blockchain could provide just such a system: a massive open, online, secure database.[ii]

Potential ways to transform the education system
In 2017, the University of Melbourne started using blockchain to issue digital credentials, enabling students to share verified copies of their qualifications with employers and other third parties in a tamperproof system. New ways to apply blockchain technology in the higher education sector are emerging all the time. Over the past several years, more high-profile projects have received significant media attention, fueling further interest in the technology.

The Gartner 2019 CIO Survey revealed that 2% of higher education respondents have already deployed blockchain. Another 18% of respondents were planning to do so within the next 24 months. However, nearly half of the respondents (47%) cited a lack of interest, and that number is up from just 37% in the 2018 survey.[iii]

Many in the “disinterested” group are taking a wait-and-see approach, considering the extreme hype, immaturity, and potential risks of blockchain. Some have analyzed the likely returns and concluded that existing technologies can do the job better than blockchain. Others are unaware of the potential benefits.

Terri-Lynn Thayer, Vice President, Gartner, says higher education CIOs should remain curious about blockchain's potential. “Focus on practical uses for blockchain in the near term, while keeping an eye on its long-term transformative potential,” says Thayer. “The more ambitious use cases have the potential to disrupt the entire education ecosystem.” [iv]

Effective and efficient learning
With long-lasting learning more significant than any other time in recent memory as workers face a consistent need to improve their abilities, instruction frameworks, and enlistment forms should be more productive and vivid to adjust to various requests. This is the reason blockchain has extraordinary potential in the training part. It can permit laborers to develop a protected, evident computerized record of formal capabilities, experience, and delicate abilities increased over their lifetime. Furthermore, by utilizing a shrewd agreement, blockchain applications could give understudies the capacity to deal with their individual training through contribution adaptable access to substance and courses proposed dependent on past triumphs or disappointments and achievements.

Blockchain is still a developing technology, but we are already seeing real-world benefits. Education is a multifaceted sector where different systems need to adapt to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Having a foolproof system that records a student's academic history before and during a working life can not only help in battling dishonesty but can also help to tackle the issues of bespoke learning. This will ultimately give people the best chance of determining their education path and a successful future career. [v]

Russian platform Disciplina is the first platform to harness the power of blockchain technology solely for education and recruiting. TeachMePlease, one of the Disciplina applications, is a higher education marketplace, bringing teachers and students together. Another blockchain platform that's emerging in this space is Opet Foundation's chatbot app to help students with test prep. It answers questions and recommends resources while keeping track of student progress in the blockchain. Because it is easier to keep track of and store information, the blockchain could be used to enhance library and information services in schools.

Though few libraries have started experimenting with blockchain technology, at least one school has received a substantial grant to begin the discovery process.[vi] Tokenization has become a mainstay of blockchain. Before long, academic institutions will be able to incentivize students to pay student loans on time and teachers to motivate students by awarding cryptocurrency to those who perform highly or complete a certain major. The gamification aspect of education created by tokenization has been tremendously beneficial. [vii]

Modifying the record-keeping method
The most supportive use case for blockchain in advanced education is to change the record-keeping of degrees, authentications, and confirmations, making qualifications computerized and under the student's control, without the requirement for a delegate to check them. Blockchain could be additionally utilized for accreditation of instructive establishments, a perplexing procedure in numerous nations, empowering them to check quality or capability to educate.

Blockchain's capacity to improve record-keeping likewise makes it a characteristic fit for tackling protected innovation (IP) the executive's issues, for instance, by utilizing blockchain to decide whether a thought or creation is novel or to enroll IP resources, copyright, and licenses.

Schools spend a robust add up to give preparing to the understudies, yet keeping up the record of their accomplishments is an intense errand since the records are to be kept and kept up for a lifetime. Current advancements utilized for the ability the board are powerless against digital assaults and are not extremely protected. Blockchain gives an open and secure framework for ability the of executives. Understudies will approach it considerably after they have graduated and joined the workforce.

With the rising education cost, it becomes necessary to look up cheaper alternatives. The high cost of education is one of the reasons the concept of Open Source University (OSU) became popular. OSUs allows you to store all your educational credentials, adding an air of legitimacy to more affordable and alternate means of education that still carry weight with employers. Also, OSUs have their own course and they are very affordable. By storing certificates and credentials earned through OSUs, on a unified Blockchain database, credentials will be easily verifiable and accessible. Thus, it eliminates the chances of fraud in the diploma marketplace.[viii]

Enrolment in institutions
According to Forbes, the US student debt is $1.52 trillion, and 44 million borrowers owe this debt. The student loan debt crisis has become very serious and they are wreaking havoc on the budget years after graduation. All thanks to high education costs. The mighty blockchain is a savior. Technology can help in making education affordable for all. In fact, there were 81 education-blockchain ICOs started in 2017 to solve the problem but they disappeared into thin air. Dr. Edward from EIU.AC says that blockchain has industry-changing applications and that the LOL Token can solve real problems like transferability and affordability.[ix]

Blockchain is practical and adaptable. The records are profoundly secure as they are decentralized. The innate adaptability in its design permits backing and capacity of records, archives, and advanced resources with no extra expenses of foundation and security. Foundations likewise get a good deal on the expense of information the board and the legitimate liabilities that accompany it. The innovation additionally permits members to have singular responsibility for information from the open-source, therefore sparing huge on advanced framework cost.

In a unique instance, blockchain technology is also being used to manage the national enrolment of young children in kindergartens in Kazakhstan. The country requires all parents to apply for their children's enrolment to local kindergartens, and this was primarily done on paper.

The process was digitized in 2018 but was criticized for errors made with data storage. A blockchain-based solution was then proposed and accepted, and from February 2019 onwards, this process has been handled by an automated and transparent system. This allows parents to keep track of, and make changes to, which kindergartens they prefer their children to be placed in.[x]

Data storage
There are different occurrences of blockchain being utilized to store and screen scholarly records. In February 2019, Sony and Fujitsu affirmed that a pilot venture utilizing blockchain innovation to record course information and grades would be propelled for the current year. The joint endeavor will have unfamiliar understudies take part in a preliminary course for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Understudies will utilize Fujitsu's online Fisdom stage to take the course, while Sony's Global Education blockchain cloud administrations will record the assessment results and course information. The undertaking expects to give Human Academy, a language school for unfamiliar understudies and accomplices in the endeavor, the capacity to cross-check information results on the blockchain with the testaments presented by understudies in the program. The ultimate objective is to enable the foundation to precisely pass judgment on the general language capability and capacities of planned understudies.

Singapore's government has driven its own system to provide graduates from 18 different educational institutions with digital certificates. The initiative was announced in May 2019 and uses its very own Open Certs platform, which works off the Ethereum platform to provide and verify digital certificates. A Swiss University is also looking at a blockchain solution to combat a steady rise in the prevalence of fake diplomas. In September 2019, the University of St. Gallen introduced a pilot project that would use the Ethereum blockchain to verify the validity of diplomas. [xi]

Working with Swiss blockchain startup Block Factory will allow the university to verify academic credentials almost immediately, solving a process that traditionally takes days to complete. The university will create digital diplomas using the company's certification platform. Andorra, a small country nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains, has also looked to blockchain to store academic records. The country's government announced plans to digitize national higher education results using blockchain technology in February 2019. Immutability is the main benefit cited while the technology will also reduce expenses related to the current processing and storing of academic results.

Canada's Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has also adopted blockchain technology to provide digital copies of diplomas to the graduating class of 2019. Nearly 5000 students will have access to their blockchain-stored diplomas and be able to share these documents, thereby eliminating the need for alumni to get copies of their academic records and certificates from the institution. It also allows recruiters and employers to easily verify the authenticity of student records.[xii]

Conclusion
Blockchain technology certainly holds applicability in the world of acquiring at the individual, institutional, association, national, and international levels. It is applicable in all sorts of circumstances. Moderately the conventional hierarchical structures, the technology becomes the center with support assigning towards the technology, not the organizations. It is actually a disintermediation technology. Traditionally organizations have been a cause of business for instance are presumed brand. In economics, where blockchain is now a universal problem exists to perform activities, producing an environment in which blockchain's benefits are immediately apparent.

However, the greatest hindrance to blockchain's more comprehensive application is social. Education remains a slow learner and a very slow adopter. Notwithstanding its distinct interests in learning, the world is expected to be slow in adopting this technology, as most of the funding and culture is focused around the individual organization. Bologna was dead the day it was signified as nobody actually needed to lose their students and undergo monetary issues, although it nevertheless became the structure for European higher education. This shows simply that the provocation for transformation will have to attain from elsewhere.

In education, however, there needs to be trusted beyond the technology. Reputation will still matter, and this will continue to be derived from the quality of the instruction, teachers, research, and so on. However, blockchain can play a role here, too, as one could imagine a sort of web of teachers and learners that deploys blockchain to cut out institutions. It must also be recognized and conceded that blockchain is not without its problems.

There are data-regulation issues, and a cloud has been created over the technology by the fact that one of the exchanges in the Bitcoin system – which is based on blockchain – saw $500 million disappear! And last but certainly not least, after considerable difficulty, US authorities were able to close down the infamous “Silk Road” drug-dealing exchange, which was also blockchain-based. One thing I know for sure is that students have their eyes open and are looking for alternatives.[xiii]

The last decade has proven that blockchain technology can improve a vast number of existing processes. In the education sector, it is mainly being used to store and verify records. However, the technology could also be leveraged to improve library systems around the world, as the San Jose State University's school of information explored. The school proposes that blockchain technology can be used to create and manage a metadata system for libraries.

This would allow peer-to-peer sharing of books, documents, and information that can also be encrypted. A blockchain could easily manage access to certain material as well based on the permissions granted to certain users. The options are potentially endless when it comes to the applications of blockchain in the education sector. Everything from attendance to record-keeping can be managed by blockchains and these are all instances that are being actively explored.[xiv]

End-Notes:
  1. Will Blockchain technology disrupt Education, Post by Niamh Walsh, Learnovate available at <https://www.learnovatecentre.org/will-blockchain-disrupt-education/> (Latest viewed 10/08/2020
  2. 10 ways blockchain could be used in education, by Donald Clark, oeb global insights, available at <https://oeb.global/oeb-insights/10-ways-blockchain-could-be-used-in-education/> (Latest viewed 07/08/2020)
  3. 4 ways blockchain will transform higher education, smarter with Gartner, available at <https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/4-ways-blockchain-will-transform-higher-education/> (Latest viewed 13/08/2020)
  4. Id.
  5. What is the role of blockchain in technology by Charley Rogers, Education technology, available at <https://edtechnology.co.uk/comments/what-is-the-role-of-blockchain-in-education/(Latest viewed 18/08/2020)
  6. How will blockchain transform the education the system, data economy, available at <https://dataconomy.com/2019/01/how-will-blockchain-transform-the-education-system/> (Latest viewed 29/07/2020)
  7. 9 BLOCKCHAIN EDUCATION COMPANIES EARNING STRAIGHT A'S, by Sam Daley Updated on September 5, 2019, Built-in, available at <https://builtin.com/blockchain/blockchain-education> (Latest viewed 04/07/2020)
  8. How Blockchain Could Disrupt the Education Industry, by Akash Deep, Hacker noon, available at <https://hackernoon.com/blockchain-poised-to-disrupt-education-industry-f41d6f415a3f> (Latest viewed 12/08/2020)
  9. Id.
  10. Blockchain and the Classroom — How DLT Can Improve Education, by
    GARETH JENKINSON updated on OCT 15, 2019, available at <https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-and-the-classroom-how-dlt-can-improve-education> (Latest viewed 14/08/2020)
  11. Id.
  12. Id. 19 & 20
  13. Supra note 11
  14. Supra note 19, 20 & 21

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