Blockchain For Education
A Blessing for Learning & Knowledge
One of key systemic shifts in learning is that it has become decentralized and beyond any boundaries. Diversified across multiple channels, learners now are breaking conventional stereotyped ways to acquiring new knowledge on blocks. No longer is it necessary to visit a college to acquire knowledge or skills. With technology, learners are finding newer ways to do so without any fuss. However, this trend makes the data much complex to handle as it is non-aggregated and flowing across multiple touch points lacking standardization and credibility. Blockchain will assist in adding legitimacy to relatively new forms of education that are valuable and less expensive, a blessing for knowledge-hungry yet cash poor prospective learners.
Records, Certifications, and Credentials Verification
For governments and education institutes fake degrees/certificates is a real world problem. This problem is concerning, but not completely surprising nor out of the realm of understanding. As getting these phony degrees turns out to be much cheaper than the cost of actually enrolling into courses or attending them.
Blockchain can show an easier way for educational records to be quickly, affordably verified. Right now, the universities have complete control over a siloed system of records, but if those records could be decentralized and put in the hands of graduates to share with employers, it would represent a superior, simpler way to vet job candidates. A blockchain-enabled store of verified degrees issued by accredited universities would save employers time and money while preventing cons from skating by on a lie.
Expanding Massive Open Online Courses
MOOCs have recently been one of the more rapidly expanding sectors of higher education, now totaling 81 million users populating 9,400 courses and working toward more than 500 credentials and roughly a dozen graduate degrees. However, programs specializing in paid customers are seeing an increase, an indication that MOOCs offer enough value compared to traditional educational paths that users are willing to pay for superior content. Coursera saw a 70% increase in paying customers in 2017, while another prominent MOOC service, Udacity, boasts 50,000 paying students. Blockchain technology could lend a measure of greater legitimacy to the many MOOC services by providing universally-accessible certifications and facilitating transactions for easier micropayments on a course-by-course basis.
Open Source Universities
The cost of a higher education are increasing around the world. In concert with these, price hikes have come a spike in student loan debt to the tune of 150% in the last decade, with the U.S. total now sitting at $1.4 trillion and ever growing.
Graduates in other developed nations are not faring much better, with the per-student average loan debt in the U.K. coming in at $30,800, compared with $37,172 in the U.S. Regardless of why this is the case, the conclusion is clear: a more affordable alternative is in order. This is the primary reason that open source universities have emerged, rolling up many of the benefits of the blockchain for education into one. These open source universities typically offer a means for all of one’s education credentials to be stored, adding an air of legitimacy to more affordable, alternative means of education that still carry weight with employers. Open source universities also offer their own courses, making them a sort of one-stop shop for students at a reasonable price. By storing the certifications and credentials earned through OSUs on a unified blockchain database, credentials could become verifiable and easily accessible, reducing the sort of fraud that has riddled the traditional diploma marketplace.