Blockchain in Education: Use Cases, Challenges, and Examples

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blockchain in education

The education sector is undergoing rapid changes due to the internet and digital learning. One of the newest introductions to the field is blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin have often been associated with blockchain technology. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger that duplicates and distributes transactions among all of the computer systems that are part of the network. In essence, each block in the blockchain contains a list of transactions, and when a new transaction happens, it is recorded on each participant’s ledger. With this technology, individuals can trade directly with each other without the involvement of government agencies, banks, or other third parties. However, you must be curious about how blockchain can be used in education. Let’s explore the role of blockchain in education, as well as its examples and implementation challenges.

Why blockchain in education?

As far as security is concerned, blockchain is the first thing that comes to mind. Similarly, education is not exempt from data breaches. Cybercriminals have become increasingly interested in student data with limited financial information. In addition, student verification has become a major concern at education facilities, which are being breached to create fake identities and records. In this way, the more student information is digitized, the greater the concern about ensuring their privacy.

Verification is limited to school and college levels, but it also has other applications. A good example would be defending employers against someone claiming to have a degree but in fact, does not. In the workplace, blockchain can be a powerful weapon against fake qualifications and degrees. Here are some examples of blockchain education use cases that many institutions have already implemented.

Use cases of blockchain in education

There are many benefits of blockchain in education. With its potential advantages, institutions are already exploring blockchain applications in education. Let’s take a look at some of the ways how can blockchain be used in education:

use cases of blockchain in edu

1. Keeping student records

The major use case of blockchain education is student record keeping. Blockchain creates an immutable ledger that transforms the management of student records. Each entry, whether it’s academic performance, attendance, or extracurricular activities, is stored as a block in the chain. These records, once added, cannot be altered or deleted, ensuring their integrity and authenticity. It enhances trust between educational institutions and students by creating a reliable and secure way to store and share a student’s academic journey. Furthermore, students can easily share verified records with employers and other educational institutions, streamlining admissions and job applications.

2. Secure e-transcripts that are easy to access

Secure transcripts are another use of blockchain in education. An e-transcript on the blockchain provides a secure, digital format for academic credentials. Transcripts give a detailed look at a student’s academic history, including courses taken, grades earned, and certifications. Blockchain technology in education reduces the risk of fraud and misrepresentation by making transcripts tamper-proof. This accessibility and security simplify processes such as verification for potential employers, graduate schools, or licensing boards, saving time and effort for both students and institutions.

3. Digital badges

It is common for people to have additional skills on top of their certifications. It becomes very easy to prove these skills if a third party verifies it and awards the badge. A digital badge could represent a specific skill, accomplishment, or competency that is created and verified with blockchain technology. These badges, often earned through online courses, workshops, or practical experiences, provide a more detailed and granular view of an individual’s capabilities compared to traditional degrees. Individuals can easily share, verify, and port them across various platforms, showing off their diverse skills. Employers can thus gain a more nuanced understanding of a candidate’s abilities, potentially opening up new employment opportunities.

4. Platforms for automating learning

In the field of education, the use of blockchain technology in building e-learning platforms is increasingly in demand. Blockchain-powered automated learning platforms streamline educational processes with smart contracts. These contracts can execute tasks such as grading assignments, tracking course progress, or even personalizing learning pathways based on individual performance. This automation not only saves time and reduces administrative burdens for educators but also offers personalized learning experiences for students. With adaptive learning systems, content delivery can be adjusted to accommodate different learning styles and paces, improving overall educational outcomes.

5. Managing large files cost-effectively

The decentralized nature of blockchains makes them an ideal solution for storing large educational files such as videos, research papers, or simulations. Instead of relying on expensive centralized servers, these files are stored across a network of nodes, reducing storage costs. Moreover, the immutable and distributed nature of blockchain ensures data integrity and availability, allowing easy access to educational resources globally.

6. Copyright protection and publishing

With blockchain technology, one can timestamp and encrypt content, ensuring intellectual property protection. Authors can establish ownership and rights over their work through smart contracts and digital signatures, preventing unauthorized use or plagiarism. As a result, authors have control over the use, licensing, and compensation of their work. This environment fosters innovation and creativity in the education sector.

7. Cryptocurrency payments

blockchain education

A number of sectors have already adopted crypto payment systems, and education is no exception. There are several advantages to using cryptocurrencies for payments in the education sector. Blockchain-based payments eliminate the need for intermediaries, reducing transaction fees and processing times for international transactions. It also enhances the security and transparency of financial transactions, ensuring that payments for tuition fees, educational resources, or international programs are secure and traceable.

Challenges of adopting blockchain in education sector

Challenges of blockchain in edu

Apart from benefits, there are limitations to the use of blockchain technology in the education sector. Here are some of the challenges:

1. A lack of knowledge and understanding

The education industry is largely unaware of blockchain technology’s uses and potential applications in education, which limits its adoption and usage.

2. Scalability issues

As a blockchain’s volume of transactions and data increases, scalability becomes a challenge. There is a possibility that the network will slow down, impacting the speed and efficiency of processing.

3. Integration with existing systems

It can be challenging to integrate blockchain technology into existing educational platforms and systems. Implementation is difficult due to compatibility issues, data migration, and the need to train and support staff.

4. Cost and infrastructure

Investing in hardware and software resources will be required to implement blockchain technology in education. It may be difficult for educational institutions to afford the initial setup and maintenance costs.

5. Privacy and data protection

The immutability and transparency of blockchains can conflict with the need to protect sensitive student data. It can be difficult to balance transparency with privacy regulations and ensure data protection. The use of blockchain technology in education may be hampered by regulatory or legal issues, including ownership of data, intellectual property rights, and compliance with privacy laws and regulations.

6. Establishing a standard

A lack of standardized protocols and frameworks can limit interoperability and collaboration among educational institutions, making it hard for blockchain technology to achieve its full potential.

7. Adoption and cultural change

In order for blockchain technology to be widely adopted in education, a cultural shift must be made and new processes and practices must be accepted. Embracing new technologies and resisting change can impede the successful implementation of blockchain in education.

Although blockchain technology faces challenges, the industry is witnessing a growing need for it. You can hire blockchain developers to effectively adopt the technology in your organization.

Examples of blockchain in education

Even though blockchain is still in its infancy, it has already proven useful in increasing transparency, improving accountability, and motivating student engagement. Therefore, educators are relying on technology to overhaul education. Here are three examples of blockchain in education to better understand how this technology is being implemented.

1. APPI

With APPI, prospective students and professors can verify their academic credentials using blockchain, smart contracts, and machine learning. The users create a profile and fill out their academic CV, which includes their education history and transcripts. APPI then encrypts a user’s information using blockchain and verifies their background.

2. Blockcerts

With the help of the MIT Media Lab, Learning Machine created Blockcerts, an open standard platform for creating, issuing, and verifying blockchain-based certificates. By creating academic transcripts and credentials on a blockchain, companies can verify documents’ credibility and uncover fraud. A Blockcerts blockchain can also store academic achievements, including grades, transcripts, and diplomas, for immutable insight into past academic achievements.

3. ODEM

ODEM is a blockchain-based education marketplace connecting students, educators, and professionals to relevant courses and resources. Professors and students use smart contracts to decide on specific courses that bolster students’ education and professional backgrounds. Students and professors are recognized on ODEM’s ledger for the courses they’ve taken and the courses they’ve taught.

Blockchain in education: Final takeaway

Even though blockchain technology in education is still in its early stages, it’s already opened up new possibilities. Both students and teachers will benefit from the speed and security of blockchain technology. Through blockchain technology, learners can verify the authenticity of their data and prevent it from being misinterpreted. A blockchain for education will make learning more engaging for educators. Many students and teachers are finding the current educational technology unappealing but educators can develop more exciting teaching tools that can enhance online learning. Furthermore, with a permanent record of their qualifications, students will have more opportunities than ever before to showcase their skills to potential employers. There are, however, still many questions about data privacy, what constitutes learning, and what role blockchains play in education. To implement blockchain in education solutions on a wide scale, the mass adoption challenge must be overcome.

How can OpenXcell help?

The best way to implement blockchain technology is with the help of an expert blockchain development company with experience in helping various industries. OpenXcell can help you streamline record keeping, improve transparency and security, support hiring processes, and transfer ownership of academic records to students.

To name a few, OpenXcell has worked on the crypto trading platform – Cardex, a finance application for Ajman Bank, and a cryptocurrency payment gateway named Speed. As a result of these successful blockchain projects, we demonstrate our expertise and commitment to delivering projects on time and on budget. Implement blockchain technology in your institution with OpenXcell’s consulting and blockchain development services to reap the benefits quickly and effectively.

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author
Niha Parmanandani
AUTHOR

A dynamic content writer with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, she specializes in writing for web and social media.  It is her passion to play with words and keep up with technology trends. Her passion for reading drives her to create engaging, educational, and inspiring content.

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