Blockchain in schools and colleges: Blockchain technology can provide an excellent framework for managing student records, ranging from day-to-day information such as assignments, attendance, and extra-curricular activities to information about degrees and colleges.
Blockchain and its applications in education
Implementing blockchain technology in education is a means to provide affordable, equitable, and quality educational content on a global scale.
It has long been recognized that improving the quality of life of a population requires investment in education. Indeed, UNESCO has set an objective of providing free digitized teaching and learning materials (known as open educational resources) to ensure inclusive and equitable quality of education and to provide lifelong learning opportunities for all. Sustainable development with goals is the key.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, educational institutions have increasingly adapted to online learning and are now examining their long-term strategies for the benefit of all stakeholders in the education system; Universities, employers, and of course, students. Online learning is here to stay, perhaps in a variety of formats that will be blended with classroom learning. This irreversible change facilitates the adoption of blockchain synergies in the creation of robust and open educational resources.
Open educational resources substantially reduce the cost of educational materials for students, providing timeless access to quality content that enhances the learning experience. These resources are not just textbooks or lessons, but also include content such as videos, application simulations, and podcasts.
Blockchain, being a digital ledger or database, is distributed over a network and is decentralized and not controlled by any central authority. Thus, in education, it has immense benefits for all the stakeholders mentioned. Therefore, open educational resources are “blocks” in a “chain” that can be shared safely and effectively across public networks.
Thus, students can “own” their lifelong learning data such as credentials, skills learned, etc., which were until now controlled by a central authority in the university. Furthermore, for employers, authentic information about the student is ensured as the student cannot change the previous educational certification stored on the blockchain, whereas it can be easily replaced with paper records. Having data in encrypted form also allows privacy to be maintained.
The adoption of blockchain in education can help improve the efficiency of the education ecosystem and optimize the use of human and material resources. While doing so, concerns such as data privacy, cost, scalability, and integration with legacy systems have to be addressed. Doing so is worth every penny as it will help usher in an educational system that is safe, transparent, collaborative, creative, and future-ready as well as better equipped to handle high enrollments.
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Blockchain in schools and colleges
Blockchain technology can provide an excellent framework for managing student records, ranging from day-to-day information such as assignments, attendance, and extra-curricular activities to information about degrees and colleges.
The pandemic has affected educational institutions across the world. While we expect campuses to be buzzing with the physical presence of students and teachers again, the widespread use of digital technology in education is here to stay. Through blended learning and flipped classes, students are no longer limited by the learning resources and learning possibilities available within the physical confines of institutions. The new world is for the taking – where knowledge can be gained from across the country and indeed from the world.
With the National Policy on Education 2020 (NEP-2020), India has set an ambitious agenda. The target is to achieve 100 percent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030 and to reach 50 percent in higher education by 2035. Our students will have increased flexibility and subject choices, there is no rigid separation of subjects. We need to invest in digital education and related technologies to achieve these ambitious goals and provide holistic and multidisciplinary education.
There are many aspects to building a strong Digital Education Ecosystem (DEE) – content development, teaching, assessment, grading, attendance recording, achievements, certificates, degrees, and diplomas. Stakeholders such as educational institutions, prospective employers, consultants and certification agencies can be integrated into DEE. With more and more digitization, there is an inherent need for more secure and full-proof systems that can track the academic activities of the students and at the same time provide necessary information to all the stakeholders. Blockchain can emerge as a viable solution to manage such integrated DEEs.
Blockchain technology can provide an excellent framework for managing student records, ranging from day-to-day information such as assignments, attendance and extra-curricular activities to information about degrees and colleges. It will be a secure system which ensures that educational records remain immutable. These may be relied upon by potential educational institutions and employers, who may be granted access to relevant records.
Similarly, information about teachers can be stored securely and this will enable an educational institution to monitor the performance of the faculty. The Blockchain Ledger will provide a time-stamped and tamper-proof record of faculty performance – attendance, student evaluations, number of students for their electives, research output and publications. These records can be linked to the faculty evaluation system, thereby ensuring greater accountability.
NEP-2020 calls for introduction of multidisciplinary education, where students will be able to choose their combination of major and minor subjects along with flexibility in the duration of the course. Here too, blockchain can help implement such a multiple-entry-and-exit structure. In addition, students can be assured about the quality of teachers and teachers. It can enable teachers to display their certified skill badges, allowing students to choose courses in an informed manner. Meanwhile, students can also adopt skill badges to show their proficiency, especially in higher education and research.
This will help the faculty to identify the right students for the project. A blockchain-based ecosystem can also be used to design a scholarship system that encourages students to maintain consistency and achieve academic excellence.
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