Education has moved online, and blockchain can perform an essential role in ensuring, safeguarding, and increasing this trend.
Much has been written about the moving pivot to online education and learning in 2020. Although the conversation and debate about virtual learning have recently become a hot subject, this is not a different thing; teaching and learning have been taking place in many virtual forms for years. COVID-19 might have turbocharged the progress from physical teaching and learning to online formats; somewhat of forming a new trend, it has merely stimulated something already initiated.
Examine any education-related website, and the main topic will be the number of subjects that will be taught online. It continues to be seen if this change will be completely stable. However, it wouldn't be wrong to forecast a growing percentage of courses being taught in a virtual format from now on. With ever-larger amounts of data, both institutional and individual, being collected and shared virtually over various networks, there will always be risks associated with hackers.
Particularly as many private groups, either on a solo base or in collaboration with institutional partners, proceed to roll out certification programs, training opportunities, and full degrees in a virtual form, the risk of this data being settled is not an abstract one. As a member of the educational or coaching process, there is a huge amount of individually identifiable data transferred within the individual, the institution, and third-party providers.
Blockchain looks almost tailor-made to improve security and protect this modern education form with a combination of data security and the capacity to distribute this data among a vast network of counterparties and do so in an entirely virtual manner. Specifically, online teachers offer a few considerations and opportunities, schools offering education online, and private sector blockchain groups to enhance educational processes and products.
Accreditation and credentialing. Credentials are, eventually, why various people engage in learning in the first place, and the sustained rise of online learning and offerings makes getting credentials more convenient than ever. Though that very same convenience also unlocks the door for identification theft, fraudulent "diploma mill" kinds of institutions, and non-accredited or non-certified offerings going on a seemingly level playing area with accredited organizations.
Owning a blockchain-based system to record the accreditation, trace the changes over time, and allow the instantaneous verifying of credentials and degrees produces two distinct benefits. This improved 1) transparency and 2) trust that blockchain-secured records would give can help unlock the door to new offerings and organizations. As individuals continuously require to reskill and upskill during their careers, the verification and tracking of recently obtained credentials will increase in importance.
Rationalize intellectual property. Several discoveries and innovations have been started by, or at least been somewhat affiliated with, educational organizations' analysis and efforts. Teachers, other educators, and individuals connected to the educational place often allot large amounts of time and energy to growing intellectual property in the form of research papers, prototype services or products, and sometimes creating entire textbooks. In an economy that is frequently a digital-first and moving toward a digital-everything model, the value of securing and potentially monetizing the results of these productive efforts is supreme.
Specifically, as many private businesses and other non-traditional organizations enter the educational scope, generating additional revenue streams can execute such efforts financially self-sustaining. A self-sustaining model supports ensuring the continued production of high-quality offerings and a return on investment that will attract capital to develop educational products further.
They were reinventing higher education. One of the most obvious use cases and theories that underpin the blockchain ecosystem is the concept of a borderless and utterly open system. The free distribution of information and securing access to this data are integral parts of a blockchain. A completely new educational model is possible by combining these core functional elements of blockchain to higher education. Since the world is becoming frequently interconnected daily, it would make sense that education should follow suit. But how?
Blockchain-enabled smart agreements, deals between various individuals or groups consisting of executable programmable code, would enable education to be available on an ad hoc basis worldwide. In other words, learners and teachers – including those previously enrolled or associated with incumbent providers – could collaborate and work together, allowing institutions to become more responsive, flexible, and keep step with the fast speed of change in the economy.
Higher education and blockchain might not look like topics with a lot in general, but seeing beneath the surface shows just how much potential this combination has moved ahead. Improved responsiveness, greater transparency, and building a new market for digital assets are only a few of the applications this blend can unlock; exciting times for sure.
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