If blockchain were a pupil, it would be in kindergarten, maybe first grade. That’s why educators have yet to see blockchain enter their second-grade spelling lessons, sophomore history classes, or university calculus seminars.
The good news is there’s no shortage of potential blockchain applications. Recordkeeping is siloed. Credentials are often hard to prove and easy to fabricate. Fake degrees are a dime-a-dozen.
And that’s before getting into the educating aspect of the educational system.
But teachers are in a constant battle for more funding. They fight for wholesale improvements to flawed educational infrastructure. And they’ve been met with crickets for decades. Forgive teachers for being jaded about blockchain’s potential.
The blockchain hasn’t changed the slow-moving nature of education in America. But wider adoption should come as blockchain achieves cross-industry footholds. We will then see what a smarter, largely-automated approach to learning looks like.
1. Danielius Stasiulis, Co-founder of BitDegree
“Mostly, there are players working on blockchain credentials for education. In itself, it is a great use case that creates immediate value. However, blockchain credentials are perceived as nice-to-have and will come into force over time. In fact, over 2019 such work has begun and there are a dozen or so consortia working on pilots.
Much more exciting initiatives are in the space of organizing education in a decentralized fashion, which creates potential to build the education system from the ground up in a scale far surpassing every education industry player. To do it, one needs to align the incentives of education industry players and orient them towards a problem worth solving – inaccessible and too expensive education in third world countries or global reskilling. These initiatives will not come in a flash but will reach the market in an exponential fashion.”
2. Chris Jagers, CEO of Learning Machine
“Public blockchains (like BTC) can now be used as a global verification network to verify the authenticity of official records, greatly streamlining the transmission and verification process for everyone involved. While this technology is early in the adoption curve, the momentum of interest from schools and other software providers has been increasing every month.”
3. Carlos Acevedo, VP Content, Never Stop Marketing
“Utilizing blockchain for education administration and logistics has yet to be performed at scale. But therein lies the philosophical promise of making centralized authorities redundant. Credentialing requires a trusted third-party for acceptance. If a blockchain standard for credentialing is realized, it will unlock pent-up potential in populations across the world by making professional credentials and certifications borderless and independent of geography.”
4. Hanady Al Ahmadieh, Project Lead and Co-founder of BlocRecs
“Despite having a large number of educational institutes adopting blockchain for credentials, we are still a long way from widespread adoption. The fact that degrees leaving country borders shall pass by governmental institutions presents a challenge for adoption as long as governments are not on-board.”
5. Steven R. Gordon, Prof. of Information Technology Management, Babson College
“The potential to improve the delivery of education with blockchain applications is significant. Today, these applications, for the most part, are still in development, prototype, or pilot. Very few institutions are relying on blockchain technology for any aspect of their operation.”
6. Dr. Jennifer Jones Educational Entrepreneur and Founder of Green Ivy Schools
“Blockchain is actively being used in the post-secondary space as an eventual replacement for traditional transcripts. As the world gets global, a system for ensuring credentials are understood and legitimate will be critical. Blockcerts – an open source tool for blockchain credentials – exists now and is growing (helped by MIT’s Media Lab, which collaborated with its creator, Learning Machine). Sony Global Education and IBM are collaborating on a blockchain system to manage student records.”
7. Roger Lim, Founding Partner at NEO Global
“There is an increasing profile of blockchain in academic, and students are wanting to learn more about technology. Over half of the world’s top 50 universities such as Princeton and University of California, Berkeley, have introduced blockchain courses and research to address these demands, while others such as Columbia, Stanford, and the National University of Singapore have launched blockchain research centres. However, despite the interest, far more can be done in terms of supporting blockchain-related research, developing related job skills, and providing industry-specific knowledge that is needed to make important technological improvements.”
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