Blockchain Basics 11 – The Blockchain and Records in Academia

Blockchain Basics 11 – The Blockchain and Records in Academia

Blockchain and Higher Education 

No Longer An Open Book

Millennials tired of paying for an education and then paying again each time they share their credentials and records with schools, universities, or prospective employers are desperate for a permanent ledger solution that is safe, secure, shareable, and open to the public. The obvious answer begins with blockchain solutions that prove and store academic achievements. Global supply chains, financial services, healthcare, government, and many other industries are already singing the praises of innovations in blockchain technology and cryptography. The world of academia is no exception. Along this path, it also came to light that utilizing the same ledger means a more comprehensive snapshot for evaluating and comparing existing potential.  

Academia And Records

Blockchain technology provides greater transparency, outstanding security, high traceability, increased efficiency,transactional speed, and reduces costs. So, why not apply this infrastructure to establish a full inalterable record of an individual’s achievements? Even though most universities have evolved towards digital records, they are still the sole keepers of student information. If a student wants to access or share their official records, the process can be slow, complicated, and expensive. On the flip side, fraudulent educational claims are rarely verified. They pollute the applicant pool and cause a proliferation of records that is hard to manage. Add the fact that education is changing, that online learning and competency-based programs, accredited education providers, trade schools, and apprenticeships are rising in popularity, and it is clear that a solution is needed today, not years into the future.    

Apps for Verification of Records

Imagine apps that could become the open standard for blockchain credentials for issuing and verify blockchain-based records including academic credentials, professional certificates, workforce development, and civic records. Imagine no more. Not long ago, MIT began an experiment in issuing select alumni digital certificates for validation purposes using the blockchain. Verification was made up of MIT’s signature, expiration date (if applicable), and status of whether a certificate had been revoked. The alteration of the verification process was impossible. The information always led back to origin. Thus, it was a successful demonstration of how the blockchain can serve as a notary for issuing and verifying authenticity. Official records of universities could be available to the public for perpetuity, to receive once and then share and verify over a lifetime. 

The Value Of Knowledge

Such apps are not only being tested, but currently available to the public through the App Store and Google Play. Also available are apps that can measure a person’s knowledge and possibly overall intelligence. There has been genuine excitement around using the blockchain beyond higher education. One start-up for learning solutions, knowledge.io has revealed the world’s first blockchain-based platform with the ability to measure the value of a person’s knowledge through gamified learning, thus powering a decentralized ecosystem of knowledge-sharing networks. If sounds complicated and it is. It will take time and extensive development to build this vault of human capital.  

Evaluation Standards

Today’s universities churn out graduates with nearly immeasurable skillsets. It has become difficult to measure actual intelligence utilizing traditional methods. That doesn’t mean graduates are any less intelligent, but of different intelligence than their traditional counterparts. Traditional screeners may still be measuring new entrants for today’s marketplace. Let’s face it, they wouldn’t know what to measure, much less how. More often than not there is a link between the quality of education and reputation and prestige. Costs of education have risen significantly. This means that those who cannot afford quality education may never own a degree. They may be unable to prove their actual knowledge, beckoning the need for knowledge-scoring that only blockchain technology offers.

Academia Of The Future

For years, innovators in blockchain technology have been exploring ways to disrupt and transform traditional industry models. The world of academia is no exception. Thankfully, through integration, innovation, and perseverance, the marketplace and its enterprisers are more than capable of developing solutions best suited for today’s academia.

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