How can blockchain technology impact the education system?

Major technological revolution of the 21e century, blockchain technology is becoming a major challenge for progress. Several studies have demonstrated the usefulness of blockchain in solving hitherto endemic problems. This, in almost all economic and social sectors, including education. At the same time, a host of reports point to flaws that require the education system to reinvent itself. How can blockchain technology help with this? Between limiting cases of fraud and optimizing academic administration, among other things, the possibilities are endless. Let’s see some of them through these lines.

I. The blockchain, to eliminate academic fraud

For any education system in the world, fraud remains a major challenge. Its elimination depends on the credibility of the entire system, but also of those who are its products. This situation explains the differences in value between, for example, a diploma obtained in the United States, and another issued in Niger. And overall, a system’s ability to limit fraud makes its reputation.

In a context where education and knowledge are more strategic than ever, the blockchain can be a balancing element. That is to say that several countries can, by using this technology, catch up with the delay of their education system. This leap forward is made possible by the very characteristics of the blockchain.

Indeed, this technology is designed in such a way as to guarantee the traceability of all the operations that go through it. This inherent transparency means that there are few, if any, possibilities to modify a completed operation. This means that an individual cannot, for example, change information recorded on him. Effective in detecting and preventing fraud. But the capabilities of blockchain go even further.

II. The blockchain, to improve the storage of student data

If the ChatGPT conversational agent changes our relationship to learning, blockchain can change educational processes. In particular, the retention of student data for which it provides an affordable file storage solution.

Indeed, one of the measures of the effectiveness of an education system is its ability to provide detailed information. Not only on institutions as a whole. But also on the learners who pass through it each year. This, in order to be able to generate relevant statistical data, which can be used for better planning, for example.

It is true that with the explosion of the Internet in the early 2000s, these procedures have evolved significantly. But with the blockchain, the latter should take a giant step in terms of productivity and efficiency. Because the registration, admission and management of their educational file for students are greatly improved.

For example, the work of each learner, the level of his involvement in academic activities can be closely monitored. The same goes for his progress or his educational file. This can be consulted, but also transmitted to any entity, if necessary and in complete transparency.

This is without taking into account the possibility offered by the blockchain to control the accreditation of teaching centers. This means that the potential of the blockchain in the educational sector is enormous, especially in terms of costs.

III. The blockchain, to reduce the costs of education

Throughout the world, education is not free. It often has a high cost which in fact limits access to it for the large number of people. In this context, many experts believe that blockchain has the potential to break this barrier. Its adoption could therefore make it possible to open learning possibilities, almost without limits, while reducing the costs involved.

We know, for example, that the payment of tuition fees involves a long process. In public education in particular, this approach links several stakeholders. From the student to scholarship granting agencies and more, managing fee payments is often time-consuming. Blockchain has the potential to optimize very quickly, thanks to a smart contract, all the procedures. An exceptional saving of time, the direct consequence of which would be to reduce administrative costs and, ultimately, tuition fees.

From the learner’s perspective, the benefits of blockchain are even more impressive. Because its source code is accessible to the public, this technology makes a wide range of educational resources freely available, sometimes censored. What promote the use and distribution of educational tools such as books, podcasts and videos.

Although its potential is certain and its benefits concrete, the adoption of blockchain in education comes with some serious challenges. And in this respect, not all countries are in the same boat.

IV. The Challenges of Adopting Blockchain in Education

As we have seen so far, the benefits of blockchain technology are significant in the education sector. It can achieve a monumental leap forward if this technology is put to use. That’s the whole problem. Because if a country like Ethiopia integrates blockchain into its education policy, many others are still lagging behind.

To this relatively weak interest on the whole, we must link technical difficulties. Among these, the security which, even if it is essentially relevant, still has flaws. As the blockchain hosts sensitive information, particular attention must be paid, upstream, to the way in which it is stored. The use of private blockchain is a possible option for this purpose.

The timid enthusiasm for blockchain in the education system also comes with scalability issues. A situation linked to the enormous amount of data that educational establishments brew. The problem tends to grow the more a blockchain is adopted. Here again, a solution exists. It consists of favoring blockchains with permission to the detriment of blockchains without permission. This is because the former have a much higher transaction processing rate per second than the latter. Also, the deployment of blockchain in education can involve colossal funding. Funds related to computer power and infrastructure. Funding above all necessary to afford quality expertise, useful for the effective management of student data.

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