It is a widely held misconception that blockchain is solely concerned with finance and economy. True, the technology has been widely used in this sector alone, but this doesn’t mean that its use cases are confined to everything related to cryptocurrencies.
We have seen blockchain providing innovative and progressive solutions to distant fields like book publishing and sports. Similarly, the education sector, too, has a lot to improve. And blockchain has a lot to contribute to this improvement. Let us see how.
Blockchain in Education: Five Approaches
- Identity Cards
College and university campuses are the centers of learning and ideas. It is from them that many revolutionary thoughts are born. This is the reason why they contribute to the political and social spectrum of a country. Furthermore, many of these educational institutes have one of the best infrastructures like libraries and gardens which are often misused.
Fake identity cards are a nuisance that creates problems in both these walks. As many as 700 fake ID cards were claimed to be confiscated in a single month from one university in Delhi, India. Another college complained of huge infiltrations in its fest. What is really appalling is the fact that the Indian police claimed that all the ten terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, carried fake student identity cards of different Indian colleges.
The use of blockchain in identity management can help combat this seemingly harmless but potentially dangerous problem. Many platforms like uPort are already helping users to carry their identity on the internet. More and more improvised solutions can help educational institutes link ID cards to a blockchain to help them fight the menace of fake ID cards.
2. Record Management
We have already seen the big role blockchain can play in real estate and title deed management. This is because blockchain, at its very core, is a ledger technology and it can manage vast amounts of records without leaving any chances of them being tampered.
Educational institutes, school and higher studies alike, abound in paper records and a number of times confusion and mistakes occur due to their mismanagement. Blockchain can prove to be of huge service here, given that the use of the technology to keep records is not something new.
Let us consider this as an extension of the second use case. Libraries are large, deal with many numbers and keep a lot of records. All of this requires a huge working staff and even then, mistakes are bound to happen. That is unless a blockchain solution is adopted.
Blockchain can be integrated for the smooth working of stacks, book acquisition department and issue and return counters. Interestingly, San Jose State’s School of Information received a grant of $100K from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a one year project which aimed to explore the potential of blockchain in information services.
Here is a glimpse of a nightmare: consider that one has stored all one’s academic credentials and certificates in a physical file. As we all know, these certificates are required in all walks of life. Now, imagine one losing this file. There could be nothing capable of causing more chagrin than the occurrence of this event. It could take a lot of time and exhausting effort to get even one of these documents made again. And sometimes, even this is not possible.
If educational institutions begin keeping pass certificates, mark sheets, admit cards and the like on a blockchain, nobody would have to go through so much trouble in case a certificate is damaged or lost. Moreover, these certificates on a blockchain mean that they could not be tampered with nor could other fake certificates be generated. If this happens, a number of problems would be solved for everyone. A software platform called Learning Machine has collaborated with MIT Media Lab to launch a Blockcerts toolset. This toolset would provide an open infrastructure for blockchain-based certificates.
The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 saw a lot of campus-related violence in India, for which no major action could be taken and CCTV footage could not be made available. Violence in college campuses as well as in schools is not something new. These educational institutions can protect the network of their cameras and sensors using blockchain. A platform called Xage is using blockchain to share security data from device to device.
Expanse: Blockchain with a Capital B
The ideas mentioned in this article are only a few from the sea of innovations blockchain can make in the education sector. And Expanse is the platform that allows these ideas to take proper form. Based on Ethereum, Expanse allows the creation of blockchain-based solutions for practical problems. Perhaps now is the time to write the ABCD of a new kind of education management on the polished slate of Expanse.