The use cases of blockchain technology have been touted many times, and various education facilities are using this concept to record and verify student credentials. Adding this new layer of transparency will help employers check candidate credentials in the future.
Recording Student Credentials On A Blockchain
It may come as a surprise to learn that various educational institutions are actively experimenting with blockchain technology to record student credentials. Considering the costly and labor-intensive paperwork associated with this process under “normal circumstances,” it is a rather significant leap to blockchain technology.
Holberton School of software engineering, located in San Francisco, is one of these institutions recording student credentials on a blockchain. The school has announced their plans to share academic certificates on a blockchain from 2017 onwards.
Holberton School co-founder Sylvain Kalache told the media:
“Because of the design of the blockchain-distributed database, it cannot go down and cannot be altered, making the data always available and secure…the blockchain does this free of charge. For employers, it avoids having them to spend valuable time checking candidates’ educational credentials by having to call universities or to pay a third party to do the job.”
There is more to the decision to use blockchain than meets the eye, though, as embracing this technology allows the Holberton School to avoid costs associated with building and operating its own database. Additionally, they also remove any central point of failure by embracing distributed ledger technology, ensuring records are tamper-proof and accessible at any given time.
Another more famous example of education institutions venturing into the world of blockchain is the University of Nicosia, which offers a course on digital currency. However, very few people are aware the University also records students’ achievements on a blockchain, which seems to be quite popular among both staff and students alike.
University of Nicosia Lecturer George Papageorgiou stated:
“We’ve only encountered enthusiasm in the practical uses so far and students are glad to be able to verify, with their new knowledge and the blockchain, that their digital certificate is genuine and that it cannot be recreated. We believe this instills confidence in both students and potential employers that (they) can check on their own, whether a presented certificate is real or not.”
While it is rather significant for these institutions to record credentials on the blockchain, the future may hold even more drastic changes. SCMP mentions how some schools are considering to provide micro-course and micro-credentials on the blockchain in the future, although no details were made available at press time.
One of the biggest benefits of recording these credentials on a blockchain is how it allows both institutions and students to control who sees these details. Moreover, this system is more appealing to students looking to change colleges, as transferring achieved credits creates difficulties more often than not.
What are your thoughts on the blockchain’s role in education? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, University of Nicosia, Holberton School.
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