Blockchain in education: fast market growth is light at the end of the tunnel

Blockchain in education was an uneasy topic among some school administrators as they don’t see themselves as part of it. In fact, in the US, almost 50% of school principals are resigning their positions as they probably don’t see eye to eye with technology.

A new report based on a survey conducted by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Association of Secondary School Principals finds 42% of principals are considering leaving their position, citing heavy workloads, low compensation and lack of evaluation practices, with the percent of principals planning a move higher for those in high-poverty and rural schools.

Educational inequality is ever-present in every part of the globe. The unequal distribution of academic resources, including but not limited to; school funding, qualified and experienced teachers, books, and technologies have socially excluded communities. Children from these communities tend to be historically disadvantaged and oppressed. With the movement for online education brought about by the pandemic, a light seems to shine at the end of a long dark tunnel for this beleaguered population.

Most significant predictor of education success

Extensive research has already conclusively demonstrated that children’s social class is one of the most significant predictors—if not the single most significant predictor—of their educational success. Yet, not much is being done about it. Performance gaps by social class take root in the earliest years of children’s lives and fail to narrow in the years that follow. When we say no children will be left behind, do we mean it? These are certified data:

Those who start behind stay behind—they are rarely able to make up the lost ground, a sad fact of life. The influence of income inequality affects multiple aspects of society’s functioning, from health outcomes and even life expectancy to democratic ideals (Putnam 2015; Schanzenbach et al. 2016; Stringhini et al. 2017). In the education arena, children’s socioeconomic status (SES).

Socio-economic level, otherwise known as family income, is a key component, is considered one of the most significant predictors—if not the most significant predictor—of educational success. What can anyone do about it? As the bible says, “You will always have the poor with you.” But those who are not observant of history are doomed to repeat it. What if the present can be tweaked to end up with a different future?

Fast-forward to the future after the pandemic closed schools

This is a common cry among all education stakeholders:

How can we tie this all together to fast track and offer a far-reaching opportunity to developing countries? We need a radical technology to re-think, and I believe we need to engage with blockchain experts as part of the planning framework and education roadmap for the future.

According to recent market analysis, the presence of blockchain in education will experience rapid growth in the upcoming several years. 

The market report outlines the growing number of applications blockchain technology in the field of education, and the leading players who are introducing this innovative approach.

Blockchain in education leaders

  • Blockcerts

Blockcerts is a platform, which facilitates the issuing of blockchain-based certificates. The platform is open for anyone to use. Blockcerts allows companies and institutions to create customized certificates, which can reflect the specific skills of individual employees or students. The best thing is that Blockcerts keeps all certificates safe and secure on the blockchain, while they are available for anyone interested to view.

Blockcerts was developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2016, and published with the MIT open source license.

  • Learning Machine

Learning Machine is another excellent certificate blockchain-based platform. This team of digital architects had a significant role to play in the creation of Blockcerts and is now working on further improving the platform. 

While Blockcerts is purely oriented towards storing and presenting certificates, Learning Machine also specializes in record-keeping. Their services offer vendors and institutions an easy and secure solution for storing large data sets and records. One of the most prominent investors who back Learning Machine is Learn Capital. 

  • IBM

IBM is one of the leading names in blockchain technology globally. In a recent report titled Blockchain Revolution in Education and Lifelong Learning, the information technology giant expressed its intention to focus on the way blockchain technology can revolutionize the education sector.

Not only that, but IBM founded the Blockchain Research Institute to help facilitate the development of new technology and digital solutions. 

Blockchain in universities

Blockchain technology has not only revolutionized the way education and certification functions. 

As a result of the increased interest blockchain technology has garnered globally, many universities have started offering higher education courses on the topic.

Some prominent examples include Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard. These are the best higher education institutions in the world and the fact that they recognize the importance of blockchain in education further solidifies this technology as a constant presence in the future. 

Currently, there is rapid development in technology alongside the pandemic. The realization that change is crucial has triggered a massive action to revise traditional face to face education systems. The greatest hope to save the school year would be for all education stakeholders in every country to come up with a viable technology plan to equalize opportunities for education starting with grade-schoolers.