In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted global thinking on blockchain in education. No public gatherings over a certain number of people, social distancing and self-isolation, has suspended attendance at schools and universities. There are offers for blockchain-based education but not everyone is prepared for it.
The OECD estimated that on March 13 that over 421 million children have been affected due to school closures in 39 countries. An additional 22 countries have implemented partial “localized” closures. No school meant pausing the education of these children indefinitely.
Let’s see how Blockchain Babe perceives the current status of education.
The world has changed, since yesterday. There are so many confusing thoughts going through my mind…
- I can’t go to school anymore, not because I don’t want to, I do, but because my school has closed. Thank goodness homeschooling is legal in India…but if it wasn’t would they suddenly legalize online education and how would I access it?
- The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how millions of my fellow students around the globe are educated.
- Every day I hear new reports of coronavirus spreading rapidly across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, and schools closing.
- I am so happy I am able to access my education online…but what about the millions of students who can’t and are now stranded in an educational “no man’s land”
My Pita-ji tried to explain it all to me, but all I want is to be normal and travel and make friends and have fun. Will it ever be the same as it was?
The positive role of blockchain in education
How will education change for the better – or the worse – in the long term? We believe blockchain can play a positive role in an online education future
This shift in global thinking has prompted new examples of innovation in education, with millions of students in China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran in “homeschooling” situations.
English Forward believes a radical revamp of the education system needs to be addressed to ensure that there is inclusion for all students globally through this process. It’s reasonable to assume that COVID-19, and the decisions made as a result of the virus, could spawn radical change and have a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization. Could this be the time blockchain finds its place in education?
Diary…I’ve heard of so many great solutions in different countries
In Hong Kong students have started to learn at home, via interactive apps.
120 million Chinese students got access to learning material through live television broadcasts.
A Nigerian school online used learning via Google Classroom and supplemented it with face-to-face video instruction.
In Lebanon students submitted homework via video, learning how to shoot a video and video editing in the process.
The ‘learning anywhere, anytime’ and “lifetime learners” is simple as 5G technology becomes more accessible in countries such as China, US and Japan, which have access to digital tools and good access to wifi and data.
What of the less developed countries? How do the students in those places keep up with global trends unless there are a real focus and urgency for equal education for all? Given the digital divide, new shifts in blockchain education approaches could widen equality gaps, not improve it.
Public-private educational partnerships grow in importance
The relevance of public-private educational partnerships will grow in importance as governments, publishers, education professionals, technology providers, and telecom network operators need to prioritize these partnerships to achieve a level educational playing field.
Could this be the catalyst for change in countries where education has predominantly been provided by the government, and how will this happen? What are the opportunities and threats to inclusion?
Presently, only around 60% of the world’s population is online. For Hong Kong students, digital classes on tablets is very normal, but this concept is very foreign in Somalia where some students rely on lessons sent via WhatsApp or email.
The children in affluent families have a distinct advantage because of the cost of digital devices and data plans.
Unless access costs decrease and the quality of access is improved globally, the widening gap in quality education will grow, resulting in many being left behind. A long term cost-effective, self-funding solution is vital to sustained growth and inclusion, and a blockchain educational platform ticks these boxes.
Blockchain not only serves as transparent record storage but also a platform for sharing and communication. Blockchain use by universities and colleges ensures that students get the most out of their education. Students and professors are crucial partners in the education process. Learners get the full benefit of blockchain in education when they can get enough advice and personal guidance. Paying someone to do the assignment is a thing of the past when using blockchain in education.
Building educational tools and systems able to withstand various threats
The global impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of building educational tools and systems able to withstand various threats, from pandemic disease to extremist violence to geographical displacement and the changing technological classroom.
The pandemic is an opportunity for us to build systems with the predictability and reliability students need in this unpredictable world. Blockchain supports and allows many a simple implementation of many of these concepts and ideas, and gives students in a constantly more connected world the tools to thrive.
The choices we make today will secure the future of an online education system available for all tomorrow. We are helping educators, learners and parents to turn the COVID-19 quarantine into an opportunity to grow their skills with online learning. Join us.