We are at a point in higher education that we are desperately searching for radical change in our methodologies of imparting knowledge. Over the years we have introduced a variety of subjects into the curricula and are using novel ways to teach. Experiential and experimental ways of teaching-learning are given importance. However, the institutions still remain. Today, no learned person without a degree from a conventional educational system can think of getting employment within the mainstream ecosystem. Is that a great achievement of society or an unsuspecting side effect of the system?
It means that even today, if you want to get educated you have to attend schools and colleges. Can we change this?
Is it possible to create a truly open, democratic and accessible system of imparting knowledge to a new generation? A system that is destined to inherit an extremely complex world? What can be the role of higher education in creating such a system? In my opinion it must be a system that allows students to choose what they wish to learn. A system that sees each student as a talented, capable human being who has the inherent power to change the world for the better. This system can well and truly be created using the blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a distributed database spread across millions of computers with no centralized control. Each ‘block’ is transparent and tamper-proof. It also has a time stamp to record transactions. It is an efficient and secure way of handling transactions.
Educational content can be put online and be accessed by anybody. A certification system can be put up on the blockchain that will assess and authentically certify the student who has taken a particular course. A distributed, trustless assessment and certification system is the best possible use of a blockchain based education system.
ledger wallet and profile
There is a ledger, a kind of wallet, that records everything you have learnt, every course you have taken and every skill you have mastered. Your learning is distributed into boxes. Each box representing a fixed amount of time you have spent on a particular course or skill.
Your profile will display the amount of such boxes you have gathered. Employers can seek you and offer you a job depending upon the number and types of these boxes. All income you generate will be recorded and this feedback will be given to the makers of all the courses you have taken. This will give many others an idea as to which course can help them value a course or skill. Since each of the boxes you have can potentially help you earn money, you can exchange boxes for exemption in course fees. All the boxes of all the people on this blockchain will be a part of our collective teaching and learning experience.
This is just one of the many possible scenarios in which the blockchain can be used to revolutionize education as we see it today. No longer will students cram their brains to simply spill them out during a couple of exam hours. This type of a learning environment will inspire and motivate students to be creative, innovative and proactive. This type of education system will be non-discriminatory and truly democratic. A truly open and accessible education system will allow everyone to learn to their heart’s content. For that, education needs a massive revolution and blockchain technology can bring about one.
What is a Blockchain:
What Blockchain can do for education: