Blockchain technology has broken through barriers and introduced cross-industry solutions that go beyond its initial financial and cryptocurrency focus. Its key advantages are the properties that enable decentralized storage, information immutability, traceability, and transparency.
Education is one of the fastest-growing industries. Even so, educators and learners still face obstacles due to the inefficiency of existing educational models, limited access to credentials and educational records, and the authenticity of transcripts. All these problems could be easily solved with blockchain-based software. During the pandemic, the education industry has had to pivot. This has proven successful thanks to new technologies and ideologies. For this reason, it is no wonder that people in the education space have been experimenting with blockchain and everything that falls under it.
Regardless of the level of education one is at, there is no doubt the education system has provided us with knowledge and has transformed our lives for the better. However, in certain parts of the world, traditional educational institutions are centralized and exclude a wide range of taboo themes that are important in everyday life. For example, medical sciences, lifestyle, sexuality, parenthood, fitness, home science, business, and a wide range of other life skills are still not covered in some education systems. Despite the fact that some institutions and websites teach these subjects, they are not fully accepted. So, in order to bring these subjects into the limelight, we need decentralized platforms that can help the public get a proper education system.
In its most basic form, blockchain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer distributed ledger that stores data and records transactions. Every member of the blockchain community has his or her own copy of the data. Following that, the data is organized into blocks and secured with powerful encryption, resulting in a data chain. Since the blockchain system architecture restricts changes to blocks, every action and event can be traced back to its source. It can record data on the parties’ agreements, their credentials, transactions, and any other digitally presented information. Given that this information is widely disseminated and very secure, any effort at fraud can be detected by the blockchain community. This establishes confidence and transparency in any environment in which the blockchain is implemented.
The key pillars of blockchain technology are what lay the foundation for its uses across different industries, including education. First of all, every member has their own blockchain node, which stores the whole history of all network activities and data, such as credentials, identities, and certificates. Additionally, every network update necessitates the construction of a new block at the chain’s endpoint. The way these blocks are recorded, confirmed, and distributed is determined by the blockchain protocol. Furthermore, each new block is verified via a consensus mechanism, in which users of the blockchain network decide if it is valid to be added to the chain. A block cannot be revoked once it has been created and validated. The blockchain stores all entries in a permanent and secure manner. This allows community members to see the whole history of transactions as well as any other changes to the blockchain. Additionally, smart contracts are designed to ensure users of the blockchain adhere to an agreement before a transaction is carried out between two or more parties. A smart contract is a type of agreement between network users that has conditions encoded into it, ensuring that they are met before each side receives the agreed-upon item. Thanks to smart contracts, third parties and middlemen are no longer required in the resolution of agreements. Finally, cryptocurrency transactions are particularly significant in the blockchain ecosystem because they provide an incentive for all members of the community to make valuable contributions and participate in the overall development of the system.
Due to all the factors listed above, blockchain technology has the ability to create a global ecosystem with easy access to instructional resources, publications, student credits, and transcripts. It can also open up new and inventive ways for instructors, students, and other participants to be held accountable, incentivized, and communicate.
Unfortunately, the education industry continues to suffer the same problems that have plagued it for years. Inefficient paper-based record-keeping methods, a lack of transparency, inadequate student and teacher accountability, a lack of true desire for students to study and perform well in class, and a lack of trust in educational merits and academic degrees due to falsification are all examples of this. As mentioned previously, blockchain technology has the capacity to impact education and address all these challenges by providing tangible solutions.
First of all, blockchain has the ability to provide enhanced and transparent record-keeping. A school’s registrar’s office only needs to create a student record once when employing immutable blockchain storage. After that, it is available to all educational system participants and can even be shared between institutions. Every task, assignment, school involvement, and extracurricular activity is added to the student’s digital record as a block that can be viewed in the student’s profile. Teachers, counselors, and school officials can get a bird’s eye view of their kids’ progress. Aside from storing student data, blockchain systems can be used to supervise and facilitate school, college, and university accreditation, secure intellectual property rights, and eradicate diploma and transcript forgery. Educational records stored on the blockchain can be accessed and transmitted swiftly to other schools and organizations, including potential employers. To grant access to their profile, all a student has to do is share a link or their digital address. Since a full history of changes is maintained on the blockchain – along with signatures from the people who made the changes – this type of solution provides complete legitimacy of credentials and student data.
Smart contracts provide better student accountability. Teachers can utilize blockchain smart contracts to enter into digital agreements with students over the fulfilment of their assignments. The agreement spells out all of the assignment criteria, including the directions, conditions, due date, and deadlines. After a student completes the work and meets all of the criteria of the agreement, they may be granted automatic entry to the next section of the course or get credit and a certificate of completion. Ultimately, smart contracts can help provide personalized learning within a typical classroom setting. They also create the incentive that is sometimes lacking in traditional educational systems.
As mentioned previously, there is still the issue of lack of motivation when it comes to learning. Blockchain technology offers a solution by incentivizing students and teachers to achieve better results. When used well, the technology can inspire students and urge professors to participate in the educational process by generating new learning materials and participating in research. Cryptocurrency and tokenized credits can be utilized to create efficient incentive systems. Smart contracts can be created to reward fulfilled activities with cryptocurrency. Teachers will be able to further motivate kids by awarding extra credit to top performers. At the end of the day, blockchain technology has the potential to take modern education to the next level by fully using the gamification factor. Tokenized credits could be used to pay off student loans, buy school supplies and other instructional resources, and cover other educational costs. Rewarding students for completing a specific major and getting a university credential could drastically reduce the percentage of students who drop out without finishing college.
Finally, blockchain technology allows for learning performance tracking and individualization. Educators now have additional resources to monitor and oversee their pupils’ performance because of the openness provided by blockchain data storage. Schools can provide a fully tailored learning environment by employing smart contracts as tools to determine where a student is struggling. Institutions across the school district can access student performance data stored on a blockchain and utilize it to improve educational processes. This type of system might aggregate performance records on a district, state, and national level and enhance healthy competition among schools, colleges, and universities on a worldwide scale, with the ultimate goal of providing the best possible education.
In an attempt to blend her love of teaching and the tech industry, the founder of SOWL Token created a token that helps children all over the globe to learn. Given that it is a crypto, it also benefits holders with its true tangible value that goes beyond the blockchain into other high-tech areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Gamification, and Augmented Reality.
Currently, the company has two components; their mobile app and their crypto token. Initially, their mobile app EarlyBird was created to help educate children globally. The main focus was on children who cannot access costly online platforms and those who are battling a system of educational inequality. However, after realizing that the world started focusing on tokenization, the team decided to expand the app by crossing into the crypto community to create the SOWL Token, a BEP-20 token on the Binance Smart Chain that uses the EarlyBird Mobile App as the asset it is based on.
You can also connect with the SOWL Token community on Telegram.