How Coronavirus Is Ushering A New Quality Standard in Online Education

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@olya-greenOlya Green

I write about blockchain and Web 3.0

We are living amidst an unprecedented shift in global education with college professors becoming Zoom adapts overnight, the class of 2020 to graduate virtually, continuous learning platforms on the lookout for the best performing interaction technologies, and the new wave of EdTechs officially upon us.

COVID19-driven challenges for global education systems.

As of March 28, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing close to 80% of the world’s enrolled students to be out of school in 161 countries. 

In both public and private educational settings, the global learning community braces for more time outside of the traditional classroom environment with challenges like certification credibility and exam cheating, student privacy, and overall quality of educational experience. But with challenges come opportunities to make use of advanced technologies and step up the distant learning game.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at blockchain-powered platforms that maintain the continuity and credibility of continued learning while the brick-and-mortar classrooms remain elusive.

Decentralize this: blockchain pioneers of the remote classroom. 

Blockchain has been in the arena of online education for quite some time targeting both the digital campus and continuous learning platforms, but the COVID19 crisis has obviously put it to the spotlight. Its ledger technology has the ability to better manage accountability, transparency, and the overall educational experience for both students and teachers.    

Let’s take a closer look at the up-and-coming blockchain solutions that help with storing student records, sharing learning resources, and digital certificates in a safe, trusted manner. 

  • Use case: storing and sharing student records.
  • Target users: continuous learning platforms, LMS.
  • Blockchain’s value prop: a reliable, immutable log of students’ achievements. 

Sony’s educational platform started in partnership with IBM to enable multiple institutions to add individual academic achievements and other pertinent student information on a ledger in order to continuously maintain records on students who have transferred or furthered their education. 

  • Use case: Issuing blockchain certificates and transcripts.
  • Target User: High schools and universities, continuous learning platforms, LMS.
  • Blockchain’s value prop: decentralized, easily-verified academic achievements.

Issuing trustless digital certificates for qualifications is one of many the up-and-coming blockchain use cases for online education. Blockchain ledger delivers the foundation for a new way of issuing and managing an open standard for digital certificates and transcripts. Blockchain learning certificates use blockchain to create a decentralized, student-owned, and easily-verified certificate or credential that tracks educational diplomas, certificates, badges, and accreditations across institutions, workshops, online classes, and other learning scenarios. Every course and qualification the student receives—from micro-courses at work to degree modules—is logged on a single, immutable ledger.

CASE STUDY: Some of 2018 MIT graduates chose to receive a 

digital version of their diplomas

 on Blockcerts’ blockchain with academic records will securely stored and available for immediate verification from prospective employers or subsequent academic endeavors. 
  • Use case: Employee background checks and CV verification 
  • Target users: Inhouse HRs and talent recruiters, hiring agencies.
  • Blockchain’s value prop: decentralized, easily-verified academic achievements.

Blockchain, smart contracts, and machine learning combined to verify a user’s background.  Users create a profile and fill out their academic CVs, including education history and transcripts.

CASE STUDY: APPII features Intelligent Profiles for applicants by recording details of professional achievement or educational certification on the distributed ledger, where it can be verified and then permanently recorded.
  • Use case: trustless learning log, storing and sharing learning resources and student records. 
  • Target users: High schools and universities, continuous learning platforms, LMS.

Taraxa enables a comprehensive track of learners’ achievements beyond transcripts of scores is another fundamental improvement that blockchain brings to online learning frameworks. This is achieved by storing digital hashes of learning activities and managing access rights through the use of smart contracts. 

  • Use case: a decentralized marketplace for educational products and services.
  • Target users: students and professors, academic advisors.
  • Blockchain’s value prop: streamlining the logistics of organizing and delivering short-and-medium-term academic experiences. 

The platform aims to democratize higher education by eliminating the middle-man between students and professors through the use of smart contracts, which makes it possible for them to communicate and choose courses directly. All the payments are enabled by the smart-contract powered payment vehicle. 

CASE STUDY: ODEM introduced the skill badges for teachers and students to show their proficiencies in certain areas. This greatly helps with building up an online academic reputation and facilitates the check of academic credentials for both applicants and educators.

Disclaimer: The author has no vested interest in brands mentioned in this blog.



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