Do you know the possible applications of the blockchain in virtual education?
The term blockchain will likely be part of our common vocabulary in a few years. Today, it is presented as a disruptive technology that is beginning to revolutionize various areas, such as finance and even education.
Blockchain and its revolution in technology
This new technology is associated with Bitcoin, a virtual currency (cryptocurrency) that began to be used in 2008. Basically, the blockchain is a long list of records known as “blockchains” (from https://studyessay.org/do-my-homework/), available to the public.
It is a secure database since these blocks contain detailed encryption to which new blocks can be added, linking them together, and forming a chain.
To ensure the blockchain is valid, each block has a special and unique number, called a hash, and the next block in the chain has the hash of the previous block embedded in it.
This chain of blocks (records) linked and encrypted protect the security and privacy of transactions in a decentralized way, that is, eliminating intermediaries.
A break in the chain is easily detected and requires, in these cases, to rebuild it again from scratch. Due to the possibility of storing the data on many servers, anyone can see the inputs of others in real-time, and this makes it impossible to manipulate or obtain control of the chain.
The importance of the blockchain today
Although it may be a little-known term, its use is beginning to change transactions in the digital world. The blockchain is considered an economical and efficient option to share information.
That is why many technology companies and global companies are becoming increasingly interested in this technology. Its application is varied, and although it is used for different economic services, it is not yet presented as a threat to traditional business models.
In the Harvard Business Review article, “ The truth about blockchain, ” authors Iansiti and Lakhani point out the many facets and current blockchain changes in the market. However, they highlight that it can create new bases, both in the economic and social systems.
In this last field, several studies are beginning to be presented that even indicate how the use of blockchain can affect human development, such as the research " Unpacking the disruptive potential of blockchain technology for human development. " human development), carried out by the Research Center for International Development.
Some incidents that the blockchain can have on human development are government services, anti-corruption, and electoral processes. Although the application of the blockchain is somewhat complex, the bases on which it is presented turn out to be practical and efficient for the digitized world in which we live.
The data set you collect is validated by a broad community rather than a central authority. The participants oversee and maintain the collection of records, and reliance on an entity, such as a bank or government, is eliminated.
Is it possible to talk about blockchain in education?
With so little time of using this technology, and it is already causing a revolution in many social and economic spheres, it is valid that we ask ourselves what applications the blockchain can have in virtual education.
Here are some applications that in the future, and in some cases, it is already being presented, the blockchain may have in the virtual educational field:
1. Diplomas and certificates: the academic record of the students, which contains grades, diplomas, and degrees obtained, is protected. This information, available on the blockchain, is out of harm's way if the institution loses these files. It also allows reinforcing security so that the diplomas are not modified. Another option is the delivery of certifications through the blockchain.
2. File security: Sometimes, there is theft or plagiarism of research or projects by those who try to present a new one in virtual education. Likewise, the documents or files prepared by students and institutions will be safe with this technology to avoid theft in both cases or falsification of digital signatures.
3. Reliable transactions: with the blockchain, it becomes convenient to manage economic transactions with institutions or online study centers. Also, verify the credibility of online institutions, avoiding "falling into the trap" of these fraudulent networks.
4. Accreditation of credentials: it focuses on interpersonal skills, and it is possible to obtain them through “peer to peer” processes, better known as P2P. It is based on the fact that the students with whom the projects are worked can give credentials to their same classmates, certifying some skill developed during group learning. What is obtained is an “open badge,” which can support the knowledge and skills acquired during the course or virtual learning.
I share with you a study carried out by the European Union, " Blockchain in education, "which presents the fundamental principles and projection of blockchain in education and the empowering impact that it can generate on students.
Undoubtedly, as innovative teachers and at the forefront, we must prepare ourselves and learn about the blockchain's new tools and processes. It is evident that this technology advocate equal control, elimination of intermediaries, distributing trust, but especially seeks to involve and give voice to all participants.