Blockchain: The Huge Transformation it Brings to Education

In October 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the “China Blockchain Technology and Application Development White Paper,” pointing out that “the transparency and tamper-proof characteristics of blockchain systems are fully applicable to student credit management, further education and employment, academics, qualification certification, industry-university cooperation and other aspects, and have important value for the healthy development of education and employment.”

In January of this year, the Shanghai Education Commission’s 2018 work priorities bulletin mentioned “promoting demonstration applications of education based on artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.”

It can be seen that in the field of education, people are also beginning to pay attention to the research and development and promotion of blockchain technology. However, what kind of technical support can blockchain technology bring to the education sector? How can it promote the education system? What benefits can it bring to the education sector?

First, protect digital resource copyrights and safeguard creators’ rights

In actual teaching and educational research work, teachers’ educational research achievements and schools’ scientific research achievements are easily plagiarized and occupied. Intellectual property rights are not protected, which seriously undermines teachers’ enthusiasm for teaching research, scientific research and innovation.

Taobao has a large number of “1 yuan courseware” and Baidu Netdisk is full of various pirated resources. Low cost, difficult traceability and weak supervision are the main reasons for this problem. Educational workers, especially teachers’ hard-earned courseware exercises, shared teaching reflections, classroom records, teaching courseware and other resources cannot be effectively protected and circulated.

In China’s academic circles, academic papers are commonly plagiarized, copied or adapted, infringing on the rights of original authors and hindering China’s scientific and technological innovation.

However, the open and transparent characteristics of blockchain technology allow any resource creation information to be queried, tracked and obtained by users with stronger effectiveness and traceability.

Teachers can first publish their works on a blockchain-based education platform. During the transaction and circulation process of the works, the information at each node is transparent and tamper-proof. When plagiarism or piracy is discovered, evidence can be quickly traced and obtained.

Providing tamper-proof digital proof for academic achievements and convenient traceability also provides real and effective evidence for academic disputes. At the same time, this digital proof can be seamlessly integrated with existing applications to provide a unique timestamp identity proof for each text, picture, audio or video. Combined with other methods of cross-validation, it fundamentally guarantees data integrity and consistency while protecting intellectual property rights.

Secondly, promote the collection of learning behavior data and motivate teachers to create and share

In actual teaching activities, it is difficult for educational management agencies to obtain objective evaluations from students on teachers and their original teaching resources. The popularity of teachers’ original teaching resources and usage data is also difficult to accurately count on a national scale. Resource sedimentation efficiency is low with mixed quality. Poor resources may become “good” resources due to brushing transactions or brushing comments.

If blockchain technology is combined with big data technology to serve the education industry, various levels of educational units including some enterprises can form an “education chain” according to a unified protocol. Each teacher can publish their own original teaching resources including courseware materials on this “education chain” platform. A transaction occurs every time a student uses it once. The usage data at each node during resource dissemination and usage can be traced back to shared educational resources after sharing.

An objective evaluation system can be formed between the teaching side and the student side. Teachers can publish their teaching needs on a global blockchain network while students can publish their learning needs. Due to the tamper-proof nature of blockchain system data, whether it is personal information provided by teachers or evaluations from students on teachers can remain objective and fair (i.e., the information provided by teachers is absolutely true while teaching records and evaluations cannot be obtained through brushing).

Third, promote transparency and standardization in the education market, reduce regulatory difficulty and reduce social disputes.

Contract fraud and breach of contract disputes involving educational institutions are common. There are even expensive “guaranteed pass” classes that stipulate “no refund if not passed” in the contract, but in reality “no refund if not passed” or procrastination is common. Some use “failure to complete the course as stipulated in the contract” as a reason while others simply refuse without giving any reason.

Fake teacher pass rates and evaluations are also common, seriously misleading students or parents’ judgment and course purchase decisions. There are also many unheard-of contract traps.

In these cases, victimized students or parents who seek legal remedies face time-consuming and laborious challenges while courts face difficulties in obtaining evidence. For training institutions, there is also the problem of being maliciously traded and evaluated by competitors.

By combining public and private chains to build a national education market management blockchain system and establishing a new contract system, students and training institutions can join smart contracts and make contract results public in real time. Students or parents can obtain real-time pass rates and real course evaluations, accurate training results, rather than traditional unilateral propaganda or even coaxing by training institutions. Students and training institutions pay tuition fees or deposits according to the contract agreement. When the conditions set by the contract system are met, the contract execution activity is triggered and subsequent work is carried out according to the agreement.

For example: students and institutions respectively pay prepayments and deposits to the smart contract system. The contract takes effect. The contract system checks student scores through the score checking platform. After achieving the scores in the exam, the smart contract system automatically deducts tuition fees and returns the institution’s deposit. If the scores are not achieved, tuition fees are refunded and the institution’s deposit is deducted. At the same time, records can be automatically sent to the credit system for suspected fraudulent defaulters while courts can easily extract evidence.

Transactions realized through smart contracts do not require third-party payment platforms such as WeChat or Alipay. Point-to-point transactions between learners and teachers can be realized to improve operational efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Fourth, Blockchain + Education Public Welfare: Real-time tracking of fund whereabouts to achieve standardized and transparent education donations

Many times it is difficult to regulate public welfare education funds; fund whereabouts are unclear; donors do not receive sufficient psychological motivation after charitable acts.

After using blockchain technology, each donation made by a user will form a corresponding package. The package is transmitted through a blockchain platform. Every time it passes through a node, it will be stamped with a postmark until it reaches the recipient. In this way, every donation made by a user is transparent, traceable and tamper-proof.

Fifth, Blockchain + Student Education Experience Certification: Reduce certification costs and difficulty while improving personnel identification efficiency

According to a survey, about 86% of companies have job seekers who obtain interview opportunities or even get hired through academic fraud. Fake certificates and fake diplomas are rampant with low cost of fraud. A few hundred yuan can customize a university diploma. This has caused serious problems for enterprises in identifying personnel for employment while low-quality personnel have also had a negative impact on prestigious schools’ reputation. It also poses challenges to social order that values fair competition. We value talent strength but cannot allow integrity to be trampled upon.

Some information that helps reflect students’ competitiveness such as awards, honors, skills and practical experience is difficult to authenticate or identify. Behavior such as fabricating honors or stamping fake seals is common among college graduates.

If schools and certificate-issuing units publish student academic degree certificates, honors, skills, social practice information on a unified education blockchain certificate platform to form a decentralized tamper-proof issuance management certification system from this platform as a starting point accompanying their entire career with data permanently securely stored in cloud servers. Subsequent employers can directly query and verify on this blockchain certificate platform while more accurately assessing the match between applicants and positions to be recruited.

While achieving tamper-proof traceability with complete information while reducing costs at all levels and stages while improving efficiency while also promoting the formation of a good recruitment employment ecology.

In terms of talent evaluation: within the system it can be included in professional title assessment with certain weight; outside the system employees’ learning experience can also be included in promotion salary assessment points. This makes lifelong learning everyone’s belief.

These problems are common throughout society. Without the emergence of blockchain technology we will not be able to perfectly solve these problems. Although blockchain technology has great benefits for the development of education it still requires a lot of time for research and improvement in development and application so that this technology can better play its role in education.

Source: 优资产ucoin

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