Have you ever spent hours on your homework, only for the teacher to lose it before they return your mark? Or have you turned your room upside down looking for your long-lost exam certificates?
Well, thanks to blockchain technology, loose sheets and filed papers may become a thing only discussed in history lessons, in favour of a digital chain of locked-in data which can be accessed remotely through a unique code.
Blockchain is a unique record storage technology which allows contributors to directly enter information into the chain before it is locked in by other computers who are also contributing to the chain.
Originally used to record online transactions between digital currencies such as Bitcoin, governments and organisations are now rolling out blockchain technology to collect unhackable data for parliamentary elections, legal contracts, and education results.
In a recent report, the European Commission outlined the ways you are likely to see blockchain appearing in the classroom
Thanks to the digitalised and secure nature of blockchain, the use of physical certificates to accredit qualifications may be replaced by an intangible block of information. This will allow students to remotely access their grade and increase trust between employers and qualified students.
— Webfarm (@WebfarmTech) December 5, 2017
Pilot schemes have already been rolled out by various institutions and governments, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) issuing 100 digital diplomas to graduates in October, and Malta’s government operating a blockchain academic certificate pilot this year, according to Coindesk.
“From the beginning, one of our primary motivations has been to empower students to be the curators of their own credentials. This pilot makes it possible for them to have ownership of their records and be able to share them in a secure way, with whomever they choose,” said MIT registrar and senior associate dean Mary Callahan.
— Bitcoin News (@1Bit_News) December 4, 2017
“The [blockchain], which is a trust chain, may be used to store information such as user’s education experiences, certificates and so on. The information contains – for example – studying which courses and possessing which certificates,” the service explains.
Although the use of blockchain is at the minute only experimental, if progress into its application continues, it will not be long before your education footprint will be locked into cyberspace.