Can blockchain reinvent the college enterprise?
- The emergence of blockchain digital record keeping is becoming a component of the higher education enterprise, from student training to record keeping, credentialing and finance, the Wall Street Journal reports. Blockchain is a continuously growing digital list of records that are linked and secured using cryptography, the process of converting plain text into unintelligible text and vice versa. Cryptography protects data from theft or alteration, and can be used for user authentication.
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the nation's leaders in developing blockchain solutions for higher education, having piloted a digital records system using the platform, while the City College of New York is assessing how Bitcoin may be used as a form of tuition payment.
- Blockchain is also being used for copyright protection of faculty member publishing and research, with San Jose State University serving as a leader in the Library 2.0 movement within higher education. It also is becoming a fast growing element of curriculum design and degree offerings, with students at the University of California, Berkeley having established a non-profit organization to position students as consultants and entrepreneurial creators in the new industrial space.
Seemingly, blockchain stands to serve as a central element of overhauling higher education from the tech perspective, as its uses and design provide pathways for corporate partnership, professional development and innovation. And with varying institution types piloting ways for blockchain to be used within the campus enterprise, it offers a view of how institutions can harness the technology to boost credentialing and professional training add-ons.
Blockchain offers one way of verifying credentials, as well as allowing students to "own" their proof of learning, according Phil Komarny, vice of innovation at Salesforce, speaking at a meetup held by Edsurge. Records would be in the hands of students and graduates, not the college registar.
But not all universities are eager to implement blockchain because of concerns about potential fraud and because not all students and graduates want their information in the system.
- Wall Street Journal 5 ways blockchain is revolutionizing higher ed
- Forbes How Blockchain Can Truly Revolutionize Higher Education