How Decentralized Technology Is Helping Students
How Decentralized Technology Is Helping Students? – Blockchain technology can help students display the skills and competencies they acquire as the proceed through academic levels. Using a version of technical stack infrastructure, Arizona State University and a group pf colleges are developing a specialized distributed edger or blockchain.
While cryptocurrency is still an essential use of blockchain technology, decentralized ledgers also have a place in record keeping. Educational records are ideal for blockchain technology.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology is a type of ledger system. Rather than a central ledger that keeps the records, blockchain technology uses decentralized locations. The system consists of many places that get and confirm information. All places must agree that the information is identical and accurate. Once agreed, the information goes into a line of codes. The lines of code are gathered into a group called a block. The blocks are chained together by codes so that to change any piece you must change then all. Blockchain is dependable and secure because no one person can control it and once entered, data no one can change the data.
Meeting the Changing Needs of Students
The needs of students change as the trends in education shift to older students, longer periods to complete degrees, and greater use of distance learning. The average age of students entering, and re-entering college is about age 26. Students transfer at higher rates than in previous decades.
Students increasingly mix work and school so that work experience is a significant part of a student’s record. The mix of jobs and education requires a new way to track learning and progress. Students are much more mobile than in earlier generations and records systems should match their needs.
The US Department of Education has urged schools to develop more flexible record systems that work with student mobility. For example, students that use remote learning will frequently enter a second college or university and have significant work experience.
Traditional Transcripts are Limiting
Transcripts follow a traditional format. Transcripts are rigid and do not record important achievements that may occur outside of a narrow academic setting. Transcript can be difficult to access and require permissions from schools and authorities. Academically mobile students with other types of learning are better served by a more flexible and complete system
Distributed Ledgers Offer Improvements
ASU has applied an innovative system to help students track academic progress while in college. Called MyPath, students can use an electronic system to plan their academic course of study. The school is experimenting with a broader concept to help students get to graduation and beyond.
The Pocket system is a digital wallet attached to a blockchain. The system captures student’s learning and achievements from a wide range of sources. Students can maintain and update on the app. When presenting to employers or other educational institutions, students can present up to date and complete information.
Decentralized systems leave much more control over user information in the hands of the user. Decentralization promotes greater freedom for peer-to-peer interaction and fewer permissions from central authorities.
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