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Distributed ledger and blockchain technologies in education


There distributed ledger technology (TRD) constitutes a stimulating innovation.

It is used in many areas, ranging from smart contracts to electronic voting. Its best known use is virtual currency “Bitcoin” and other cryptocurrencies used to conduct open and secure financial transactions between people or entities. The underlying technology of Bitcoin is blockchain, a form of TRD.

Cryptocurrencies are experiencing major misfires these days, however, with their values ​​plummeting and the spectacular bankruptcy of the FTX cryptocurrency trading platform.

But what is less known is that distributed ledger technology is beginning to take hold in other areas of our lives.

According to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, CPA Canadathese technologies are powerful in terms of their potential to create new economic and social models. They are stimulating because of their complexity and the challenges that their full understanding and their proper use present.

Experts in administration, education and innovation, we propose to shed light on the use of these technologies in the field of education.

What is Distributed Ledger Technology?

TRD is a technology that creates a shared digital ledger that allows multiple actors to engage in secure and reliable transactions, without intermediary. The stored data has the specificity of being encrypted, therefore protected, and permanent. Each modification (or deletion) action made there is recorded and stored, ensuring complete traceability.

The TRD is a database distributed across many computers without central control. It is a data structure made up of blocks consisting of two parts: the header and the body, which are connected as a list, and which perform successive transactions and store data using encryption.

The time and date of transactions are also recorded.

Increasingly popular in public services

More and more governments are using technology to improve the efficiency of their public service. According to one survey conducted by the American multinational IBM in 2017 90% of government leaders from 16 countries in Western Europe and South East Asia said they planned to invest in DRT next year to increase transparency , cybersecurity and efficiency of their transactions, as well as to ensure compliance with their regulations.

Many countries have already adopted it for certain aspects related to legalization, identity, electronic residence, health, security and other administrative services: Estonia, Sweden and Georgia are testing a blockchain-based service for citizens and businesses ; Dubai has decided integrate distributed ledgers into all of its government processes and Kazakhstan uses a TRD-based public bidding platform to ensure a high level of transparency.

TRD is a technology that creates a shared digital ledger that allows multiple players to engage in secure and reliable transactions without an intermediary.

Distributed ledger technology in education

With the arrival of digital in the world of education, through distance learning, smart classrooms and smart school management tools, technology has taken place in schools and largely defines the current developments. Distributed ledgers follow this line.

Concrete examples of the use of distributed ledgers in education include:

Undeniable advantages

Schools and universities can also use TRD to help teachers quickly identify the specific educational needs of their students and personalize their learning. For example, the IMS Global Learning Consortium has implemented personalized journeys, backed by blockchain data, that direct students towards learning opportunities adapted to each student according to the knowledge and skills acquired.

These technological advances also make it possible to secure the storage of identification information and the transcripts which can then be consulted. by any entity to whom the student wishes to grant accessensuring anonymity, confidentiality and obtaining decentralized proof which cannot be deleted or modified by anyone and validate the authenticity of diplomas and school reports.

The reverse side of the coin

Blockchain adoption, however, comes with some constraints that could act as a barrier to its adoption. These are related to:

The use of DRT in the education sector is still in its infancy with a paucity of research available. While many works and initiatives suggest a promising potential for using this technology, this potential should be carefully exploited, because the education sector is a public service and not a for-profit company.

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