Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Blockchain for Education

Dr Sabrina Caldwell
Greetings from the University of Technology Sydney, where I am taking part in a workshop with members of the International Standards Organization's Joint Photographic Experts Group (better known as "JPEG"), on the use of blockchain. There are image processing experts from around the world, including my colleague Dr Sabrina Caldwell, from ANU.

We were each asked to provide a one page quad chart on blockchain. I am not an expert in JPEG or Blockchain and feel a little out of my depth in this company. So I will stick to an application for education.

Blockchain for education

1. Use case(s)

  • Workers acquiring hundreds of micro-credentials
  • Need to validate micro-credentials globally in seconds

2. Key requirements

  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Regulation

 3. Potential Solutions

  • Open Access Education
  • Open Source Software 

4. Standardisation

  • Technical Standards
  • Mutual recognition between instutions and jurisdictions
  • Support by professional bodies 

The Australian National University introduced Micro-credentials procedures in October 2019 (Worthington, 2019).

During their career a worker may acquire hundreds of micro-credentials. These would need to be validated before the worker could undertake a specific job, or task. With the gig-economy, this may need to be done several times a day in seconds, in a country away from where the credentials were issued. This will require a system which can scale for billions of workers, securely, and be recognized by governments around the world. Blockchain implementation of micro-credentials could be aided by open source software for implementation, and open access education to teach its use.

The report, Blockchain Challenges for Australia (ACS, 2019), listed micro-credentials as a potential application for blockchain, requiring low computational power, a high volume of data storage and users,  but low throughput (ACS, p 22, 2019).

ps: GovTech Singapore developed OpenCerts in cooperation with the OpenCerts Consortium.

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