Blockchain technology: Steering 1.5B students past pandemic


Blockchain technology is an advancement in terms of security and speed but education stakeholders largely ignored the viability of the technology. There were advances already being made and now, the time has come upon us to rethink the future of our schools, students, and teachers due to the pandemic.

Schools around the world are closed and 1.5 billion children are stuck at home. This excludes any tertiary level students and has forced us to rethink the future of education. The spike in demand for online learning has been massive and possibly is the boost that will give online education it needs to become entrenched as the way we will educate in the future.

A 2017 Google and KPMG report estimated that India’s online education market would be a $2 Billion industry by 2021, a significant increase of $250 Million from 2016.

Dear Diary

My friend Nelly Khumalo in Johannesburg South Africa just DM me on Instagram to say that the 21-day lock has been extended for 2 more weeks until the end of April. What will happen in India this week? Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi extend the lockdown here? Will I be able to keep up with my studies this year or will I lose a year of my life?

The current education system of testing students by getting them to memorize, replicate and then forget after the exam is over, and the need to repeat the cycle is largely a waste of time. 

Blockchain technology & online education system

With the pandemic upon us, school discontinuance, and the uncertainty of getting a viable education, the time is ripe for awareness and adoption of blockchain technology. A shift from viability to productive usability would help mass adaption across the globe and the world to embrace blockchain technology. Two things have been highlighted by COVID-19:

  1. Online tailor-made education and the ability to track each student is vital for the progression towards inclusion for all.
  2. The ability to track progress and create an incorruptible record of their progress in scale is only possible with a blockchain type online education system. 

Online learning would enable personalized lessons as well as a more relevant, engaging, and up to date learning process.

This is the time to radically change a system that has had very little change over the past 300 years.  With everything, in a standstill, now is the time to make a move, consider

COVID-19 outbreak is a boon, not a curse for us, the economy and the future – KEY

In a progressive country like India, only half of the population has access to the Internet, mainly in the large cities excluding millions of learners in isolated regions. This is the same story for developing countries the world over.

There is such a long way to go as the penetration of online education has only scratched the surface. Yet, there is a path being laid out by blockchain believers and communities:

Onset and adoption of an all-in digital economy for education, governance, shopping, data, lifestyle, and more is more evident than ever.Now it’s no longer a choice. The world cannot go back to the same old ways. – Mr. KEY

COVID-19 is changing education’s bad habits

We are all creatures of habit and these enforced lockdowns have ensured we fundamentally change the way we go about our day today. COVID-19 has forced the world to change education habits that have been in trenched for hundreds of years and challenged our beliefs about how and why we educate, and the actual purpose of education and how we can ensure a better outcome.

If you believe that the need for basic education is a right that every citizen on Earth should have, then now is the time to stand behind that idea. If governments and big business the world over rallied around the idea that now is the time to change, education will take a huge step forward and become far more inclusive rather than taking a step sideways and only allowing privileged students to access the new online educational systems.

 Will we look back and say COVID-19 was the catalyst in creating a new normal in the way we are educated?

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Mitch Rankin

Mitch Rankin is the Co-Founder of Forward Protocol, a technology company building open source blockchain tools to connect the Edtech sector. A devoted husband and father, he has passionately invested on education and blockchain. Focusing on helping solve UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) of the 2030 Agenda, he supports the goal to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. His vision is to impact 1 billion people through a better education and learning experience by changing how the world learns. https://forwardprotocol.io.

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