Since the emergence of non-playable tokens in the art industry, their use has been applied to various fields, such as education. What is their impact in the classroom and beyond?
Thanks to blockchain technology, non-playable tokens add credit, recognition, and merit to the career path of students and teachers.
Non-Fungible tokens, better known as NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens), have entered the marketplace to add originality and value to certain digital assets. Today, they are used not only in the artistic sphere but also in various industries, such as education, which is increasingly using such resources to improve the quality of education.
Blockchain provides interoperability for moving assets between different ecosystems while allowing their existence to be recognized by different NMT storage providers, they can be exchanged and auctioned in different markets, and they can be displayed in virtual worlds. But how do the existence and implementation of unplayable tokens contribute to education?
Certificate issuance and management
By definition, NFTs can replace diplomas, awards, or certificates that demonstrate academic achievement because of the security and verification they provide. According to the apa format paper writing service, the use of tokens reduces the likelihood of forgery while allowing students to manage their records and credits, track lifelong learning progress, and preserve educational data.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the leading institutions implementing NFT. MIT has created the Digital Diploma Consortium, an international network of universities with a common system of digital credentials that can be verified, tracked, and made available for employers to review.
The process, however, is more applicable than is commonly believed. Professor Bo Brannan of Pepperdine University has included the use of NFT as a reward for course completion. For students to have access to an online aggregator of their academic achievements, he asked them to complete and turn in syllabus assignments to demonstrate their mastery of the course.
Some universities are also using NFT for their undergraduate degrees. Tec de Monterrey 2019 became the first Mexican university to offer its recent graduates digital diplomas with blockchain validation.
Another major benefit of non-playable tokens is the attribution of authorship to the creators of various content or works. Students spend most of their time creating mostly original content.
According to Peter Thomas, director of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology at the University of Melbourne, copyrights on student work and projects are generally not considered in education. It is for this reason that creative recognition is needed, and NFTs allow these accomplishments to be shared by providing appropriate credit.
Rewards for teachers
Like Brannan’s class, some teachers can use inflexible token technology to validate their work. Another example is Preply, a foreign language learning platform that registered three NFTs on OpenSea in 2021 to reward its number one tutors who improve their students’ experience.
The top three teachers of English, French, and Spanish spent 11,000 hours of tutoring in a year and were offered their NFTs through a cryptocurrency wallet. Amy Pritchett, manager of student success, says it helps create an online “trophy bank” that can be stored and shared with potential clients, employers, or university admissions officers.
Its impact beyond the classroom
Christine Bonke, a freelance writer specializing in EdTech and East Asia, suggests that in the range of possibilities for unplayable tokens, when data is on the blockchain, it is stored securely. Thus, if a student loses his or her academic transcript or certificate, his or her credentials can be verified, which would be very useful in conflict zones, for example. If a country’s educational records system collapses, blockchain functionality will allow displaced individuals to continue their professional careers.
Another added value of the NFT that Bonke mentions is the verification of informal learning, where information such as research experience, projects, skills, tutoring, and online learning can be added to a student’s portfolio. The portfolio can contain massive open online courses (MOOCs) taken by the student and thus demonstrate knowledge gained outside of higher education institutions.
However, Boehnke also raises some questions about the inclusion of NFTs in the educational sphere. Although the information on the tokens is digitally protected, it is difficult to change, and any changes require collective validation. So what happens if students change their minds about disclosing certain data from their educational itineraries, or if they can choose what information goes into their permanent records?
These same concerns are raised by Audrey Watters, a writer specializing in educational technology, who wonders if students will have control over their privacy once blockchain technology is implemented. Similarly, she offers an example: what if a person wants to “start from scratch” by undergoing gender confirmation surgery, or what if they have a stalker or abuser from whom they would like to hide their identity? The big question is, how do we design educational strategies so that they protect privacy by default?
The use of non-playable tokens in education aids and abets in various areas, such as protecting the authorship and rights of content creators, as well as providing value and making student and faculty achievement measurable, recognizable, and verifiable. These developments make lifelong learning efforts visible and protect the record, but certain questions need to be asked to understand the most appropriate way to implement NFT.