Transforming Scottish Education on the Blockchain

A keynote use case for the Scottish Credential Ecosystem that demonstrates the tremendous potential for this approach is Education, notably the awarding of academic credentials.

Innovations relevant to this use case include ‘Blockcerts‘, an open source blockchain project for enabling a Universal Verifier that will verify any Blockcert issued by any institution, anywhere in the world.

Via their Medium article UniversaBlockchain explore the scenario of Blockchain in Education.

They highlight keynote problems like the high rates of medical school diploma falsification as pain points a technology like Blockchain is ideal for tackling in some form, among a wave of other transformative benefits for the sector as it ripples through all workflow areas related to HR, resume checking, et al.

Athena builds on this some, notably detailing the core signature process that underpins the integrity of the record, as a comparison to traditional paper-based approaches:

  • Blockchain-enabled digital certificates are immutable and cannot be forged.
  • The records are stored on a distributed ledger, hence certificates can be only evaluated by anyone who has access to the blockchain.
  • Since the records are stored in a shared distributed ledger, the certificate can still be validated even if the organization that had issued it no longer exists.
  • The digital certificates stored in the ledger can only be destroyed if all the copies in every system are destroyed.

Countries like the Bahamas are now issuing Blockchain-based academic certificates.

Digitary is one vendor specializing in this sector, offering a suite of features for managing academic credentials and digital badges, and has teamed up with Evernym to integrate these with Self-Sovereign Identity.

As this news highlights one of the first customers to harness this capability is the Association of the Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC),  choosing Digitary as the solution provider for the Made for Canada National Network.

This initiative means the Canadian higher education community is creating the very first online platform and national credential wallet for post-secondary learners. Once fully operational, the Network will enable 3 million learners across the country to access and share their official digitized post-secondary transcripts and credentials online – anytime, anywhere.

Digital Badges – Foundation for Gamified Micro Learning

This capability would ideally go hand in hand with ‘Digital Badges’, which can also be authenticated via the Blockchain the same way. As Hastac explains :

“A digital badge is a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in many learning environments. Open digital badging makes it easy for anyone to issue, earn, and display badges across the web—through an infrastructure that uses shared and open technical technical standards.”

Open digital badging makes it easy for anyone to issue, earn, and display badges across the web—through an infrastructure that uses shared and open technical technical standards. Organizations like Credly facilitate their universality across industries.

A pertinent example of how this can be applied in the corporate world is this example of the Scottish Social Services Council uses them to underpin workforce learning. The BCS describes this as the future of professional development, with many organizations like Siemens using them this way.

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