Blockchain can help improve education, whether by way of facilitating direct connection between educators and students to facilitate easier and less costly learning through online platforms, or by facilitating payment of course fees with cryptocurrencies.
Although payment of fees in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is already happening in various universities, online education platforms using blockchain to help educators to disseminate education and learning is a different approach. The latter platforms are connecting tutors and educators and learners through a crypto economy to facilitate learning and certification.
Such platforms allow educators to create learning experiences for students and earn tokens.
There is also another different approach where blockchain is being used to immutably and securely store data and information that can be shared among learners and educators. Some of these platforms pack their own crypto economies. Still, blockchain is facilitating verification and re-verification of education certificate and documents to help eliminate forgery.
Here are a few blockchain cryptocurrency projects in the education industry.
TeachMePlease and former developers of Cardano blockchain are developing Disciplina, a decentralized ledger system that supports different types of educational projects. It brings together educators, students and third parties by uniting the records of big universities, small institutes, online educational platforms, and schools.
Remember TeachMePlease is already an established international platform that allows for cooperation between educational institutions, tutors and students, and has with some experience in this field since 2015. Already, students are able to find, pay for and take courses from different organizations and teachers. It already has 20,000 educational courses on the platform.
The blockchain-based platform will allow students to select desired courses, communicate with teachers and other students, and manage their academic calendars and educational processes. Educational institutions can access course creation tools, set pricing for the courses, get access to academic histories of students, and give assignment of teachers to particular courses.
And while Sony launched a platform to facilitate storage of educational data and information from different educators and sharing it among themselves, Sony uses IBM blockchain and the information is stored on a centralized ledger.
TeachMePlease blockchain will have public and private parts of the blockchain. Individual schools will own their private chains and the blocks will be verified by witnesses who are special entities within the blockchain network.
The witnesses will generate public ledgers and agree on the validity of transactions defined by specified rules.
Disciplina token pre-sale is ongoing and the main sale period runs between 04/27/18 – 05/27/18. The project hopes to move to- Mainnet on the 4Q of 2019.
Education Ecosystem (LiveEdu) decentralized learning ecosystem is meant for online education and professional development. However, it is more of a platform for professional skill development as it will let users learn to build products in technologies such as cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, games development and virtual reality. Users will learn these skills from others -- on how to build these products.
The platform is in beta stage and has already attracted 1,000,000 signups. It currently has live streams and videos.
But its not just a platform to facilitate teaching. It leads by example in implementing blockchain technology and will have the ERC20-compliant LEDU wallet and a Education Token token economy.
The token, which is already available for purchase from the Gate.io and Bibox, will be used to reward project creators, learners, site moderators, and API ecosystem developers as well as to facilitate financial transactions.
The tokens will also facilitate transactions between the ecosystem and external connections such as businesses, schools, libraries, colleges and online education companies.
To facilitate all that, the company will integrate with Parity, which is a wallet for Ethereum and ERC20 enthusiasts.
The company will also have Android and iOS apps. The ICO is ongoing.
BitDegree is an online educational platform seeking to provide online courses, scholarships and has its own tokens and tech talent acquisition. The platform has a running MVP already, where people can start learning and earn BitDegree tokens as a scholarship or reward.
Currently, it is offering classes in Smart Contract Development and Solidity in February, Web Development Theory, and coding Fundamentals.
Students or other persons can enroll for interactive classes offered by expert instructors. There is also gamified learning experiences, clear and transparent blockchain based achievement tracking system and token scholarships and skills certification for those willing to hunt dream jobs. The instructions come from selected specialists who also earn.
Companies can use the BitDegree tokens to buy the courses to improve their tech talents and enhance employer branding and advertising. The tokens can be used to create smart-incentives as payment for a scholarship. In addition to purchasing services on the platform, the tokens can be exchanged on a crypto exchange and also swapped for digital goods and services.
Knowledge.io is a platform seeking to bring revolution in the way knowledge acquisition and sharing is done. It brings together experts in a variety of topics and fields, educators, academicians, trainers and assessors.
It will also have a marketplace and link to external exchanges and merchants and their partners. The blockchain-based Knowledge Score system monitors and measures people's proficiency on a wide range of topics. These experts earn the tokens by mining, which is by solving questions from which Knowledge Scores can be developed or using websites and apps that have some associated knowledge value.
It uses an ERC-20 token compliant KNW token to facilitate rewarding of participants in sharing their knowledge in this manner, although these tokens can also be used to buy products from the marketplace and other external exchanges.
The tokens can also be used to advertisers.
Knowledge.io’s Chief Operations Officer Marcia Hales said textbooks and videos will be ingestible and Q&A sets will be automatically generated around them for use in education, training, continuing education, assessment, certification, and in other areas of academia.
Children and learners can earn tokens through use of the materials and these tokens can be applied to college tuition and other life improvement initiatives when they become of age, according to Hales.
Knowledge.io will hold its initial coin offering which ends in 9 days.
ODEM is an on-demand education marketplace on Ethereum blockchain. It connects students, educators and service providers and these can engage as individuals or groups through educational programs.
Well, education too has many intermediaries, which adds unnecessary costs and inefficiencies and this project's intention wants to reduce or eliminate those inefficiencies and costs.
Educators can use the platform for discovery of learners (customers) and learners can do the same to discover programs of interest from educators around the world.
Both will submit requests, and the system will use artificial intelligence to manage complex requests for easier, quick and better program and customer discovery. Users can also leverage smart contracts to manage payments from beginning to the end of long-term engagements.
Students create public and private profiles. They can then search for and purchase in-person courses, lectures and curricula. They can submit their custom curricula to educators for bidding. Students can also earn ODEM tokens as royalties for custom content they create.
Educators, on the other hand, can create custom content and earn tokens as loyalties, earn more tokens by teaching courses, collaborate with students directly to develop and implement curricula.
Edgecoin is a blockchain as a service for the educational sector. The startup has already sold more than 10 million tokens to exceed its soft cap but the ICO is still ongoing.
The platform, which has its own cryptocurrency, brings together educational institutions, e-learning providers/platforms and independent educational/e-learning advisors and corporate e-learning decision-makers.
It will, for instance, host educational content and courses and programs which students and learners or anyone can buy using the Edgecoin tokens on the e-learning platforms. Additionally, educators are able to issue educational documents on blockchain, while employers can validate and re-validate certificates and documents thanks to the optical recognition software.
Learners can also share with others as they like, these encrypted and unique certificates via Edgecoin smart contracts in a single process. They can also manage their academic development on the career. Online certification and hosting of documents means it can save real costs for educators and governments.
The project will establish partnerships with educational institution, schools and universities all around the globe.
NTOK-X tokens is a platform for education and professional development, bringing together tutors, students, talents and "hunters." It bundles together a host of features. Tutors are able to share or teach their skills to students and other users to earn the tokens.
Students, on the other hand, are able to search for skills and courses desired and study them, then pay in tokens. The platform allows users to even launch their own tokens and sell them to other users to raise funds for their education and professional development. This relates to any talented person.
This way, "hunters" can invest in these launched personal tokens from other users by buying the tokens, to earn some profits later as the skills of the people launching the tokens grow. However, those willing to launch their own tokens are voted for by other users in order to determine who should launch the token.