Blockchain is a ghost. Those who have seen it, known it, learned it, swear by its magic and those who haven't, well, they are simply left perplexed whenever they come in contact with it.
Nonetheless, this distributed ledger technology has become indispensable to the world.
What erupted in the world with the infamous cryptocurrency "Bitcoin" has now become a breakthrough technology that has found its application in every possible field and eLearning is not different.
Here's how blockchain is set to change learning and development. How does blockchain work? The most interesting aspect of Blockchain technology is Decentralization. In literal terms, decentralization means not focusing the data or information on one single (central) point.
In Blockchain, this meaning is more or less the same. Blockchain technology allows the developers to create a unique network of nodes that uses consensus protocol for data transfer or transactions.
In easier language, if something is decentralized, that means:
It does not have a central control: No one point has full authority
It is divided into "nodes" which all hold a similar level of authority
For passing a transaction, all the nodes in that network should be in agreement
In fact, the data that you store on a Blockchain is actually distributed across multiple devices that are connected by a Peer to Peer network.
The result? Impenetrable security. How will decentralization change eLearning?
1. Incentivization: Blockchain technology can be used to deploy cryptocurrencies for employee training and performance as incentives. In the latest eLearning trends, people prefer having flexibility in learning courses, especially in the case of remote workers.
With a distributed network, doing this would become much easier, safer and more transparent. So fairly analyzing and crediting a remote employee's performance will be possible without any loopholes.
2. Data Security: The companies working with trade secrets or patented technology that is vulnerable to thefts and infringements, take several expensive measures to ensure data security. These vulnerabilities increase when they employ remote workers or when their employees travel frequently.
Blockchain can ensure this data security at the best level possible for such training requirements, like, Sales & Services Training.
3. Digital Certificates: Forgery of various kinds and degrees is a plaguing issue in the learning and development arena. And when an individual's personal information gets attached to certification frauds, it becomes vital to adopt a technology that will assure the user.
One of the biggest applications of Blockchain technology is Smart Contracts. Smart contracts are digital certificates that can allow you to exchange information, money, property or anything that you hold precious in a conflict-free, transparent manner.
They also eliminate the need for an intermediary and are the data they store is easily and securely verifiable.
This application can be deployed for learning certification and enrollment in any setting, from educational institutes to corporate training cells, without the risk of information theft or misuse.
4. Learning platforms: Making blockchain-based learning platforms is a possibility of the foreseeable future. And private tutoring services are likely to deploy this technology for bringing learners and teachers together on an integrated platform that is safe and certified.
This will make distance learning even more credible in the coming years and erase many students' apprehension surrounding the idea of learning from home. While there have been many great MOOCs available for students online, a blockchain-based system will make the entire process more reliable.
This will not only straighten the learning part of remote learning but also the payments and transactions will become safer and smoother.
It is even possible to build the entire world's learning ecosystem on a single blockchain and standardize its every aspect, but that is, of course, postulation at this point.
However, it is also true that the future is already here and we might be not much farther away from this reality.
Let us know your thoughts on the impacts of Blockchain technology on Learning and development.