Future Of Education: Role Of Blockchain Technology And Metaverse Blockchain technology act as an effective educational resource in the process of learning which allows educators to publish content openly as well as tracking any re-use, without putting limitations on the source material

By Dr Silpi Sahoo

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Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.

The goal of blockchain is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed, but not edited. In this way, a blockchain is the foundation for immutable ledgers, or records of transactions that cannot be altered, deleted, or destroyed. This is why blockchains are also known as a distributed ledger technology (DLT). It differs from a typical database in the way that it stores information; blockchains store data in blocks that are then linked together via cryptography.

Metaverse, an introduction

A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. In futurism and science fiction, it is often described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.

In the broadest terms, the metaverse is understood as a graphically rich virtual space, with some degree of verisimilitude, where people can work, play, shop, socialize; in short, do the things humans like to do together in real life (or, perhaps more to the point, on the internet). It represents a highly interactive three-dimensional virtual world where users could participate in a "second digital life' with digital avatars and explore the virtual environments alongside interacting with the other users. Like the real world, users can trade land, buildings, and other digital assets in the Metaverse and explore the space using their personalized avatars.

Metaverse facilitates a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.

Metaverse Opportunities for Education

Future education technology will transform learning by giving teachers and students a variety of new tools to work with. The pandemic, no matter how unfortunate definitely opened avenues for digitalization of education. Through Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and blockchain technology, the metaverse can bridge the gap between the physical realm and the virtual world. And as such, its applications could be endless. One of the many applications of the metaverse could be its role in the future of education. The remote competencies of technology, combined with ever evolving digital possibilities, can transform school learning to a great extent.

The metaverse necessitates the evolution of new technologies for its execution ranging from virtual tours to conducting absolutely digital events with huge footfall of students. These metaverse tours can help students improve their learning journeys by leaps and bounds by providing immersive and interactive experiences. This will not only promote cultural diversity amidst students but also foster immersive learning beyond classroom environments.

Role of Blockchain in the Future of Education

Similarly, blockchain technology act as an effective educational resource in the process of learning which allows educators to publish content openly as well as tracking any re-use, without putting limitations on the source material. With Blockchain, the agreements of automatic transfer of credits can be written as smart-contracts. Historically, universities have owned and controlled student records, leaving students to rely on institutions to access and share their academic history and achievements. Blockchain allows students to have complete ownership of their personal records, allowing them to control their academic identity.

In the last few years, digital diplomas have become the foremost examples of how blockchain can be used in education. Because of the inherent permanence, convenience, and security associated with blockchain, using this technology to store and share academic credentials, particularly diplomas, benefits students, institutions, and employers.

The impact of blockchain in education goes beyond record keeping. The technology also has the potential to transform the management of school & university curriculum. For one thing, blockchain offers secure storage capabilities for digital syllabi and coursework.

Blockchains could also make educators' jobs easier via the use of smart contracts. A smart contract consists of lines of code programmed into a blockchain that automatically execute when certain conditions are met.

Another prominent these technologies in a developing nation like India is the role it will play in lowering educational costs in the future to some extent. Managing student tuition payments is a labour-intensive process that involves multiple parties — students, parents, scholarship foundations, private loan companies, federal and state institutions, and the often-massive bureaucracy of university financial departments.

An Innovative Way To Streamline Education

The convergence of the physical world with virtual and augmented reality has picked up the pace to create disruptions in different economic sectors across the globe. The newer technology when compared to traditional centralized databases, blockchains offer increased efficiency and storage capacity. Blockchain and metaverse initiations are already changing the financial industry via cryptocurrencies. Thereby, imbibing these in an academic curriculum will not only present more opportunities to the youth of our developing nation but also set a frame-work which is effective, economical and serves all stratas with ease and provides more outreach for all students around the globe while making learning a pleasant tread.

Dr Silpi Sahoo

Chairperson, Sai International Education Group

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