Blockchain is a new way of thinking about how school systems may manage and utilize data online for students (and even faculty) by offering them a sense of ownership, ease of access, and immutability. Blockchain technology is immutable, transparent, secure, and decentralized, which offers the potential to change how we store, access, share, and even think about educational credentials.
The enhancements blockchains might bring to education could expand opportunities for people from all walks of life and countries around the world. The features are revolutionary for sure as they can be used for multiple use-cases in the education sector. Today, many state educational institutions are considering the implementation of blockchain-based instruments. If you work with schools, being aware of this change can assist you to understand and offer solutions to help.
However, just like any other technology, blockchain does come with its own drawbacks, i.e., disadvantages. Although the advantages of blockchain adoption in the education sector are evident, there is hesitation amongst educators who are reluctant to make the revolutionary change. In this article, we will explore the challenges of applying blockchain technology in the education sector to find out the potential solutions to improve it in a much better way. Let’s dive in!
1. Challenges to Incorporating Blockchain in Education
a. Integration with legacy systems
While the benefits of blockchain adoption are obvious in the educational sector, instructors remain unwilling to revolutionize. There is the challenge for corporations of how to integrate blockchain with their legacy system(s). This is hardly surprising given the very apparent obstacles that institutions face when moving away from their legacy software solutions. In most cases, if they decide to use blockchain, organizations are required to completely restructure their previous system, or design a way to successfully integrate the two technologies.
Due to the lack of skilled developers, organizations do not have access to the necessary pool of blockchain talent to engage in this process. Reliance on an external party can soften this problem. But most solutions present on the market require the organization to invest a significant amount of time and resources to complete the transition.
And there are high incidences of data loss and breaches that are discouraging most companies from transitioning to the blockchain. Every enterprise is reserved and unwilling to make changes to its database, and for good reasons, as data loss or data corruption constitute major risks.
b. Blockchain’s scalability
One major technology challenge of blockchain is related to the technical scalability of the network which can put a strain on the adoption process, especially for public blockchains.
Legacy transaction networks are known for their ability to process thousands of transactions per second. Visa, for example, is capable of processing more than 2000 transactions per second. However, the two largest blockchain networks, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are far behind when it comes to transaction speeds. While the Bitcoin blockchain can process three to seven transactions per second, Ethereum can handle approximately 20 transactions in a second.
This lack of scalability is not such an issue for private blockchain networks, since the nodes in the network are purposely designed to process transactions in an environment of trusted parties, which makes sense business-wise.
c. Blockchain has an environmental cost
And finally but not least important the huge energy consumption is another blockchain adoption challenge. The majority of blockchains present in the market consume a high amount of energy.
Most of the blockchain technology follows bitcoins infrastructure and uses Proof of Proof-of-work (PoW) as a consensus mechanism for validating transactions. These protocols require users to solve complex mathematical puzzles and require tremendous computing power to verify and process transactions and to secure the network.
In the meantime, the amount of energy consumed by computers that compete to solve the mathematical puzzle has reached an all-time high. Some estimate that Bitcoin transaction energy consumption could soar as high as the yearly electricity usage of Denmark in 2020. Add to this the energy needed to cool down the computers, and the costs increase exponentially.
d. Lack of blockchain developers
While the demand for qualified blockchain staff is increasing dramatically, the blockchain landscape suffers an acute shortage of adequately trained and skilled /qualified people for developing and managing the complexity of peer-to-peer networks. Blockchain technology however demands additional qualification and know-how.
According to some, the demand for blockchain-related jobs has increased by almost 2000% between 2017 and 2020. Having a sufficient pool of qualified developers is a top industry concern. Many businesses are finding it difficult to understand and implement Blockchain Technology to build the desired applications and fail to implement it correctly, ultimately missing their business goals.
2. The Possible Solutions to Overcome these Challenges of Adopting Blockchain in Education
a. How to integrate blockchain with the company’s legacy system(s)
New technologies have recently been developed that allow legacy systems to connect to a blockchain backend. One such approach is the Modex Blockchain Database, a product designed to allow consumers without a technical background to have access to the benefits of blockchain technology while avoiding the risks associated with data loss.
b. Blockchain scalability solutions
There will be some intriguing solutions to the scalability problem shortly. For example, the Lightning Network involves adding a second layer to the main blockchain network to allow for quicker transactions. Sharding is another intriguing approach, which divides subsets of nodes into smaller networks or “shards”, each of which is accountable for its own set of transactions. When used in combination with the proof-of-stake consensus method, it has the potential to scale up the application of blockchain in education.
c. Reduce energy tax
To address these environmental cost challenges, many proponents of blockchain technology in education are working on more energy-efficient consensus methods. Proof-of-stake (PoS) protocols were established, which combine a participant's stake in the network with a method that assigns the validation duty to a node at random. These technologies considerably cut energy use because participants are not required to solve complicated riddles. Furthermore, private blockchains are more ideal for serving firm interests from a business standpoint, since they allow restricted access, an extra layer of secrecy to protect trade secrets, and are more energy-efficient.
d. Blockchain developers solutions
Blockchain technology is still in its early stages and continues to develop. It will take time for the developer community to embrace it and for educational institutions to provide blockchain-related courses. Although this will reduce market demand, the consequences will not be visible until students have completed their training, which will take some time.
With over 6 years of expertise in developing transformational software, SotaTek offers a professional helping hand as a guide in the world of blockchain. Our Blockchain Specialist Team offers decentralized solutions and can assist you in developing Blockchain products and services that are tailored to your unique business requirements.
To prepare your management, employees, and teachers for the transition to decentralized systems, SotaTek also provides a range of thorough blockchain training courses and workshops. In the drive to advance research and development for the Blockchain industry, SotaTek also develops self-executing smart contracts that cannot be breached, compromised, or disregarded. Conduct secure, fast, and reliable transactions without intermediaries.
After working with the world's best organizations, we are continually exploring new technical growth prospects and are pleased to include our customers in this advancement. Ask our blockchain specialists to help you integrate your school with blockchain technologies. Our team of experts will respond as soon as possible.