欧盟委员会旗下联合研究中心(Joint Research Centre)近日表示，作为比特币、以太坊等数字货币的底层技术，区块链将颠覆全球教育及培训行业。
据估计，这个行业的价值在4.6万亿-6万亿美元之间。欧盟委员会研究员在一份题为《教育界的区块链》(Blockchain in Education)的132页报告中写道，区块链技术有潜力打破机构的陈词滥调，提高效率、削减成本、提高记录的真实度和安全性，全面革新资格授予、许可和认证、学生记录管理、知识产权管理、支付等多个领域。
在类似信念的驱使下，俄罗斯在莫斯科Phystechpark开设了第一个区块链学校。根据2月12日签署的一项协议，莫斯科编程学院(Moscow School of Programmers)和IT中心构思了一个专注于区块链技术层面的课程计划。第一次课程将于2018年3月1日举行。
Blockchain, the encryption system behind digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, is revolutionizing the global education and training industry, according to a study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.
This industry is estimated to be worth between $4.6 trillion and $6 trillion. In a 132-page report titled “Blockchain in Education,” EC researchers say the technology has the potential to "both disrupt institutional norms and empower learners" while improving efficiency, reducing costs, and boosting records authentication and security.
According to co-authors Alexander Grech and Anthony Camilleri, blockchain will have a profound impact on any activity that involves record-keeping of titles of ownership. They note:
“Within education, activities likely to be disrupted by blockchain technology include the award of qualifications, licensing and accreditation, management of student records, intellectual property management, and payments."
Blockchain in education still in infancy but picking up
The researchers say that while blockchain applications for education are still in their nascent stage, the sector is quickly catching up. Several educational institutions are pilot-testing blockchain solutions, including the Open University UK, MIT, the University of Nicosia, and some schools in Malta.
Blockchain is likely to spell the end of paper-based system for certificates issued by educational institutions, including records of achievements, awards, recognition, and transfer of credits. It could also eliminate the need for institutions to validate the records or certificates they have issued because these can be automatically verified through the technology.
“It can also be applied to intellectual property management, for the tracking of first publication and citations, without the need for a central authority to manage these databases. This enables, e.g., the possibility of automatically tracking the use and re-use of open educational resources,” the researchers concluded.
Grech and Camilleri predict that the near future will see some institutions adopt blockchain-based cryptocurrencies as payments. Some educational organizations are already doing that, the duo note and go on to add:
“The ability to create custom cryptocurrencies is also likely to mean that blockchain will find significant use in grant or voucher-based funder of education in many countries.”
Russian schools offering blockchain education
Driven by similar beliefs, Russia has opened its first blockchain school in Moscow’s Phystechpark. Under an agreement signed on February 12, the Moscow School of Programmers and the IT hub envision a course program that focuses on the technical side of blockchain. The first session will take place on March 1, 2018.
In October last year, Boris Chernyshov, deputy chairman of Russia’s Education and Science Committee, recommended that blockchain technology lessons be included in school programs.