An interesting discussion on the use of blockchain for academic libraries on the LITA listserv
in response to a request from the Library Association in Pakistan for an hour long session on “block chain and its applications for Academic Libraries”.
While Nathan Schwartz, MSIS Systems & Reference Librarian find blockchain only related to cryptocurrencies, Jason Griffey offers a MOOC focused on Blockchain for the Information Professions: https://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/blockchains/
According to Jason, “Blockchain, as a data storage technology, can be separated from the idea of cryptocurrencies and expressions of value and coin.”
Based on the blockchain technology, Hyperledger offers distributed ledger frameworks to a variety of industry leaders in the fields of banking, finance, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and technology.
4. IBM Bluemix Blockchain:
Developed using the base of Hyperledger, IBM Bluemix offers transparency in transactions and security in information for enterprises. At present, IBM Bluemix runs on the IBM cloud.
Multichain is one of the best Blockchain platforms that enables the creation and execution of private blockchains. This multi-asset exchange is becoming popular for solving real problems in finance, infrastructure, and e-commerce.
Developed by Coinprism, Open-chain is a Blockchain infrastructure that’s used for the perseverance and management of digital assets. Open-chain is an enterprise-ready platform for digital assets. Its approach is different than the standard Bitcoin approach to implementing Blockchain.
With the above-mentioned blockchain platforms, you can get unprecedented services for the security of digital transactions and assets. The blockchain technology provides independent and secure work structure and is a reliable solution that can be utilized to streamline an organization’s processes and transfer of assets without getting into any extensive documentation or periodical controls.
Blockchain will have the biggest value in higher education in areas where trust is essential to the value chain in institutional operations, such as evaluation of student transcripts, processing of applications and maintenance of articulation agreements, said Oral Roberts University CIO Michael Mathews, at The Blockchain in Education Conference hosted by the institution in May, reports Campus Technology.
From an infrastructure standpoint, Mathews said institutions have to establish a secure digital identity by investing in software that allows the credential recipient and granter to have a seamless and trusted connection, allowing for students to have a diploma that is stored safely within their digital wallet. This could mean working with a third-party application developer or developing the capability in-house.
But before fully investing in blockchain, higher education leaders must take these steps, said Mathews:
Spend a significant amount of time researching how the technology is impacting the industry and educate staff about it;
test the technology to see if it follows validation and security procedures; and
collaborate with other institutions to share best tips and practices.
1. Using a blockchain for automatic recognition and transfer of credits
The decline in first-time, first-year student enrollments is having a real financial impact on a number of institutions across the United States and focusing on transfer students (a pool of prospects twice as large) has become an important strategy for many. But credit articulation presents a real challenge for institutions bringing in students from community colleges. While setting standardized articulation requirements across the nation presents a high hurdle, blockchain-supported initiatives may hold great promise for university and city education systems looking to streamline educational mobility in their communities.
2. Blockchains for tracking intellectual property and rewarding use and re-use of that property
If researchers were able to publish openly and accurately assess the use of their resources, the access-prohibitive costs of academic book and journal publications could be circumvented, whether for research- or teaching-oriented outputs. Accurately tracking the sharing of knowledge without restrictions has transformative potential for open-education models.
3. Using verified sovereign identities for student identification within educational organizations
The data footprint of higher education institutions is enormous. With FERPA regulations as well as local and international requirements for the storage and distribution of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), maintaining this data in various institutional silos magnifies the risk associated with a data breach. Using sovereign identities to limit the proliferation of personal data promotes better data hygiene and data lifecycle management and could realize significant efficiency gains at the institutional level.
4. Using a blockchain as a lifelong learning passport
Educational institutions and private businesses partner with online course delivery giants to extend the reach of their educational services and priorities. Traditional educational routes are increasingly less normal and in this expanding world of providers, the need for verifiable credentials from a number of sources is growing. Producing a form of digitally “verifiable CVs” would limit credential fraud, and significantly reduce organizational workload in credential verification.
5. Using blockchains to permanently secure certificates
The open source solution Blockcerts already enables signed certificates to be posted to a blockchain and supports the verification of those certificates by third parties.
When an institution issues official transcripts, obtaining copies can be expensive and burdensome for graduates. But student-owned digital transcripts put the power of secure verification in the hands of learners, eliminating the need for lengthy and costly transcripts to further their professional or educational pursuits. An early mover, Central New Mexico Community College, debuted digital diplomas on the blockchain in December of 2017.
6. Using blockchains to verify multi-step accreditation
As different accreditors recognize different forms of credentials and a growing diversity of educational providers issue credentials, checking the ‘pedigree’ of a qualification can be laborious. Turning a certification verification process from a multi-stage research effort into a single-click process will automate many thousands of labor hours for organizations and institutions
If you’ve followed the news over the past few months, you’ve probably heard about blockchain. For a lot of people, it’s a difficult concept to grasp—an abstract technological concept that’s relevance is in its applications. In this new event, library technology expert Jason Griffey provides you with a thorough and clear explanation of what blockchain is, how it works, and why it’s important for libraries. In half an hour, Griffey explains what you need to know—quick, easy, and right to the point. If you don’t understand blockchain now, join us for this microlearning event, and in just 30 minutes, you will better grasp blockchain and why it’s relevant to libraries.