August 12, 2020

'Blockchain', the notary of education | Economy

University degrees take up to two years to be issued with the official seal. The certificates of studies involve a cumbersome paperwork and waiting time. It is done to check the data and avoid falsified curricula. Or for opt for an opposition, ask for a job or make an Erasmus exchange. But the technology is already prepared to shorten this delay. The nodes (large computers) that work with technology blockchain have entered the academy to fulminar the university paperwork, to be the notary of training in record time. In the universities where the change has begun, the students' degrees are instantaneous. This is what happens in Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) and in the ISDI business school. The change occurs along with the research on the horizon of this technology.

The digital business school ISDI He has taken the first step. "We are the first teaching center in the world to validate their degrees with technology blockchain. We delivered the first certificates last April and we already do it with all our masters ", says Nacho de Pinedo, CEO of ISDI The school, which teaches in Spain, Mexico and the California Silicon Valley, has gone from printing every paper title to be broadcasted all at the push of a button.

The title granted by ISDI is a link that leads to the network blockchain where the school has saved it. "This formula has two great advantages: one is its portability. link It is in the power of the student and can be sent by email to whomever he wishes or to post it in his professional social network. The second is its immutability, nobody can erase it or modify it. It is certified that the student attended our classes, approved the notes and delivered the works. These are the three tests we must have to give the title ", adds De Pinedo.

Last July, the UC3M It was crowned as the first Spanish university to certify its qualifications with this modern technology. "We did a project for 260 students with an external technology company, now we develop the certification blockchain of a laboratory practice course for 500 students internally. We work with the objective of certifying all the subjects of our almost 21,000 students for the next course ", explains Juan Manuel Moreno, manager of the university.

ICEMD (Institute of the Digital Economy of ESIC) goes further. While making the change, you will analyze the value of the technology blockchain to verify university certifications and identify falsified records and curricula. "In addition to the paper titles, we delivered them in digital format two years ago, now we take the step of certifying them with blockchain to ensure its inviolability. We have chosen an external company with experience in making the change, but we want to go little by little to contrast the real value it will give to the students, "says Enrique Benayas, general director of ICEMD.

Benayas believes that the degrees blockchain will be generalized in the education system in a couple of years, "when technology expands and democratizes, and big companies bet for it, students will demand it as they incorporate universities." Spanish higher education is a pioneer, following in the footsteps of MIT and the Open University of the United Kingdom.

What is 'blockchain'?

The technology blockchain (chain of blocks) is like a gigantic book of records that collects the data of a valuable exchange, whether it is made in the supply network of a manufacturer or of a university system. This great book is stored in each and every one of the computers in the network used by the system, and each entry is recorded in the book that each node has, without deleting the previous one. Each record is coded, has date, time and identifying data. Thus, a chain of indelible, transparent and secure information blocks is formed.

The University of Alicante has an applied research laboratory with four nodes blockchain and develops a project to certify non-regulated training. The Comillas Pontifical University and the San Pablo University-CEU they premiered their university nodes blockchain before last summer and begin to jointly investigate the possibilities of technology. "Universities can conduct distributed joint research, decentralized technological experimentation, creation of alumni co-managed by different research centers connected to companies ", says Javier Ibáñez, director of the Blockchain Laboratory at the University of Comillas.

The possibilities are enormous, the nodes blockchain they can also be an entrepreneurial test bank. Students Alan Draguilow and Yaron Chocron, from CEU, hope to test at the node blockchain from the center its platform project to create curricula that will guarantee up to the periods of practices in other countries.

There is a way. There must be legislative changes so that the university files issued instantaneously are official. "Certification of degrees with blockchain it must be recognized by the universities, which are sovereign, and by the Ministry of Education. It will happen progressively, "explains Ricardo Palomo, CEU's finance professor and director of Blockchain Lab at CEU.

In a few years, the university network blockchain Spanish to formalize the degrees and exchange records automatically will be a reality. The first step has already taken place, with the entry of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) in Alastria, the consortium formed by almost 280 companies and institutions to make the network blockchain semipublic of country in Spain.


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