We explore how companies like ODEM, SuccessLife, Woolf University, EchoLink and Open Source University are using blockchain to help change the education industry.
Educating the world is a $5 trillion industry according to education firm EdTechXGlobal. That is eight times the size of the software market and three-times the size of the entertainment sector.
But while the world is learning more than ever before, problems have arisen. The cost of higher education has skyrocketed, leaving millions indebted, sometimes for years.
On top of that, tracing and verifying people’s credentials has become difficult as more education institutions spring up. Could blockchain help solve some of these problems? These five companies certainly think so.
Higher education is expensive. In the UK, university tuition fees costs nearly £10,000 per year. In the US, those fees can be as much as three times that amount. Many of those costs come through administration and the middlemen between student and lecturer. That’s where companies like ODEM comes in.
The online education industry was worth $159 billion last year, according to researchandmarkets.com, a market research company.
However, online education is awash with middlemen, ad exchanges, audience segmentation and complex cross-device user tracking. All this sophisticated targeting and advertising means many education outlets are having to spend huge funds to acquire new users, which in turn, drives up the cost of the education being offered.
In addition, more niche subjects are being pushed out of the market in favour of those with more mass appeal. That’s where companies like SuccessLife come in.
Taking the company’s 25 years of experience working in the education sphere, the company is creating a token to allow academic institutions, governments, individuals and companies to create their own education networks - through which they can earn tokens by creating, curating and maintaining new educational communities.
The university system is broken. Between 1975 and 2008, the number of faculty at US universities had grown about 10% while the number of administrators had grown 221% according to the New York Times.
In the UK, two thirds of universities now have more administrators than they do faculty staff. That means universities are spending more on admin than they are on education. That’s where Woolf University comes in.
The platform is designed to reduce bureaucracy, lower tuition costs, secure teaching salaries, and increase the time that students interact with their professors.
The global e-Education market will be worth around $325 billion by 2025. While education is booming, it’s increasingly difficult for the employers to obtain accurate information on how good someone’s education really is. In a recent scandal, Axact, an online education company sold 3,000 fake degrees to UK citizens. That’s something EchoLink wants to fix.
EchoLink’s system allows anyone to query someone’s educational information and discover if it’s true or not. Information is entered into Echo by university, training organizations, and reputable companies directly, not by third parties. Once entered into Echo, individuals can not change their degree information, work experience, or skill level certification randomly.
At present, employers spend over a month and thousands of dollars on verifying employee credentials. In more than 50 percent of cases, most are unreliable or false claims. That’s where Open Source University comes in.
The company’s blockchain-based platform is introducing the concept of the ‘’Distributed University’’ – one that enables transferability of knowledge and skills throughout institutional and national borders.