Nine Top Universities Partner To Develop Decentralized Digital Academic Credentials Platform
In the academic world, digital technology has greatly transformed the normal ways of learning, customizing them to meet the current classroom needs. But it’s quite a let-down that the same can’t be said of how educational facilities and the academia in general award merit and academic credentials.
It is out of this glaring fact that nine major universities are coming together to design and roll out what would possibly be a pioneering trusted, distributed and fool-proof digital credentials tool. The Digital Credentials collaboration will set the standards for allotting, displaying and certifying academic qualifications.
Who Are The Nine Universities?
Participating institutions include the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology, the University of Potsdam’s Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, the MIT and the Harvard University, Division of Continuing Education. Others include Mexico’s Tecnologico de Monterrey, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley as well as the University of Toronto in Canada.
According to the Vice President of Open Learning at MIT, Sanjay Sarma, it’s often inconveniencing for an undergrad to travel back to the university and verify academic credentials in this era. To him, all this hassle can even be more complicated, especially if one is a refugee, an immigrant or belongs to a displaced community.
UC Berkeley’s dean of University Extension – New Academic Ventures, Diana Wu, is of agreement. She says that the platform will answer the issue of credible verification and certification of academic credentials, making sure it agrees with the digital platform that’s now commonplace.
The Global Infrastructure For Digital Academic Credentials At A Glance
The technology employed in its infrastructure will have to be tamper-proof, impossible to hack and decentralized so that it serves the entire planet’s academic verification needs. Ideally, they will invest in strong cryptography that will mirror most of the participating institutions’ individual efforts on the same.
One of the main motivating factors behind this whole initiative is the common interest amongst institutions of higher learning to cast their main focus on the learners’ interests. Basically, learners will always be confident that their academic records are securely stored and can be verified with ease by whoever needs them.
And it will not store their academic data alone. Indeed part of what the Digital Credentials collaboration will house includes a person’s valued badges, internship certificates, awards and pretty much anything worthwhile.
Institutions enrolled in the program will be the ones to record and manage a person’s achievements. Some of the advantages of this initiative are the fact that it will be easy, safe and cheaper and will most definitely eliminate cases of identity theft. MIT is already piloting a near-similar project, a Blockchain-based tool that issues digitalized diplomas.
If this project Becomes A Success, It Most Certainly Will Be Useful
The 9-member team is better placed to use of state-of-the-art technology in the academic world, especially when it concerns empowering learners so that they grow their careers. That’s according to the vice president in charge of IT-systems and services at Germany’s Technical University of Munich, Hans Pongratz, who says the whole initiative is squarely at their disposal.
Right now, the 9-member team of institutions is focused on revolutionizing of the shared verification standards. In fact, as MIT Media Lab’s Philipp Schmidt rightly explains, the members of the team have an important opportunity of uniting all academic institutions that have the learners’ interests at heart. According to him, digital credentials have profound importance in the life of an individual.
On his part, Tecnologico de Monterrey’s José Escamilla sees the whole partnership as one which will open up opportunities for learners to achieve their goals in the near future. Escamilla, who is the facility’s head of TecLabs Learning Reimagined, is confident that their shared vision is perfect for the future.