Sony Advocates Blockchain Technology to Streamline Education


Sony Global Education, Inc. has announced plans to adapt Blockchain technology to the educational field, as well as to develop technology that will allow for the open and secure sharing of academic proficiency and progress records.  Blockchain has become popular in the past few years, especially through its application of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

Technology has been developed by Sony that makes use of the blockchain in order to put educational data to be shared with other services and third parties.  According to Sony, the technology could become a central system for candidates and their test results, acting as a universal ID or an official version of resume sites such as LinkedIn.

“For example, after taking an examination to demonstrate his or her academic proficiency level, an individual could direct the testing organization to share the test results with one or more third-party evaluating organizations. This would be a first if implemented on a system-wide basis,” the company said in a press release.

The blockchain technology will smooth out the process of open sharing a variety of information in a number of different industries.  The blockchain acts as a peer-to-peer platform.

Sony is hopeful that the potential the technology offers will attract sources of learning such as educational institutions to participate and contribute to the value of the project.  Jon Russell of TechCrunch writes that if universities and high schools were to participate, school and graduation records would be included in candidates profiles, which would be accessible to third parties such as potential employers or for furthering their education.  Sony said the technology could be applied to medical care, the environment, energy, and a number of other areas.

The company hopes its efforts will lead to additional possibilities such as sharing test results with multiple evaluating organizations.  According to the press release, depending on just one organization to validate test results is ineffective in dealing with academic progress and bringing additional parties into the mix could allow for additional findings as fresh eyes continue to look over the exams.

The idea is still in the stages of conception, as the company does not believe it will be ready to begin development of the “new educational infrastructure” until 2017.  It plans to begin by integrating its own “Global Math Challenge” as well as other Sony education initiatives.  The math challenge has been taken by over 150,000 people from more than 80 countries around the world so far, but the broader goal is to create a platform to share qualifications and education history.

The announcement comes as discussion mounts over whether the educational system is in need of an overhaul.  JP Buntinx for NewsBTC reports that infusing education with technology is needed soon to aid in the diversification of how tests are designed and the way results are evaluated.

Sony Global Education’s mission is “to provide a range of unifying, non-traditional services that inspire a passion for learning across the world and that offer the opportunity to act on this passion, and to create a new educational infrastructure for a connected society.”

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