Understanding and Overcoming Obstacles to Blockchain in Higher Education

May 15, 2019 by

Melissa Layne –

The EvoLLLution | Understanding and Overcoming Obstacles to Blockchain in Higher Education
Blockchain carries significant potential for good in higher education. But as with every other industry, the obstacles and challenges—from comprehension to compliance—pose significant roadblocks.

This article is the first in an ongoing series by Melissa Layne where she will demystify blockchain and explore its potential in the higher education context. 

Throughout modern history, the level of importance in attending college and attaining a degree has taken interesting twists and turns. These fluctuations have been the result of global forces at work, including economic, labor market, technological, political, cultural, demographic and socioeconomic. These forces eventually filter down to impact higher education—and ultimately, they affect university administrators, faculty and students in a number of ways.

Academic institutions are currently facing three major obstacles: Shrinking budgets; retaining students; and immense pressure to implement innovative approaches to eliminate inefficiencies.

However, because academic departments often operate in siloes, and do not necessarily evaluate their approaches “ecosytematically,” disconnects, duplication of efforts, and gaps exist. These issues either end up squelching the entire effort or worsening an already imbalanced infrastructure. This is where it’s handy to have individuals on staff who can develop and promote creative, distinctive, holistic, innovative and viable solutions. One such solution is clear: Blockchain.

All academic institutional departments should be involved in a solution (not just those that are responsible for addressing only budgetary constraints, only student retention issues, or innovation). The same external, global shifts that are currently impacting every facet of our daily lives do not pick and choose whether they will affect only the economy and technology, for example. Although the effects may take some time to reach certain industries or demographics, everything is eventually affected in one way or another. So, why would education be any different? 

As I was scrambling to come up with a birthday present for my hard-to-buy-for teenage son recently, I applied my “holistic” approach. After deliberating between items he needed over those he wanted, I was finally satisfied with my end decision. This decision seemed to check all of the boxes. His current phone was terribly outdated and could barely hold a charge: A need. Check.The outside protector had seen much better days: A need. Check. He had mentioned a wireless charging battery pack—which would take care of the protector and charging issue, therefore it was up to me to supply the “wow” factor with a brand new iPhone XR: The want. Several Checks.

Source: Understanding and Overcoming Obstacles to Blockchain in Higher Education | The EvoLLLution

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