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.
Helping make education more affordable with ODEM
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.
“ODEM is an On-Demand Education Marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform connects students, educators, and service providers allowing them to create their own in-person educational programs.”
The platform reduces costs by directly connecting educators with students and eliminating inefficient and costly intermediaries. For educators, it helps them become more visible to education buyers and provides real-time feedback from students.
Taking advertising out of online education with SuccessLife
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.
SuccessLife is a decentralized content sharing ecosystem comprised of governments, institutions, motivational and business orientated professionals on one hand and consumers proven to have demand in this space on the other.
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.
Re-connecting students and lecturers with Woolf University
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.
“Woolf will be a borderless, digital educational society which reimagines how teachers and students connect. It will rely on blockchains and smart contracts to guarantee relationships between students and educators.”
The platform is designed to reduce bureaucracy, lower tuition costs, secure teaching salaries, and increase the time that students interact with their professors.
Create an immutable record of everyone’s education with EchoLink
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 is creating an immutable list of records on workers from different sources and provides all information employers might need.
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.
Helping standardise job-based training with Open Source University
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.
“Open Source University is a distributed database that enables academia, learners, and businesses to record and verify educational and professional development credentials. This in turn will enable businesses to locate suitably qualified learners.”
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.