Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education (SGE) have created a system to apply blockchain technology to education. The system centralizes managing data from multiple institutions, allowing them to reference and record data and digital manuscripts.
The system makes it difficult to falsify information and controls access to records, making it possible to disclose information to authorized third parties reliably.
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SGE will use the system to create education services in which multiple institutions have access to the data. The system is built on IBM Blockchain, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.
Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 is one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation, bringing together a function that controls and authenticates usage rights to education data as well as an API for managing such rights.
Institutions that operate ICT Systems currently manage by “student information system,” which is comprised of student attendance, grades, registration and attendance, as well as lesson planning management and learning systems comprised of students’ records and results.
Link Data ‘As Is’ from Separate Sources
The new system will allow operators to link previously gathered data “as is” from “learning systems” and “student information systems,” even if such data comes from different providers.
Users can also take data about grades and educational records, develop a digital transcript and make it available to a separate institution. This also makes it possible for evaluation organizations to review the data and records using artificial intelligence and provide suggested improvements to curriculums and institutions’ management.
The system offers the potential for wider applications beyond education, including data management and device control in the IoT field; contract management of value chains in distribution and logistics; distribution management in digital contents; property rights and usage management in the sharing economy; and currency and point tracking in cryptocurrencies.
Sony Group is also exploring ways to use blockchain technology in the creation of products and services in different fields.
How AI Impacts Education
Artificial intelligence is expected to change education by diversifying how learning and evaluation take place. Educational data is becoming more critical as the search continues for ways to improve education for both individuals and institutions. Previously, the mutual use of data among different providers was convoluted. Looking to the future, the open and safe handling of education data will deliver a more flexible service linking together different services in a way that previously proved hard to achieve. SGE seeks to partner with institutions and tailor the service to their needs while working towards a 2018 rollout.
SGE currently operates the Global Math Challenge, a global contest that tests logical thinking skills. The contest has fielded more than 250,000 participants from 85 countries. The contest evaluates performance including accuracy of answers and time spent on each question. This score has become a critical method for assessing test takers’ abilities.
SGE plans to use this new system at the 5th Global Math Challenge, to be held in 2017, by recording test results on a blockchain and developing a digital transcript that is highly reliable and difficult to forge.
SGE believes blockchain technology brings a big influence on the future of society, and that linking together the systems of various educational institutions via this newly developed system can create a new framework for education.
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