Education is one of the most important pillars that support disruption in our society, and Web3 is already changing the mechanisms that run the education industry.
Web3 has, directly and indirectly, rebuilt the core structures of a few industries, mainly finance, and banking, and is now moving to art and hospitality, as well as education. Web3 is a disruption in the education industry that pushes it towards an open and enhanced future. This article aims to explain what Web3 technology is, and how it can help fix the current issues in the learning sector as well as enhance the overall experience.
What is Web3 technology?
Web3 is the third generation of the World Wide Web, which is built on decentralization and openness and aims to give users more ownership of their data. The vision for Web3 is that of an intelligent, autonomous, and open internet that uses AI and ML to act as a global brain and process content effectively and efficiently.
The evolution of the Internet
The first version of the World Wide Web, dubbed Web1, had a single purpose in mind – to help people find information better. It consisted of people building web pages that directed information to users. However, this information was only text-based. It lacked the necessary forms, visuals, controls, and interactivity we enjoy on today’s Internet. But it served its purpose of giving people a hint at the future of digital communication.
Web2 was the next generation of the World Wide Web and is the current version that we see around us on websites today. While Web1 was focused on helping people access information easier, Web2 focused on allowing people to participate and contribute. This Web form was responsible for creating communities, collaborations, dialogue, and social media. As a result, Web 2.0 is considered the primary form of web interaction for most of today’s users
Entering into a decentralized Internet
While Web1 is about presenting information, and Web2 is about communication and sharing, Web3 is about creation and ownership. Specifically, it is about owning your own data. Web1 and Web2 use centralization to support online activity, but Web3 is built on decentralization to support ownership and verifiable transactions, and not just in the financial sense.
The power to control what goes in and through the web currently lies in the hands of a few big entities. Web3 adopts a decentralized ecosystem where everyone is in charge of their data, and where and how this data is used is up to the user themselves. The use of blockchain technology helps make this system tamper-proof and thus, will allow Web3 to store bulk amounts of data.
The issues present in the current education industry
Education faces several issues but can be brought down to three main problems, that can be solved by Web3. These are:
Certification and verification are a necessity as one needs to show “proof of skill”. Schools and universities offer traditional paper-based certificates. These are not only limited in a physical sense but don’t provide any extra functionality. There is also the possibility of faking certificates. Some employers and recruiters might find verifying them tedious, which gives rise to fraud. Some institutions provide PDF certificates, but even those don’t solve the problem of fraud.
Web3 fixes this with digital certificates and badges. Digital certificates are 100% secure, tamper-proof, verifiable, and permanent. Digital credentialing platforms such as Hyperstack allow organizations and institutions to issue digital credentials seamlessly at a much lesser cost than the paper alternative. Read more about digital credentials here.
Access to education is limited depending on where you are in the world, and the background you come from. Most schools and universities have the constraints of time and location. Classes start and end with a set date, and without attending classes, finishing a course is unlikely. There is little room for flexibility in this system.
On top of the time constraints, there is also a matter of location, as learners will have to travel to schools and universities to be able to attend classes. Online schools have risen in popularity following the pandemic but the practice of going to school or university is still implemented around the world.
Web3 aims to bring education completely online and governed by a group of like-minded individuals who all own stake, and share a common goal – to provide high-class education at an affordable price. This is a legal structure known as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or a DAO for short. DAOs can provide infrastructure for decentralized education experiences.
The cost of higher education in many countries is astronomically high. Student Debt is around $1.6 Trillion in the US alone. This puts a bad light on higher education, as not many people want to spend the rest of their lives paying off their debt, and thus, makes them not want to pursue higher education in the first place. Other than the fact that very few people can afford higher education, the question of “Is it worth it?” is important, and to many people, the answer will be no.
How Web3 can help reignite the education industry and the learning process
To understand the potential of Web3’s impact on education, let’s think about how education was implemented online throughout the history of the Internet.
- In Web1, Education was a knowledge transfer from authorized and public institutions, similar to how schools and universities teach.
- In Web2, Education is provided to the public through centralized platforms, such as Khan Academy and Byjus.
- In Web3, Education lies in the hands of the individuals. It gives them the ability to gather skills from a variety of sources. It also provides validation on-chain in their own wallet. The education provided is still coming from a source, but proof of skill lies in the hands of the learner.
We3 opens new opportunities for the education sector. On top of solving issues such as accessibility and affordability, it also rebuilds how learning can be done. Here are some aspects of education that Web3 improves.
Decentralization streamlines the learning process and reduces time wasting. Learners don’t need to spend time collecting and integrating data. Instead, user preferences will be analyzed to give desired results without receiving instructions from the users. The data in Web 3 is stored in a blockchain that retains it right from the start. Teachers can use the tools to create a detailed report on students’ progress by analyzing their performance in the past years quickly.
Enhanced learning process
Web3 Technology strives to revolutionize the way we teach and learn. It promises to aid the process with tools such as AI, the metaverse, and blockchain technology. AI and IoT foster a more immersive and interactive learning experience for students. Teachers can take students to virtual spaces while teaching concepts with the metaverse.
In a Web3 ecosystem, which is fueled by blockchain technology, learners will be able to create a strong portfolio that contains collaborative projects, internships, P2P mentoring, and courses from colleges. The system will reflect micro-credentials, digital badges, NFTs, and awards that can all be collected in a student’s digital wallet.
Web3 has already changed how financial markets operate and is set to revolutionize the education sector. In the education industry, credentials are incredibly important in how we operate our society. Their importance will only rise as Web3 matures.
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