The BTA Teams Up with the U.S. Department of Education to Discuss Blockchain

Blog Post
June 26, 2019

The Blockchain Trust Accelerator hosted a lively, interactive event and conversation with education, public policy, and blockchain leaders designed to inform and challenge thinking about blockchain and its potential to expand opportunity for all students.

Many questions were examined, including:

  • How can blockchain be maximized to improve education at all levels?
  • How can decentralized technologies ensure that educational records are secure and valid?
  • How can technologies empower and protect students by design?
  • Can blockchain help with data portability for migrant or homeless students?
  • How do you build vital partnerships in decentralized ecosystems?

These were just a few of the topics explored in an opening reception hosted by New America’s Blockchain Trust Accelerator in collaboration with The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology on June 19th in Washington D.C.

Guests, ranging from experts in education technology and policy to university administrators and educators, engaged in enthusiastic debate about opportunities to harness blockchain for educational purposes. The event preceded a Summit on Education Blockchains hosted by The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology.

Tomicah on stage

While the conversation covered many topics, digital credentialing was at the forefront. By offering students and academic institutions a secure and autonomous method of managing academic credentials, blockchain may resolve persistent challenges.

The group kept returning to two key issues: the importance of open standards and a strong digital identity foundation. First and foremost, open standards protect students and academic institutions from vendor lock-in, and encourages a diverse ecosystem of solutions to suit different types of students. In addition, future credentialing solutions must address the question of digital identity so that students can universally access and control personal information. Accessing data and records is critical to safeguarding student agency and creating a level playing field for accessing job opportunities.

We look forward to hosting similar events exploring how to best harness blockchain for social impact challenges. For more information about blockchain solutions, please see our Blueprint for Blockchain and Social Innovation and the Education Blockchain Action Network.

Engaged Participant