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Sony Looks To Improve Data Management At Universities Through Blockchain Technology

The blockchain is going to school.

Earning a college diploma doesn’t just mean a student has become an expert in a specific field. It also means they’ve learned good study habits, developed self-discipline, and figured out how to navigate a complicated bureaucratic landscape. Case in point: the simple task of getting transcripts delivered from one institution to another.

Now, Sony is looking to make managing education records easier by using blockchain technology, the same revolutionary concept behind Bitcoin. The tech giant has developed a new digital system for storing and managing education records that not only keeps them safe but also makes it easier for them to be accessed by third parties.


Photos by Egidio.casati/Wikimedia Commons and Stewart Black/Flickr.

For those unfamiliar with blockchain, it’s a database or a “digital ledger” located on a chain of computers. Before a change to the data or a transaction (in the case of Bitcoin) can be recorded, the entire chain of computers must give their approval. This helps reduce fraud because everything on the ledger is available to everyone — and every computer — on the blockchain to see.

Sony’s new platform will give students a digital transcript — including degrees, diplomas, tests, and athletic records — which will be accessible through the blockchain. This will prevent fraud while making it easier for potential employers and academic institutions to access these documents. Currently, this type of information is stored as physical copies at individual institutions, making it difficult for them to be accessed and easy to be forged.

The big win for students: less time wasted in line at the administration building waiting for their transcripts.

After this new information system is up and running, Sony hopes to use artificial intelligence to analyze the data to help schools improve their curriculum and management. Sony is also looking to bring the same blockchain technology to other arenas, including real estate, logistics, and proprietary digital content.

Education
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

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