eLearning is big business. As technology permits us to run our lives from within our houses, it’s only logical that we should educate ourselves in our own little silos as well. After all, why go to class if you can bring the classroom to your home? Why have burned-out teachers stood in front of disengaged students staring at their smartphones, when they can be replaced by stimulating learning through technology?
As of 2016, 93 percent of universities have made some kind of eLearning a requirement for their students. And when it comes to workplaces, by the end of last year, nearly a third of corporations had already started implementing online classrooms for their employees. And get this: the value of the global eLearning industry is expected to reach a staggering $275.10 billion by 2022.
It’s not hard to see why this method of learning is gaining in popularity. Convenience, efficiency, cost reduction, the ability for students and employees to work at their own pace. These are all major factors – and so is gamification.
Remember when studying was all about hitting the books? No? Perhaps I’m showing my age. But most of us have at some point been subjected to reading boring passages aloud, memorizing a dictation, listening to a fastidious lecture, or trying to remember dates and statistics for exams. But what if learning were made more fun?
Gamification in learning is gaining in popularity. Most kids play video games already, so implementing the same structure into learning is a logical step. And when it comes to worn-out employees taking courses after work, turning learning into a game is an excellent way to encourage progress and expedite learning.
Companies with sales teams can use public leadership boards to spark healthy competition among employees. This is good for learners, productivity, and, eventually, profits.
And remember when you got a gold star for doing something well, and it made you feel all important? Well, gamification is about giving incentives as well. Tokens, points, and yes, even digital stars, have been proven to make eLearning more engaging.
So, imagine what happens when these digital stars are turned into digital cash!
Blockchain startups are springing up to improve education in several ways. Incentive-based learning not only encourages kids to learn faster and learn without even realizing it, but to collect cryptocurrency as well.
The education model in the US is decidedly unfair. In fact, some 83 percent of Americans say they can’t afford to go to college. Those who do attend are often left with enormous debts they struggle to pay off when they should be focusing on their careers.
BitLearn Network is using a combination of cryptocurrency and gamification to help kids learn the skills they need while saving for their college educations. They’ll not only get the thrill of collecting tokens, but receive monetary compensation as well.
With eLearning, as with traditional learning, there is an element of trust (and mistrust) involved. After all, credentials are only useful if the organization that requires them believes them to be credible. And people lie about their qualifications all the time.
In eLearning, a digital badge or “e-certificate” may be easily forged. And in traditional academia, paper degrees may also be tampered with, making credential verification a pressing concern.
With blockchain technology, it becomes way easier to verify credibility. Each credential is recorded on a blockchain, where it cannot be altered, tampered with, or faked. And because of blockchain technology’s decentralized nature, were an institution or organization to be hacked, those credentials would remain secure.
Another company, Accredible, is helping educational facilities move over to blockchain-based credentials. This means no more fake or fraudulent degrees. Organizations can issue credentials to individuals securely and then store them in a public ledger. They can then be easily verified when needed, such as by a human resources agency or government entity. They are safe and viewable by all.
So while the uptick in eLearning shows no signs of slowing down, blockchain tech can only serve to improve it further. It will do so by adding monetary incentives to help kids learn faster and save for their college educations, while making their qualifications more transparent and credible.
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