UPDATED 23:56 EDT / FEBRUARY 22 2016

5667591596_1f7c8075b2_b NEWS

Sony developed a Blockchain-based platform for sharing academic proficiency and progress records

Sony Corp.’s education division Sony Global Education has announced that it has developed a Blockchain-based platform for secure sharing of academic proficiency and progress records.

The new, unnamed platform leverages the Blockchain to allows the distribution of these records, which are often required to be shared not only across a single educational institution, but across educational providers who are part of the network, such as when students change schools, or progress from high school to college.

One example provided by Sony is that after taking an examination to demonstrate his or her academic proficiency level, an individual could direct the testing organization to share the test results with one or more third-party evaluating organizations.

“As education paradigms evolve, technological innovation is expected to diversify the ways in which tests are designed and individuals are evaluated,” the company explained in a statement. “With this diversification and the changes it brings about, different evaluating organizations may come to utilize individuals’ test results in different ways, each in accordance with its own evaluation methods.”

“Open and secure handling of academic data will become possible through the adoption of application programs that leverage Sony Global Education’s new technology, leading to the emergence of new educational services in the future. With this infrastructure in place, each evaluating organization sent an individual’s testing records could assess those results and calculate a score in a way that fits its own methods.”

Fraud prevention

An additional aspect being pushed by Sony for this platform is that it is a way to prevent fraud in academic testing results, or in Sony’s words, result in “high credibility in test administration.”

It’s not clear from the information Sony has published how this Blockchain-based system would prevent fraud at the point of testing. But if the testing itself was perhaps part of the platform it would, at least, reduce the chances of students, and indeed corrupt public officials, from changing results after a test was completed, given those results would live on the platform itself.

Interestingly Sony also claims that their new Blockchain-based technology can be applied not only in the educational arena, but also in a wider range of industries, from medical care to environmental services to energy, although they do not explain how; presumably the platform uses the Blockchain’s distributed ledger to share information, so that information doesn’t necessarily need to be education testing alone.

The platform itself would appear to not be ready for prime-time as yet, with a roll-out date set at 2017 for the Global Math Challenge, a competition Sony runs annually.

Image credit: willfolsom/Flickr/CC by 2.0

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