ZUG, Switzerland and CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — In a pilot program unveiled today, ODEM, creator of the On-Demand Education Marketplace, is partnering with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to issue blockchain-based academic certificates to a select group of SAIT students. They will become the first graduating class at a Canadian post-secondary institution to be granted digital credentials using blockchain technology.
Blockchain certificates enable students to directly share their academic achievements with recruiters and potential employers around the world without requesting their paper or electronic records from SAIT. Blockchain technology creates a decentralized digital ledger to cryptographically assure the validity of recipient-controlled credentials.
“I’m very excited for SAIT, its students, faculty, and staff whose passion is to shape a new world as entrepreneurs and leaders,” says Richard Maaghul, ODEM’s CEO. “What a great way to fulfill their mission by becoming the first Canadian school to securely store and share its students’ accomplishments with the world.”
Twenty five graduates of SAIT’s Automotive Service Technician program will receive blockchain certificates issued through the ODEM Platform, a global education portal. The virtual certificates will look just like traditional academic records, featuring the Province of Alberta’s coat of arms and SAIT’s official seal. They also include the signatures of the institute’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, the President and CEO, and the Registrar.
“At SAIT we are thought leaders and this is a strong example of how we’re increasing our value proposition,” says Dr. David Ross, SAIT’s President and CEO. “This is only the beginning as we continue to put the potential of blockchain technology into practice.”
The idea of digitizing academic credentials at SAIT originated with students. George Chase,
Instructor in the School of Information and Communications Technologies, worked with the students to present the concept to SAIT’s leadership. The idea was eventually expanded upon to create a full-scale solution for the institution.
ODEM is developing its Platform on the Ethereum Blockchain to make higher education more accessible, affordable, transferable, and verifiable. The Platform also empowers students to customize their education through interaction with educators. Its official rollout is scheduled for February 2019.
- Enables the creation of a decentralized repository to secure academic records in a format that is globally verifiable and transferable.
- Allows self-permissioned peer-to-peer sharing of educational records with institutions, recruiting firms, and potential employers.
- Facilitates the linking of academic records as students add their accomplishments over a lifetime of learning.
Academic certificates issued on a blockchain generate a tamper-proof digital signature. The signature can be cross-referenced with the issuing institution’s digital signature, allowing students to control their academic records and provide real-time cryptographic proof of validity.
Established in 1916, SAIT was the first publicly funded technical school of its kind in North America. Today, SAIT is a global leader in applied education and offers more than 100 career programs and more than 1,300 part-time courses. Action-based learning, solution-focused research, and enterprising collaborations with industry partners ensure SAIT students are career-ready when they graduate.
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