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The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Digital Diplomas? There's an App for That

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, launched a pilot program in the summer that gave graduates the option to receive their diplomas on their smartphone through an app, along with the traditional paper version. The Blockcerts Wallet app uses blockchain technology to provide students easy access to their diploma that is verifiable and tamperproof.

“From the beginning, one of our primary motivations has been to empower students to be curators of their own credentials,” said Mary Callahan, MIT registrar and senior associate dean. “This pilot makes it possible for them to have ownership of their records and to be able to share them in a secure way, with whomever they choose.”

Once students download the app, a set of unique numerical identifiers are created that is used in the digital diploma to prove ownership. The technology allows students to share their diploma, which can be immediately verified as authentic, for free with employers or schools.

“It really is transformative. And it could be as big as the web because it affects every sector,” said Chris Jagers, co-founder and CEO of Learning Machine, which worked with MIT on the technology. “It’s not just academic records. It’s being able to passively know that digital things are true. That creates a whole new reality across every sector.”

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