Education is a principal component of the free world and essential element of the modern economy. Global expenditures in public education soared to an astronomical . This rise in international demand for high-quality education is primarily fueled by an expanding middle class across the continents of Asia and Africa.
The problem, however, is that demand for adequate teaching instruction far exceeds the supply of educational material accessible for students. A host of complexities, including rising tuition costs, student debt and inaccessible course lessons, further complicate the matter. Higher education, especially, is no longer an affordable or attainable resource for the majority of the world’s population. Furthermore, collegiate institutions and universities are largely unable to adapt to evolving regulations and content in the real world, deeming much of the material taught in the classroom irrelevant and not useful.
, an emerging startup, plans to leverage cutting-edge blockchain technology to solve for many of these fundamental issues within the education space. Specifically, their platform, powered by the blockchain, “allows qualified and trusted members of the education industry to create customized curriculum and experiences and offer them directly to the market.” They want to make elite caliber, valuable education more accessible to a broader audience than the market is currently able to service.
Inspired by the success of the , ODEM’s team of industry experts, with dozens of years of combined experience in and around the education and blockchain worlds, is excited to bring premier educational services to overseas students across the world. Though a long term effort, the team is confident they can begin providing tangible value to tens of thousands of students in the near future.
ODEM enables students and professors to interact directly, superseding the need for intermediary parties and directly participating in the exchange of education and learning via a live, in-classroom experience. Perhaps most notably, their platform operates across borders in any country with stable internet access.
Rather than solely accommodate the delivery of single-unit courses, akin to alternative education providers like Coursera and Khan Academy, the ODEM platform is focused on creating real-time, in-person educational programs. As a result, they provide a number of “accompanying services, including transportations costs, onsite experiences and much more” for their students.
They have even implemented a side-chain ledger that automatically categorizes and manages a range of tasks for students, including the costs of negotiation, as well as the creation of student certificates. The ODEM experience essentially serves as a multi-dimensional education marketplace that provides the ultimate learning environment.
They are, however, far more than just a marketplace for educational material. Using Ethereum-based smart contracts, ODEM will generate agreements between students and professors.
This trustless contract is generated automatically, bypassing the need for an expensive intermediary party. Trustless, meaning that a student can “buy services from a service provider while sitting on the other side of the globe, without ever needing to physically meet their vendor.” Trustless systems, like this one, operate more efficiently as there is far less human intervention.
At a high level, the distributed and secure blockchain ledger will store all of the data being generated throughout the network. The “on-chain transactions (transactions on the blockchain technology) are limited in frequency and higher cost by blockchain fees. Therefore, many transactions on the ODEM platform will be processed prior to being transferred to the blockchain transaction layer.” This efficient queue system will preserve platform stability, even when traffic spikes.
In just a few clicks, users can logon to the platform and instantly select from a range of different courses and services. Students, empowered by the platform, can purchase “existing educational products as well as create, request and negotiate customized education experiences in person and online.” The course selection will automatically be logged onto a secured blockchain ledger that holds transactional data. The transactional details will be cryptographically secured such that only authorized individuals will be able to access it.
Students, and their guardians, will be able to pay for these educational services on the platform using a native cryptocurrency (an ERC 20 token) called the ODEM Token (ODEMT). This coin will serve as a common denominator among stakeholders on the platform, providing a “low-cost transfer of value as well as a fast and secure system of record.”
These easily exchangeable utility tokens will streamline the payment funnel, incentivizing professors to maintain their course material and generate a fully passive income source. ODEM takes a flexible service fee, generated by the creation and listing of education lectures, courses and content, that is automatically calculated at the point of sale.
The ODEM platform is designed to provide the best possible educational experience for its international base of students. They use ‘instructor reputation’ as a verifying metric of quality so that students can more easily pick out their courses. Content creators will also “achieve discounted fees through volume,” meaning more sales can translate into higher net profits.
All in all, ODEM promises to have a foundational impact on the educations of future generations.