Education & Technology: IT Innovation in Education Systems

January 13, 2020

On this episode of On Air with Pinnacle, Host James Kent spoke with Todd Borland, Executive Director of Technology, Union Public Schools, Tulsa, OK, and Dr. Jack Green, Solutions Leader for PK-12 and Higher Education Partners, Pinnacle Business Systems about the evolving role of IT departments in education systems, from helping start eSports leagues in the schools, to issuing electronic diplomas and transcripts via secure data methods like Blockchain. Borland started off the conversation with his experience of starting the first eSports league in the Oklahoma K-12 education system. In a short period of time, the league has grown to over 30 Oklahoma school districts participating, with more than 1,000 kids involved.

What Borland discovered, was the eSports league increased social interaction amongst kids who had traditionally shied away from other sports, even if they participated only as spectators. For other IT departments that may want to help their schools start up their own eSports league, Borland said there were many community resources and vendors available who be more than happy to assist you.

Borland sees his IT role in the education system as more than just keeping the network up and running; it’s to provide solutions to help educate kids, and innovative ideas to make education processes run smoother. One of those ideas Borland discussed was using secure Blockchain technology to provide his school district’s diplomas and transcripts electronically. One of the benefits of this was to provide a quick, and secure way to give students, as early as the sophomore level, access to their transcripts so they could see how their grades fit into the overall picture. If they want to have a conversation with a guidance counselor about their grades, they now have quick access to that information. The security blockchain provides helps protect that diploma and those transcripts from being tampered with.

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