Engaging Students with Esports
By now the title of this article is “engaging” ideas or misconceptions about esports related coursework.
The esports phenomenon is growing in high schools, with organizations like High School Esports League (HSEL) and ISTE backing school based esports programs. Newcomer PlayVS has an exclusive contract with The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the governing body for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Over 180 national colleges and universities offer esports programs and scholarships.
Although we think of esports as revolving around the professional gamer, this industry relies heavily on support staff with multiple skills. There are many benefits for having an esports program in school!
For this blog we will highlight some of them, lets begin:
- Esports Expand College and Career Opportunities. A school esports program provides students with added options for their next steps in life. Students involved in esports are a natural fit for careers in STEM, which are projected to offer some of the best employment opportunities for today’s youth. Colleges with a strong esports culture tend to offer a robust STEM curriculum. Scholarships for esports programs are available, for example Arcadia University, PA offers up to $25,000 per student, no wonder they ranked #1 in the nation for esports scholarship awards.
- From a career outlook, sports teams need a range of support personnel to operate. From professional sports teams to local intramural programs, teams need more than just players. This can include managers, marketing staff, technology and finance professionals, medical staff and recruiters. So it is with esports. When there is esports in schools, students can learn about a wide array of potential career areas. Esports teams need students to develop and manage the website and run social media accounts.
- Learning Valuable Skills. Team sports provide an arena for teaching important lessons and life skills beyond the classroom. These skills include:
- Collaboration with others. Working well with others requires the development of countless additional skills. Like communication, assertiveness, and compromise, conflict management, active listening, and respect.
- Social skills. For many kids, these skills don’t come naturally. Those with limited social experience are particularly prone to skill deficits. Participating in a school esports team provides an environment for these kids to learn and practice these skills.
- Strategic thinking and planning. As a member of a team, students learn to establish tactics, put together game plans and adjust execution as needed.
- Managing success and failure. Learning to manage the emotions of losing – and winning – helps kids become resilient.
- Time management. To qualify to participate in school teams, students need to maintain their academic standing. This requires learning and applying executive function skills like organization and time management.
- Travel skills. This provides the opportunity to plan, pack, budget, schedule, and manage the many ins and outs of travel. It may present the need to use public transportation, adjust to different regional cultures, and share space with a roommate. Travel builds critical thinking skills, adaptability, and fortitude.
- Engage Hard-to-Reach Students. Esports can be integrated with larger district goals around STEM education, career training, community-building and inclusiveness. It’s also a way to set a school apart and provide an activity for students who are typically underserved. By offering esports as an extracurricular activity, schools reach students who often are otherwise disengaged from the school community.
STEM Fuse offers Esports courses to help you and your students get started in the Esports Industry.