Why esports is surging into another school year
High school esports and middle school esports remain wildly popular as the new school year begins.
In North Dakota, 14 high school esports teams across the state are competing in the first season of a new esports league, The Bismarck Tribune reports.
High school esports motivates an “underrepresented population” of students to participate in school activities, Mandan Public School District Superintendent Mike Bitz told the Tribune.
DATV video: Watch tech-ready esports teams in action
The Virginia High School League has approved a one-year pilot of competitive esports, WTOP reports. Teams will compete in League of Legends, Rocket League and SMITE, and schools can enter multiple teams for each game, the station reports.
To help schools launch esports programs, a free curriculum is now available from the High School Esports League and Microsoft. The HSEL Gaming Concepts curriculum, developed by a principal and a teacher in Kansas, teaches college-and-career skills and social-emotional learning. The curriculum covers self-advocacy, personal and social behaviors, interpersonal communication, fluency in technology, and strategy development.
More from DA: How esports students develop healthier tech habits
District leaders, particularly CIOs, can follow several strategies to launch and maintain esports teams with the proper technology, District Administration reported this summer. K-12 esports pioneers shared recommendations for hardware, software, bandwidth and digital security.
And students who took a first-of-its-kind esports class at Complete High School Maize near Wichita, Kansas, spent less time playing video games at home. Students also improved attendance and boosted their grades above the school average.
“It helps students understand gaming at a higher level—not just playing games, but the impact it has on them and their peers,” Steve Jaworski, head of strategic partnerships for the High School Esports League, told DA.
Esports appeal to students who may not be captivated by existing extracurricular activities, esports pioneer Donald Wettrick, a teacher at Noblesville High School in the Indianapolis suburbs, told DA last year.
“It serves an underserved community—the average kid on the esports team will probably not be a football, basketball or hockey player,” Wettrick said. “It serves a very creative and smart crowd who doesn’t connect well with school.”
Interested in esports? Keep up with LRP’s Academic Esports Conference.
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