E-Sport in Schools: A New Learning Approach

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  • e-sport in schools will soon be a major part of curriculum
  • Children who learn guided gaming early stand a better chance of going pro
  • e-sport inclusion makes leaning more enjoyable

Across the world, e-sport is growing massively. e-sport education is now a growing culture in many schools. Both learners and their learning institutions are continually embracing it. Experts say that students’ participation in e-sports helps them improve their overall performance and wellbeing. However, many educators, parents, and guardians áre yet to buy into the idea. They think that e-sports are all fun and games and that nothing serious can come out of them.

gaming in school
The school environment is perfect for controlled e-sport learning and development | Image: Fredrick Tendong/ Unsplash

This notion is false. E-sport projects for High School and college have billions of dollars in budgets that keep growing by the day. Many students are readily embracing it, and the trend is rapidly expanding across the world. We even have a body that governs it; the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The High School E-sports League (HSEL) has members from over 1500 High Schools. 

The above shows that e-sport is an emerging trend that should get embraced as it’s on the verge of becoming mainstream. It is among the most preferred extracurricular activities by many students. Today, we look at the benefits of introducing e-sports in schools.

e-Sport in Schools for Student Inclusion

Some parents may be against e-sport as it causes lone players to isolate themselves for long periods, mostly during practice. However, in schools, the players will have space to play in teams. This will present a great social experience. When parents and teachers exclude e-sports clubs from school curricula, they leave many passionate gamers out. When there is an e-sport club that even facilitates interschool competition, many lone gamers will feel included.

The gamer is accepted by the students, teachers, and parent community especially after outstanding performances in competitions. When students feel welcomed by their peers, they become more unrestrained at school. This can improve their mental health greatly. Solid and healthy connections are great for boosting immunity. The student sleeps better, which results in better performance at school and even socially.

More Success for Students

Many teens and young adults are all about gaming during their free time. Experts say that in 2018, teens played video games more compared to other traditional games and activities. The researchers say that 83% of girls played video games. The figure was around 97% for boys. The other number concentrated more on other club activities and physical sports. With these results, it is clear that offering e-sports in schools as an extracurricular activity helps to capture the attention of many students. It also helps them to disengage from others who may influence them towards unacceptable behaviour.

Students who play games try by all means to avoid detentions and the solitary world. You find most of them flocking into computer laboratories and libraries. Observation shows that many students will often join their more successful and well-performing peers. They will start working hard and taking part more in schoolwork to join the e-sports gaming clubs. It will motivate more students to graduate and even aspire for higher education. When more students concentrate on e-sport, there is little chance of them suffering from bullying or spreading hardship by bullying their peers. 

e-sport in Schools is a sure way to make the sport better structured
Teaching e-sport in school has numerous benefits, among them easier control/monitoring and structured training | Image: Alex Haney

Valuable Life Skills

Getting involved in team sports teaches valuable life skills. The team environment provides the students with various essential life skills they would not have learned in the classroom. E-sport in schools sharpens students in the following areas:

e-sport in Schools Enhances Teamwork

Working with others will demand every individual to learn the value of working better with the rest of the team members. Apart from that, they will learn to communicate better with others, listen actively, and be more assertive and respectful.

Travel skills

E-sport school games require players to travel for tournaments, competitions and benchmarking. When preparing to travel, they learn basic travel skills like schedule planning, budgeting, packing, and other essential skills required while travelling. They experience a mode of transportation that they might not be used to, sharing amenities and spaces, and learning more about other cultures. 

Time Management Skills

One primary requirement for participating in e-sports is excelling in schoolwork. A student will learn about time management skills. It will require them to schedule their time for studying, practising for e-sports, and chores, among other activities.

Strategic Planning and Thinking

Students involved in the sport need to have specific goals. For instance, they must assess their competition and know what skills they possess and their weaknesses. In return, the student will create a strategic plan to help them overcome the problem at hand for them to win. Quick thinking, mainly during the game, to help solve an unexpected situation is a skill that most players will develop along the way.

e-sport in Schools for Pro-Social Skills

There will be a coach who will guide the young minds at every step of the way in team sports. Apart from training them to become the best players, the coach’s other task is to instil positive behaviour and values into the students. The students will learn good sportsmanship, honesty, persistence, having fun, and competing healthily with the rest of the teammates and opponents. 

Students Get More Drawn To STEM Learning

Students who are more into gaming often get drawn to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Recently the sponsors released a report that most students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are often e-sport players. Recent research also shows that two-thirds of college students taking part in the League of Legends games were STEM majors. It’s a shred of evidence that including e-sport in school as an extracurricular activity is an excellent way of fostering interest in STEM learning in many students. 

Build Up Career

Not all students get drawn into playing the actual e-sport games. Many of them will venture into other areas, for instance, the support staff. The e-sport supporting personnel jobs include team managers, the marketing staff, medical staff, tech-support staff, finance, and recruiting staff. Most of these careers’ interests will start at the high school level. At high school and college levels, the teams will require people to develop and manage gaming websites and manage social media pages for the school e-sport teams. They get involved in videography, marketing, public relations, reporting, and commentary. Many of these students easily make a career out of their designated posts in the future.

Clocking out…

‘Clocking out’ feels like befitting signage for an article on school, doesn’t it? Who would have thought that we would, today, be mentioning e-sport and school in the same sentence? Right, no one! Teaching e-sport in schools is an idea whose time has come. It is only right to embrace it; take part in creating the next generation of pro-gamers.

Next time you attend that PTA meeting, make sure you vote ‘yes’ for adoption of e-sport in school. As usual, don’t forget to drop your opinion in the comment section below. And invite your mates to take part in the discussion!

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