As the new school year kicks off, you may be seeing some schools promoting a new extracurricular activity–esports. If you are wondering WHY esports should be in your school, read on.
Esports is about more than just indulging kids’ enthusiasm for video games. Esports channels student interest in video games and combines it with a competitive environment to create a structured and adult-supervised opportunity that helps students connect their life experiences with school. “I am good at video games. Video games are in school. I am good at school.”
Colleges have taken notice and now offer esports scholarships alongside athletic ones. There are already 175+ colleges in the United States that have varsity esports programs recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). These esports programs are offering approximately $18 million per year in scholarships. That number is growing, and some predict it to double in just a few short years.
In addition to a path into post-secondary education, below are some other reasons to look into starting an esports program at your school.
Esports helps students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, STEM knowledge and digital citizenship, all skills that are applicable across multiple career paths. Esports can also provide a real-world environment for English language learners to improve their skills.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Esports offers many of the same advantages as traditional team sports and extracurricular clubs. Esports encourages collaboration, participation, perseverance, anger-management, and communication skills. Students learn recruitment, cheering for others, and how to handle victory and defeat.
The sport is attracting students who usually don’t participate in extracurricular activities. As many as 80% of students who participate in esports have never participated in any other school activity.
A Place For Everyone
There are many ways for students to get involved. Some play competitively, while others maintain the team’s website, run social media accounts, record game videos, or shoutcast (do play-by-play) during live streams.
Students can gain real-world experience that helps them qualify for internships, college scholarships and, eventually, a broad range of careers. From gaming referee or events management to computer programming and game design.
As the 2022-23 school year kicks off, esports might be just the activity that your school needs to get students excited about coming to school.
A lifelong educator, Andrew has been a MS and HS teacher, family and teen counselor, Pastor, Life Coach, Author of a true crime murder mystery, taught internationally in China and is a former School Board member as well as leading a county-wide Character Education Task Force for three school districts and an ISD. Gaming for Andrew started with Atari Pong. His current games of choice are Bejeweled and 10-minute Chess.