Updated: Oct 9
With the rising popularity of esports in educational settings, one of the pressing concerns educators face is: "How can we finance our own scholastic esports program?" The good news is there are numerous avenues to explore, and understanding them can make the integration of esports into the academic landscape smoother and more sustainable.
The Value of Esports in Schools
While it's easy to view esports as merely video games, the educational depth is far more profound. Programs such as Gaming Concepts intertwine competition with an enriching academic foundation. Students engaged in these programs have been observed to demonstrate improvement in grades, attendance, and even their self-confidence. In essence, the world of esports offers a unique blend of camaraderie and academia that traditional setups might not provide.
Harnessing Available Funds
1. ESSER Funds: A significant chunk of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds can be utilized for esports. While these funds predominantly cater to purchasing educational technology, there's more. With their robust tech infrastructure, esports programs also serve as a beacon of hope for student mental health, aligning with ESSER's provisions for mental health services.
2. CTE/Perkins: Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding is another avenue schools can tap into. How about envisioning a state-of-the-art esports lab? Using CTE funds it's attainable. When you intertwine this with a curriculum like the STEM.org accredited Gaming Concepts Fundamentals, you're not just offering games but a holistic learning experience.
3. Curriculum Purchases: Platforms like Gaming Concepts shouldn't be seen as just another tool. They can be integral to the school's curriculum, much like any online textbook or educational platform such as Kahoot or typing.com.
4. Attendance Incentives: It might sound unconventional, but esports has a magnetic pull. Some schools have leveraged this to boost attendance, incorporating gaming into CTE/STEM elective classes. The result? Students eager to attend.
5. Grants: With abundant grants available in STEM and CTE sectors, the Gaming Concepts series stands out as it meets CTE pathway standards. Given the current emphasis on evidence-based improvements, platforms that demonstrate real impact, like Gaming Concepts, become indispensable.
The journey to embed scholastic esports in schools can be manageable. Numerous funding options are waiting to be unlocked. By understanding esports' multi-faceted value – from academic enhancement to fostering community – we're on the brink of an educational evolution. Interested in navigating this journey?
Contact our team today and let's game on!
Michelle Cullum is an educator and Ph.D. candidate focused on the intersection of technology and education. With a personal interest in gaming, she brings a combined insight into esports, drawing from her academic and personal experiences.