How Are Esports Impacting the Future of Education?
In the past few years, we have seen the educational landscape evolve to include new developments in technology. As emphasized in a New York Times article, some schools in the United States have already invested in advanced labs to help students learn more effectively and enable them to match their skills with jobs that are in-demand. In addition to this, an article by HP on distance learning tools describes how they have allowed teachers to accurately assess the progress of students at any point in the curriculum, instead of at the end of every unit. The real-time component of technology means that everyone remains updated at all times, transforming the way students learn.
Much of the focus of ed-tech has been on the adoption of technology like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. However, did you know that eSports can also impact education in a lot of positive ways? Aside from being a tool that encourages students to come together and provides them with the power to affect the entire industry through feedback, as highlighted in our previous post ‘Knowing Your Audience — The A3 + Student Perspective’, eSports can also boost the students’ social and academic skills, give them greater educational opportunities and provide them with a potential career path.
It boosts social and academic skills
For many years now, educators have been introducing traditional sports to students in the hopes of encouraging them to forge meaningful connections with their peers and become more motivated to focus on their academics. These days, as more and more schools adopt eSports, EdTech Magazine wrote that educators are continuously finding this emerging activity to be just as good as (if not better than) traditional sports when it comes to boosting the social and academic skills of students – especially for those who are not otherwise involved in school programs or clubs. Due to the inclusive nature of video games, the incorporation of eSports into the curriculum of schools effectively draws the interest of less engaged or introverted students, giving them the boost to come out of their shells and make friends with other students.
It opens up greater educational opportunities
Just by looking at some of the recently held tournaments that continued on in spite of the pandemic, such as CS:GO and LoL, as well as the surge of new players and spectators, anyone can get a sense of eSports’ rising popularity. While this translates to an impressive jump in revenue for eSports companies, for students, this could mean greater educational opportunities. For instance, in the case of Rober Morris University in Illinois and the University of California, students who are part of the university’s League of Legends team are entitled to different kinds of scholarships. Meanwhile, instead of providing scholarships, smaller universities have chosen to offer gaming courses that seemed to be more affordable. For example, Boston’s Emerson College began offering a new course in eSports in 2018.
It provides a potential career path
With how entrenched technology is in the conduct of our day-to-day lives, it is no surprise that the demand for students who are trained and educated in STEM and Career Technical Education (CTE) continues to increase by the day. According to a study published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, the introduction of eSports into the educational curriculum in schools can also prepare students for technical jobs as game designers, programmers and software developers, animators and audio engineers. Participating in these programs also prepares them for careers relating to video games, such as producers, project managers, advertisers and the like. Additionally, eSports in schools also provide students with unique and fun opportunities to develop important soft skills such as communication, teamwork and high-pressure problem-solving, which could, later on, help them land a job.
Article written by Kelsey Spear
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