Esports in Education Online Course Now Available
Written by Paul Richards on January 9, 2020
We could not be happier to announce that the Esports in Education online course is now available on YouTube! While our UDEMY online course is 100% free, we still wanted to make sure to include each major course segment on YouTube and on our blog right here. The intersection between esports and education is a place where innovation and excitement flourish. In this course, you will learn about the world of esports in order to understand the new challenges and opportunities that are helping to change modern education. From a perspective of acceptance and encouragement, parents and educators have the chance to find common ground that can help students excel in a sport that they are passionate about. Competitive video gaming today already holds the power to create heroes. Richards examines why athletes who are admired for their determination and excellence are no different whether they are playing on a field or in a computer lab. The tremendous growth in esports is being fueled by the internet, live streaming, and global economic demand. The need for a strong educational system that can support positive student development in esports is imperative.
This is a course for any student, parent or educator interested in the intersection of esports and education. Throughout the following chapters, readers will uncover the need for a strong educational system that can help support student interest in esports. This book explores esports from a perspective of acceptance and encouragement where educators have the chance to find common ground that can help students excel in a sport, they are passionate about. Understanding how to make esports more educational requires an understanding of esports, video gaming culture, and the latest studies on sports and technology. By reviewing the history of video games in our culture and comparing academic papers on relevant subjects this book hopes to help students, parents, and educators find a positive future for competitive video gaming as a varsity-level sport. Through in-depth expert interviews and examples set by leading educational organizations, you will uncover how a teenage pastime has evolved into an international phenomenon that has set a course to change the way the world views competitive sports. If the esports and education systems in place today can come together to channel the excitement and energy behind competitive video gaming, there is the opportunity to create an inclusive and productive culture that can embolden today’s youth to take on the challenges our world will face in the decades to come.
As you explore the intersection between esports and education, it should come as no surprise how useful common ground will be for communications. A helpful exercise to consider while reading this book is to imagine that you are the 13-year-old version of yourself growing up today. You have a group of friends who have played video games together casually since you were in grade school. Over that time, you have developed relationships and built an informal team that you are proud to be a part of. Together with your friends, you have learned your own strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps you have started to develop a reputation as the team leader or the trusted defender. Perhaps your friends consider you the compassionate one, who they seek outside of the game for real-world advice.
As the years go by, your team has gone through many battles and competitive games together. Perhaps you have met up at a local gaming center to play competitively in a group environment. Each member of your team has their own unique personality and naturally, you have learned to communicate about how to work best individually and as a team. To play best as a team, each player has learned how to make decisions about managing everyone’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Although you are only 13, with your team, you are learning to solve advanced problems which require teamwork and communication. Winning feels good and collectively your team has learned how to make the most out of a loss.
All of the traditional values that represent the hard work and patience required to excel in professional sports apply to those who seek excellence in esports. From a perspective of acceptance and encouragement, parents and educators have the chance to find common ground that can help students excel in esports. This is not the first time in history the culture of the youth has changed in a relatively short period of time. Today, only 30% of students continue to play traditional sports past the age of 13, yet Pew Research reports that 90% of students between the ages of 13 and 17 play video games every day (Anderson, 2018).
Just like Rock and Roll’s introduction in the 70s, the esports movement may come as a shock to parents and educators. Using American music trends as an example, you can see how culture can shift over the years. From Rock and Roll to Punk and Grunge, there are trends that have often gone against the general status quo’s idea of what is “normal.” Culture can move relatively quickly, especially today as grassroots movements can spread online with groups of young people using social media.
New trends that are wholeheartedly embraced and defended by the youth are not unheard of. What history shows us time and time again, is that our society’s youth and future will demand a unique identity and culture to call their own. The good news for parents, educators, and everyone involved with esports, is that this movement can be encouraged as a sport. Sports are deeply embedded in our culture and human history. Sports are in many ways responsible for helping generations of young people shape their identity. Societies from all around the world inherently understand the value of competitive sports.
In my family, baseball is held in high regard. My Grandfather, Don Richards, played at the professional level for the Boston Red Sox. While his career as a left-handed pitcher was brief, the pride for his achievements has been passed down to my children three generations later. My father took pride in teaching me how to play baseball, and I now take pride in teaching my son. Professional sports made my grandfather a hero and for that, our family will always hold a special place for baseball in our hearts.
Competitive video gaming today already holds the power to create heroes. Athletes who are admired for their determination and excellence are no different whether they are playing on a field or in a computer lab. Top esports athletes are just as important to our culture today as the NFL’s Superbowl heroes. Powerful global forces may be fueling the growth of esports today, but that only makes the sport that much more spectacular. The tremendous growth in the sport is being powered by the internet, live streaming, and global economic demand all at once. The need for a strong educational support system for our youth will be of the utmost importance in the future. Modern esports games require players to manage multiple economies, respond with split-second reaction times, and co-operate with a group of players like a team of navy seals. It can be difficult to compare the complexities of competitive video gaming to any other sport in human history. We now live in a world where anyone with a high-speed internet connection has the honest chance to compete on a world stage. The democratization of competitive esports will give rise to a new future in our culture where world champions will pop up in small neighborhoods from a school district you have never heard of. It’s an exciting time.
And it’s time to take esports seriously.
More Esports in Education Articles
- Download Esports in Education for free
- Introduction to Esports in Education
- History of video games & esports
- The study of video games
- What are the top esports tournaments?
- College Level Esports Programs
- Apply for the StreamGeeks Esports Scholarship
- How to start an esports club at your school
- How to live stream esports tournaments
- Getting the most educational value out of video games