Esports is one of the most rapidly growing industries in today's time and let's face it, Esports is here to stay. In colleges and in high schools, and in no small way, competitive gaming has become a billion-dollar business and is projected to grow exponentially. The prevalence of Esports in schools is likewise rapidly expanding. It demands Esports to be included in students’ curricula. The youth has realized the potential in this field and is willing to go all the way to make a career in it. So, it is time they learn it as a part of their studies.
Why should extracurricular activities be necessarily included in the curriculum?
Educators know that taking part in extracurricular activities boosts student success. A lot. Regardless of the activity. Whether a comedy club or a softball team. A meet-up for engineering enthusiasts or movie buffs. Studies have definitely shown that students who are involved in extracurricular activities are more successful in a number of ways.
Let's take a look at the benefits of this:
- Involved kids miss less school and graduate at a higher rate. The net attendance ratio is usually stable because children are getting what they're interested in at school.
- Students that join activities are more likely to pay attention in class. They understand the importance of balance between academics and their interest in other co-curricular activities because they would be excited to attend school hence increasing their focus in regular classes too.
- They also feel better about themselves because they are learning something new and different from the regular stuff that almost every kid is learning.
The key to benefiting from this dynamic is for schools to offer activities that appeal to as many students as possible.
How does Esports education benefits students?
We've already seen how extra co-curricular activities impact children and play a very important role in their education. Now, let's take a look at a few benefits of Esports as a part of education.
- Esports in Schools Brings Success to More Students: Teens are all about gaming. In 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that 97% of teen boys and 83% of teen girls played video games. Some of these teens are involved in school sports and clubs. Many, however, are not. By offering esports as an extracurricular activity, schools reach students who often are otherwise disengaged from the school community. Esports in schools can transport these kids from the solitary world of digital gaming into the common space of the school computer lab or library commons.
- Inclusion is Good for Students and the Community: Gaming can be an isolating pastime. When students can join a school esports team, it becomes a social experience. Without a school esports club, passionate gamers often feel left out of mainstream school social life. Organized esports bring these kids into the fold. It can help them become accepted and respected members of their school community.
- Students Learn Valuable Skills Playing Esports in School: It’s intuitive: team sports teach valuable skills. Many parents encourage their children to participate in a team sport for just this reason. Team sports provide an arena for teaching important lessons and life skills beyond the classroom. The skills practiced and honed as part of a team apply equally to any sport. Esports is no exception. These skills include working with others, Social skills, Strategic thinking, planning, etc.
- Esports in Schools Fosters STEM Learning: Esports and STEM go hand-in-hand. Students who are drawn to gaming are often equally captivated by the broader technology ecosystem. Sponsors at both the high school and college levels report that a substantial number of their esports participants are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Often, it’s proportionally larger than the student population as a whole. In 2018, for example, Riot Games' director of collegiate esports said that nearly two-thirds of their League of Legends players were majoring in STEM fields.
These are some of the most common benefits of including Esports in the curriculum for children. Esports has become a global phenomenon now and it is only fair to give children an opportunity to learn about Esports in school only so that they can decide if they want a career in it.
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