Power Up and Press Play with Esports Spaces

Power Up and Press Play with Esports Spaces

Author: Dr. Christina Counts

The rise of esports is paving the way for schools to embrace structured esports programs as an extracurricular sport alongside traditional competitive sports programs. School leaders understand that esports offers the same valuable lessons and skills that traditional sports do, making these programs key to engaging students and supporting their social and emotional learning.

Photo Credit: Katy Kildee

Because esports is still a fairly new phenomenon, school leaders may need guidance in order to implement an esports team and build a functional and effective esports space in their school. That’s why we’ve created a continuing education unit (CEU) to support schools and design professionals at various stages seeking to learn more about esports spaces. Through this CEU, participants will learn why esports is so beneficial and delve into what you’ll need to design an effective high functioning winning esports lab for the greatest social emotional and academic outcomes.

Here are four things educators will learn in our esports CEU:

  1. What is esports?

Academic esports, or competitive video gaming, is a unique extracurricular in which student teams can compete against other schools in the same video games that they love and play at home. Esports not only offers an opportunity to engage students through something that they’re passionate about, but it also is a great alternative to traditional sports and engages students who are not as interested or involved in extracurriculars at school. This CEU will help you understand K-12 esports more clearly and equip you with the knowledge to start your own team.

  1. How esports benefits students

The benefits of esports in schools are clear: evidence shows that academic esports benefits students’ overall academic performance and social emotional learning. Plus, students who are successful in esports competitions earn significant opportunities for college and scholarships. In our CEU, learn more about why it’s so beneficial to start an esports team at your school.

  1. The key elements necessary to build a successful esports space

Participants in the CEU will learn about the zones within an esports space that support critical functions of the activity, including gameplay, stress reduction, social interaction, productivity, and performance. In each of these zones, there are key elements that can help to improve how effective each zone is, leading to greater team success and wellbeing while engaging in esports.

  1. How and why an esports environment affects students using it

Esports programs can help build a sense of belonging, promote collaboration and communication skills, and foster good sportsmanship and improved social behavior, while also creating a pipeline for future STEM careers and furthering students’ strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities. CEU participants will learn how to intentionally design esports spaces to improve the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of occupants and users.

Our esports CEU can help you establish a successful esports program in your school through well-designed, thoughtful spaces that support student performance and wellbeing. By creating an esports program and building an esports space, you’re creating opportunities for your students to develop valuable academic and interpersonal skills, explore a wide range of subjects, and consider unique college majors and careers. An intentionally-designed esports space is key to attaining these goals and guiding your esports team to success!

Dr. Christina Counts, VP of Strategy and Development for MiEN Environments, is a proven leader with a successful background in transforming learning spaces to modern engaging learning environments. Dr. Counts has worked in education for over 17 years with experience as a classroom teacher, district instructional leader, school administrator, and digital and innovative learning designer. In her most recent position, Christina leads a team of professionals that support schools making the transition to a flexible, collaborative, & student-centered learning space.  She holds a doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership, National Board-certified, and Google & Apple certified. Dr. Counts envisions a learning space in which educators are empowered to transform education through design, technology and innovative instructional pedagogy to create learners ready for any future!