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An Innovative Ecosystem to Support Esports and STEM Learning in School

Location: W186b

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Tuesday, June 26, 4:45–5:45 pm
Location: W186b

Dr. Kurt Squire   Tom Turner  
This presentation details 1) standards-aligned curriculum and PD series that leverages the esports ecosystem to support English Language Arts and Career and Career Technical Education; 2) an authentic competitive high school league used to contextualize and motivate student gaming; and 3) a research infrastructure to assess and understand impact.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Game-based learning and gamification
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Systemic Improvement
  • Establish and leverage strategic partnerships to support systemic improvement.
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital age learning.
  • Ensure effective practice in the study of technology and its infusion across the curriculum.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Challenge: How do we take advantage of natural student interests while also promoting 21st century learning and STEM learning to develop students for the future workforce?

-To highlight the growth and popularity of esports around the world and with student populations
-To explain the ecosystem of job opportunities (and the skills needed by learners to prepare for those jobs) surrounding esports
-Using data for sports and gaming and learning, to show that esports has the potential to improve student learning and achievement
- To explain how an integrated curriculum involving English-Language Arts, Science, ISTE, career technical education (with an eye on the social emotional learning components) can transform the typical classroom setting into one that taps into students' interests that drive the learning organically

Participants will, therefore, be able to understand how the esports digital platform can be used to engage modern and prepare them for the next generation workforce while also increasing achievement in critical content areas.

Electronic resources will be used to highlight the popularity of gaming among all age groups and its potent engagement properties.

Evidence of success will be seen in student affiliation numbers, attendance, CTE pathway participation, ELA reading levels, and others.


The content will include background information on esports and its growth in US culture and the economy. (10 minutes)
In addition, a discussion as to the impact of esports on the future workforce via STEM and 21st century skills will be presented. (10 minutes)
The creation of a high school esports league in Orange County. (10 minutes)
There will also be a presentation of a grades 9-12 curriculum that integrates esports with standards from english-language arts, career technical education, ISTE, next generation science standards and the social emotional components. (15 minutes)

The entire presentation is about 45 minutes which does not include time for questions and answers.

There will be peer-to-peer interactions built-in throughout the presentation (2-3 times), video demonstrations & testimonials (up to 3), and one sample game.

Supporting research

Dr. Kurt Squire will be participating in the presentation. Dr. Squire is Professor at The University of California, Irvine, member of the Connected Learning Laboratory, and former Director of the Games, Learning & Society, Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, best known for his research into game design for education. Dr. Squire wrote a regular column for Computer Games magazine, and has been interviewed for many periodicals and media outlets, from PBS to wired.com.

Research that is relevant about sports & learning and video games & learning (from Steinkuehler, Gee, Green, Young and others)

Research shows that when educators are able to tap into or cultivate a student's interests, students achieve higher-order learning outcomes (from Ito, Azevedo, Hofer, Gee and others)

Information about the relevance and growth of the esports industry (and its potential impact on the future workforce)

More [+]


Tom Turner, Orange County Department of Education

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