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Esports in K-12: What, Why and How!

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Panel

Sunday, June 23, 1:00–2:00 pm
Location: Liberty Ballroom, Marriott

J Collins   Steve Isaacs   Dr. Elizabeth Newbury   Tristan Wheeler  
Esports in K-12 schools is rapidly growing, but what is it exactly, why does it matter and how can you participate? Come hear answers and examples from the field from a panel including high school and middle school teachers, a librarian, a student and a policy expert.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Game-based learning and gamification
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Digital Citizen
  • Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will encounter varying perspectives of "what" constitutes esports, "why" they are important to the education system, and "how" they can participate in esports. This conversation will include information on the scope of the field. Objectives will be met by (1) panelists telling their unique stories, (2) moderator questions, (3) general audience Q&As, (4) suggested follow up at the esports event that evening, (5) suggested online material follow ups, and (6) suggested participation/conversations/questions on Twitter during the talk.

Evidence of success will be measured by questions asked (indicators of engagement), participation in the evening event, and lessons brought back to their host schools/organizations.


- Moderator welcome (3 minutes)
- Panelist intros: Each panelist will introduce themselves and answer one of the what/why/how questions. (15 minutes)

=Moderator will ask questions from audience submitted through Twitter using #esportsedu, Twitter-chat style. Each section will be 10-15 minutes.=
Q1: What is esports? (what games, audiences, tournaments, etc.)
Q2: Why is esports relevant to education? (scope of footprint, scholarships, pipeline)
Q3: How do you get your school/library/organization involved in esports? (how do you start a program, participate in a program, get buy-in)

Supporting research

Collins, J. (2019, February 27). Esports Scholarships Are Growing. Do They Leave Some Students Behind? - EdSurge News. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from

Bonny, J. W., Castaneda, L. M., & Swanson, T. (2016). Using an International Gaming Tournament to Study Individual Differences in MOBA Expertise and Cognitive Skills. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 16. doi:10.1145/2858036.2858190

The 2019 ED Games Expo at the Kennedy Center. (2019). Retrieved March 19, 2019, from

Takeuchi, L. M., & Vaala, S. (2014). Level up learning: A national survey on teaching with digital games. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

More [+]


J Collins, Liminal Esports
Steve Isaacs, Epic Games
Dr. Elizabeth Newbury, The Wilson Center
Tristan Wheeler, Cleveland Public Library

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