Thunderstruck: Building belonging and success through Esports

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: Room 288-90
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Listen and learn : Ed talk

Clint Dayhuff  
Robert Dickson  

In the fall of 2020, we implemented an esports program at 8 secondary schools. The pandemic accelerated the success and progress of esports to all secondary schools. This presentation will show our progress and lessons learned along the way as we build a program in the largest district in Kansas.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Basic browser software is needed to engage in the "What if" section of the presentation.
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Model digital citizenship by critically evaluating online resources, engaging in civil discourse online and using digital tools to contribute to positive social change.
For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
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.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

We know in education, there is a sense of belonging that needs to be established to have success with students. The pandemic has lengthened the gap of belonging between our students and their connection to the school. Esports is a way to engage students differently and reach those who were not necessarily feeling that sense of belonging.

Esports is gaining traction post-secondary as well. As of 2021, there are already over 150 universities that are a part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Considering that this association is only five years old, this rate of country-wide adoption is unprecedented. Our story is one of learning how to approach and showing successes in the program on our student's both well-being and post secondary opportunities.


Introduction and Story - 15 min
Hear from Esports Coaches and Students - 10 min
Participate in “What if” scenarios - 15 min
Conclusion and Resources - 10 min
Question & Answer - 10 min

Supporting research

All of our resources will be posted here:

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Clint Dayhuff, Wichita Public Schools

Clint Dayhuff is a high energy management expert that currently leads the esports program in Wichita Public Schools. He received his MBA from Baker University, and spent 5 years managing an aircraft insurance team. He then switched to education where he spent 6 years teaching STEM courses in Wichita's middle and high schools. He then saw the amazing benefits of esports in schools and has spent the past 3 years developing staff and building a very successful esports program in all 9 of Wichita's high schools. Clint is extremely passionate about his family, sports, and helping kids be successful.

Robert Dickson, Wichita Public Schools

I am Chief Information Officer for Wichita Public Schools, the largest school district in Kansas. Our District serves 50,000 students with 94 schools and programs and employs nearly 10,000 professionals. In addition to overseeing technology and instructional technology, I started and now oversee our virtual school, Education Imagine Academy, which achieved this year Microsoft Showcase School status. In addition, I helped start and now oversee an esports program in all of our secondary schools. The District’s mission is to inspire future leaders and empower each student with the 21st century skills and knowledge necessary for success.

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