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 SDCOE Showcases eSports

Educators from throughout the county got a first-hand look recently at the growing trend of eSports, a way for students to learn about collaboration, strategy, and leadership through online video games.

The eSports showcase and panel discussion by students at Monarch School was part of an event organized by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF).

ESports competitions are popular in Orange County and are just starting to take root in San Diego County. SDCOE is working with districts to expand the league this school year.

"We are really excited about this eSports pilot," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. "The more opportunities we can provide our students to get plugged in, the better."

San Diego County educators interested in bringing eSports to their schools can learn more at an informational meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at SDCOE's main campus. Register online.

eSports are not only about video games. The North American Scholastic Esports Federation has curriculum and other learning resources that teachers can use to augment student's participation in the leagues.

At Monarch School, a team of six students practice every day and compete once a week. They meet to train on the game and discuss strategy before each match, similar to traditional sports. They also need to meet the same academic and disciplinary requirements as students who participate in other sports.

"The esports team has been a real positive thing on our campus," said Mark Rounds, the teacher at Monarch School facilitating the team.

The Nov. 1 event was a celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF), a nonprofit associated with SDCOE focused on ensuring students are prepared to thrive in a competitive global society. It also included an innovation fair that featured innovative approaches, technologies, and solutions happening in education.