Esports Essentials: Engaging Students with Gaming

Middle & High School Track

10/09/20, 2:30PM - 3:00PM PT

About the Presentation

When implementing new things, it is vital to start with the “why.” In this session, the presenter will begin with our “why” and share his experience with building eSports teams in a large urban school district from scratch. As part of the 10th largest school district in the US with over 180 schools and 194,000 students, there are many complexities and challenges when rolling out new programs. Come hear inspirational stories about how we are working to engage students who are typically not engaged in school. Hear lessons learned from starting an eSports team from the point of view of a district administrator. Explore components a school and district need to consider such as which high school league to go with, how it aligns to curriculum, coaches, partnerships, and standardizations across your district. Leave with ideas you can start working with tomorrow. Learn from hours of conversations this expert has had since undertaking this eSports initiative. See how our focus is not only on the gamers, but the entire ecosystem surrounding eSports. Learn how eSports can expand beyond an after school club into an entire academy where students choose the career path they want. Finally, participants will leave with information they can use to start their own teams at their school or district. Questions are highly encouraged.

John Shoemaker

Educational Technology Program Specialist

John Shoemaker an Educational Technology Specialist for the Department of Educational Technology in The School District of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach, Florida. Palm Beach County School District is the 10th largest school district in the United States with 185 schools, 13,000+ teachers, and 194,000+ students. John is a well-established educational strategist with a passion for pedagogy and technology integration, especially surrounding emerging technology. Having progressed through multiple roles in education over the past 18 years from classroom teacher to district administrator, he has a wide-ranging skillset that aligns to his passions.

John’s background includes expertise in creating, developing, and implementing learning programs, courses, trainings, workshops, and instructional materials to facilitate participants’ further education and learning. In Fall 2019, he was named eSports Facilitator for the district and tasked with building a pilot and determining a way to scale across the district.