Starting this autumn, secondary school teachers can further their education in academic esports and game didactics at the University of Agder.
Esports is one of the programme subjects that pupils at many secondary schools can choose. But few teachers have the formal education and qualifications to teach the subject. Now the University of Agder (UiA) has created its own continuing education programme for these teachers.
“It is great to get this up and running. There is a considerable demand from teachers who want to increase their skills and knowledge in esports,” says Rune Andersen, programme coordinator in academic esports at UiA.
Andersen says that esports is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. Many teachers do not have sufficient general knowledge and understanding of where games and esports stand in society. Teachers meet pupils from a background they are not familiar with, and this can impede communication across generations.
“We will teach them more about games and esports and demystify gaming as a phenomenon. Esports is here to stay, and we want to show the teachers how they can use it as a tool in teaching contexts,” Andersen says.
Teachers who choose this continuing education option get specially adapted content that they can use in their teaching.
The programme runs over two semesters and is part-time for working teachers and starts in autumn 2023.
“They will learn various tools and get knowledge that they can apply directly in their teaching. The focus on didactics is prominent in all the different courses,” says Andersen.
The programme provides a basic introduction to the most central issues within academic esports and should improve awareness around the use of games as a tool for learning. The students will discuss the phenomenon of gaming and gain insight into why it is relevant to know about it and use it in schools.
The course also provides a general introduction to exercise and psychology and ethics, in addition to allowing the teachers to play games themselves.
They gain knowledge of technology related to esports. They will learn how to stream and work with digital sound and images and gain expertise in using digital channels and platforms.
In recent years, it has been seen that esports players acquire both physical and mental skills, in addition to skills that are directly or indirectly transferable to society in general. Andersen mentions language skills and experience with project management as examples.
“The teachers will learn practical tools that enable them to use the skills that the pupils may already have developed through esports,” Andersen says.
Three out of four of the courses are theoretical. The fourth is practical.
“The practical training while studying is an important part. That is when they get to test out the expertise and skills they have learned,” Andersen says.