The future is online, and many students already exist in some kind of digital environment. Without education students can breed unhealthy online behaviours, which can also transfer to everyday situations. A high school League of Legends club can help teach productive online behaviour, allowing students to become conscientious, digital citizens. Similarly, high school esports teams can teach students how to properly interact with their peers which – with guidance from a teacher – can transfer to their wider online interactions.
Meeting Student Need
High school League of Legends clubs and esports teams meet students at their current interest: gaming. Unlike most games that were designed strictly for educational purposes, League of Legends provides an engrossing, authentic gaming experience first—with learnings stemming from interaction with their peers, the game, and heightened emotional situations becoming apparent through self reflection and guidance.
Students who don’t connect with the sporting field can often miss out on important life lessons. These include social skills, confidence and the idea of fair play—skills we’re not born with, but come as a product of culture and education. By taking part in our students’ online activities, we can help shape those behaviours into productive, life-long habits.
Sportsmanship is a code of acceptable behaviour for players to abide by in their pursuit of fair play. “Sportsmanship” refers to the set of values and the series of skills driving appropriate behaviour in social situations involving sports, play and competition. When applied to League of Legends, this can be broken down into six aspects. We’ve created student materials based around these six aspects of sportsmanship to help students identify and reflect on their own behaviour, aligning with the National Curriculum to cultivate student learning and development.
The six aspects of sportsmanship are:
- Team-oriented mindset
- Positive Attitude
Building Social Skills
School clubs and esports teams tend to be filled with students of similar interests, creating environments that are ideal places for new friendships to be made.
By engaging in activities requiring teamwork, students suddenly have the opportunity to learn valuable interpersonal skills such as: how to give and take advice, provide peer support, manage different personalities, and confidently directing action as a group leader.
Overall, clubs and teams can promote social interaction and personal growth, all while providing another opportunity for students to have fun and enjoy being at school.
- Lesley PodestaCEO of Alannah & Madeline FoundationThe Alannah & Madeline Foundation is passionate about creating safe online environments for young people. By bringing gaming to schools through clubs, we hope that teachers can set examples of fair play and guide discussions to create positive and healthy behaviour in students.
- Andrew Mayhills Technology Innovation Coordinator and Level 3 Classroom Teacher at Shenton CollegeIt has been fantastic to watch the parallels between how students work together in the game and transfer these understandings into their broader school experience
- Michael GreenStudent at Burnside High SchoolI now use my mistakes to improve: How can I learn from this? How do I get better? It helps that our teams are reflecting as a group.
- Anne CollierFounder, iCanHelpline.orgLeague of Legends has been teaching its players digital citizenship from LoL Day 1, giving players opportunities to practise citizenship in a way that's fun and meaningful to them. What a concept, right?!
- Brett Duncan Year 7 Coordinator at Roxburgh CollegeEach game the students play, they discuss with me how the game has gone, what they were happy with and disappointed in, and we would then approach this discussion in a multitude of different ways.
- Jane LoganSTEM Coordinator at Findon High SchoolI didn’t know teaching sportsmanship with League of Legends even existed... League of Legends is different, it’s excellent — especially some of the ethics behind it. It’s largely positive, and focused on bringing the team together, which is what we as teachers are trying to promote at the moment