Catching Up With Ivan Davies Of Riot Games To Explore Their League Of Legends High School Clubs
A League of Legends Club can be started by any teacher at any school. Follow the links within this article for further information about signing your school up!
Tell us about the new High School League of Legends Clubs initiative, what’s it all about?
A high school League of Legends club, or a LoL club, is designed to meet students’ digital learning needs. Led by a dedicated teacher, the right club environment can educate students on the importance of sportsmanship, teaching values and digital communication skills that we hope student gamers aspires to maintain for the rest of their lives.
It’s about creating a culture of accepting responsibility for your own behaviour and holding peers accountable for their behaviour too. Sportsmanship puts the ownership back on the individual to consider their actions and how these impact those around them, using sports (or in this case esports) as the vehicle for learning.
Are there any geographic limitations? Can anyone join?
No there are no geographic limitations, any school teacher can start a club. I’m aware of high school League of Legends clubs in North America, Europe, India and Sri-Lanka. Right now the High School LoL Clubs initiative is focused on Australia and New Zealand, but this is likely to change next year.
How long has the project been up and running and how’s it going?
The initiative started in April 2016, so 16 months. We launched with 3 schools, now there are 30 high school League of Legends clubs across Australia and New Zealand. Most clubs run once a week and attract an average of 29 students each week (typically the size of one classroom). Teachers have found that their League of Legends club has helped to cultivate an engaging environment from which to teach the inherent values of sportsmanship. Also, teachers have been really positive about the significant number of students actively involved in their school’s high school LoL club, students who were previously not engaged with any other extracurricular activity in their school.
How does this help to educate students?
A high school League of Legends club is intended to promote authentic, relatable learning experiences. They offer an opportunity for students to explore and model the key competencies and values of their school and curriculum through the act of playing. The social, competitive nature of League of Legends provides an engaging and relevant setting for encouraging and monitoring student development in relating to others, managing self, and fostering values of sportsmanship.
Likewise, a team of students learning the benefits of and displaying sportsmanship through group discussion, peer review, and play, may reinforce these values. As students advance their understanding, opportunities may emerge for them to develop leadership skills, learn to communicate effectively, and resolve conflict as a role model for their peers and teams in-game — transferrable skills that can then be applied to other digital and real life social settings.
What effects or differences have schools seen since joining?
I’m told by every teacher, who’s running a club, that they have been able to introduce and foster the concepts of sportsmanship in online play. Students have been able to describe examples of sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike conduct in League of Legends and can recognise this behaviour in themselves and others. Teachers have seen students adopting sportsmanlike characteristics which has led to more productive communication and displays of teamwork and leadership not seen before. Teachers who have been running a club for several months, are now seeing their students applying the sportsmanlike characteristics learnt in the club in other school settings. Some teachers have even reported that particularly disengaged students have, through participating in their LoL club, come out of their shell or are engaging with school like never before.
How can schools create their own high school LoL club?
A League of Legends club can be started by any teacher,at any school. You can register your interest on our ‘start a club’ page which can be found here. Alternatively, you can contact the Riot Oceania team at [email protected]
Finally, In one sentence – Why is it important for schools to check out the LoL club?
A LoL club is an engaging and relevant means for teaching sportsmanship, communication, teamwork, and online safety to help teachers in preparing students to be successful both online and offline.
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