Teamwork and communication are the top skills employers are looking for, a new survey of hiring managers reveals. That bodes well for the students at a Los Angeles secondary school who are taking part in an innovative program that uses esports to teach critical 21st century skills: Teamwork and communication are also the skills these young gamers have seen the most improvement in so far.
Working with a company called wethink, Horace Mann UCLA Community School launched an afterschool program in January that has students in grades 6-12 practice and reflect on 21st century skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, leadership, and character as they compete against each other in the popular online video game League of Legends.
Esports is a perfect vehicle for learning these essential workforce skills, wethink says. Many of the attributes that students will need in the workplace correlate with success in gaming. For instance, to achieve success, players have to learn how to work together to accomplish a common goal.
That’s what happened at Mann on Wednesday and Friday afternoons during the most recent school year.
Students met online with their advisor, math teacher Arbin Lubiano, who talked with them about some of the 15 discrete skills the program’s curriculum emphasizes. Then, they played League of Legends in teams of five. When they finished playing, they rated themselves and each other on how well they applied those skills during game play.
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