NASEF to Present at 2020 Academic Esports Conference

Apr 10, 2020
2020 Academic Esports Conference

Several NASEF representatives were chosen to speak at the Academic Esports Conference in Chicago, Illinois October 19-21st. The conference’s keynote speaker is Constance Steinkuehler, a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine where she investigates cognition and learning in multiplayer video games and esports. 

Other speakers include:

  • Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation and NASEF Founder
  • Tom Turner, NASEF Chief Education Officer
  • Mimi Ito, Ph.D., Director of Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine and NASEF Technical Advisor
  • Jorrel Batac, NASEF Esports Scholastic Instructional Coach
  • Kevin Brown, NASEF Esports Program Specialist
  • Claire LaBeaux, NASEF Director of Communications

Although several esports programs exist that try to serve middle and high school students, the vast majority are for-profit and conducted after school. In her keynote speech, Steinkuehler will showcase the results of 3 years of research conducted on social-emotional learning, 21st century skills, STEM, and how NASEF’s scholastic esports program contributes to gains across these domains.

Scholastic Esports Sessions

Several sessions throughout the conference will feature topics relevant to educators about utilizing esports in an academic environment. 

“Influencing Digital Citizenship through Esports,” is one session that will discuss examples of student transformation in their understanding and skills of emotional regulation, social acumen and sensitivity. As part of this session, panelists will cover how NASEF structures scholastic esports programs that help students with increased self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship skills both off and online. 

The “Scholastic Esports ‘Show and Tell’” session is a panel of some of NASEF’s Scholastic Fellows who will share what they’re incorporating into lessons for both middle and high school students to help foster creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking and curiosity. 

In a session entitled “Creating a Network of Esports Educators,” attendees will learn how to form a local NASEF affiliate that connects relationships among schools, parents, businesses, and other organizations to create unique and custom scholastic esports experiences for students. Representatives of current NASEF affiliates will share their experiences, as well. 

Connected learning helps to tie student interests with supportive relationships that help lead to long-term career and life possibilities. In “Esports: the Perfect Connected Learning Opportunity,” attendees will learn how esports fits as a perfect opportunity to help young people learn in a way that is both fun and long-lasting. 

Women Changing Esports Panel

The panel discussion “Women Changing Esports” will feature Jeannail Carter, a professional esports athlete and advocate for women’s rights in the gaming community, and Emily Tran, the founder and CEO of EQNX Gaming. Unfortunately, women in gaming face unique challenges as a result of the toxic environment created by bad actors within the space. In this discussion, attendees will hear from women who have become successful within the gaming industry, and have been able to pioneer a movement for younger women who want to pursue interests and careers within esports. 

NASEF is excited about the discussions that will take place at the Academic Esports Conference, and we hope that you’ll be able to join us! To register for the conference and to learn more information, you can visit the conference website at

Register now until 10/18/2020 using promo code NASEF2020 for $50.00 off the current rate! 

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