North America Scholastic Esports Federation Named SIIA Education Technology 2021 CODiE Award Finalist for Best Scholastic Esports Solution K-20

Preliminary round judges laud NASEF for leveraging “the power of gaming to engage and excite students in rich, powerful learning experiences of value to them”

ATLANTA, GA (May 10, 2021) – The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), today announced that it was named a 2021 SIIA CODiE Award finalist as the Best Scholastic Esports Solution. CODiE Award finalists represent applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the PreK-20 sector.

This CODiE Award recognizes “the best product helping implement scholastic esports to schools and colleges. This includes tournament/league management software, CTE curriculum focused on gaming and efforts to make esports safer and more inclusive.” NASEF is unique among finalists (and the entire esports community) because it offers all of these elements completely free to participants around the world.

NASEF leverages massive student interest in competitive video gaming—esports—to teach youth valuable life and career skills, as evidenced by several IRB-approved studies completed by the University of California, Irvine. The valuable program is offered entirely free, including:

  • State-approved curriculum in 15 CTE tracks
  • State-approved English Language Arts courses for high school
  • Middle School curriculum
  • Out-of-school time curriculum
  • Healthy gaming and cyber wellness curriculum
  • Library of esports lessons and units developed and tested by Scholastic Fellows in a professional learning community
  • Themed Minecraft events teaching topics like sustainable farming and physics through partnerships with the U.S. State Department and the Rube Goldberg Foundation
  • Game tournaments in popular esports titles, with game licenses and tournament hosting platform provided free
  • Beyond the Game challenges that provide an opportunity to demonstrate career skills
  • Significant support for school and OST esports programs through webinars and live office hours with educators, as well as dozens of toolkits

One of the reviewers who selected NASEF as a finalist said, “In its approach, the federation includes a keen focus on five core values of learning, opportunity, community, diversity and respect in its project-based learning focus. NASEF has established a platform in which esports is a powerful tool for learning, wellness, and developing skills and abilities that prove valuable in future careers.”

Another reviewer said, “The fact that the curriculum and supplements, including PD, clubs, and additional challenges, are free, is simply amazing and unheard of these days. That is so powerful for the smaller districts or those districts with less money but who want to reach those students that may be less engaged in learning. NASEF's holistic SEL approach allows educators and coaches to easily tweak the resources for their own purposes.”

SIIA members and community leaders will now vote for the winners. Here’s how NASEF meets criteria set by the SIIA CODiE awards for the Best Scholastic Esports Solution:

  • Academic Value: NASEF’s foundation is in education. It is the ONLY solution in the world with state-approved curriculum. That curriculum spans age categories and subjects, with implementation options ranging from single lessons to units to full years. Its club structure for out-of-school time activity and learning has been deeply researched and proved to be beneficial for academic subjects, STEM skills, and social-emotional learning (SEL). At its price point of zero, all materials and programs are freely accessible for adoption in any academic or recreational environment.
  • Feature set: NASEF’s extensive offering enables educators to adopt the program whether their esports knowledge is deep or minimal. NASEF doesn’t just address a single area of esports, it provides resources that equip the newest teacher or club to start, and the depth of resources to build a phenomenal program of learning and competition, all completely free.
  • Feedback: Learners are part of a worldwide system of esports enthusiasts and professionals. By participating in free events like Beyond the Game challenges and career-focused events, learners receive both feedback and mentoring from working professionals. Additionally, instructional materials have been crafted by the Orange County Department of Education and NASEF’s professional learning community (the Scholastic Fellows and Mentors). They develop and iterate lessons in the real world, whether classrooms or libraries or afterschool settings, and ensure that learners with diverse learning styles and abilities are best able to build their skills. In fact, many learners who feel out-of-place or overlooked in traditional settings say they have “found their people” in NASEF and are more engaged in their learning.
  • Innovation: NASEF curriculum is constantly tested and iterated by its professional learning community. With its deep partnerships within the esports business world, NASEF constantly adds resources and materials to help students navigate the quickly-changing world of technology—and it prepares them to thrive in careers there.
  • Instructional design: NASEF’s program is one of experiential project-based learning. Students are expected to learn about and participate in many of the roles within the esports ecosystem. They learn by doing, and their deep interest in the world of esports makes those lessons relatable and meaningful.
  • Platform flexibility: Educators are free to adopt any single aspect of NASEF’s program or the entire system. For tournaments, participants will now be able to utilize the Generation Esports Platform, designed for esports enthusiasts who are seeking safe, inclusive, and structured esports competition. It allows teams to register for regional and national events, and all details like bracketing and placements are handled automatically. NASEF members receive free access to the platform, allowing leaders and educators to focus on the students rather than technical details of competition.
  • Reports: NASEF provides a free portal which enables esports clubs to track membership and student participation. Depending on which aspects of the system are adopted, educators receive guidance on rubrics and grading.
  • Scalability: NASEF’s scalability is demonstrated in the fact that it has been adopted by schools, libraries, and clubs in 49 U.S. states and more than 30 countries. It is completely free and allows participants to choose which aspects to access, from the range of grades and topics of curriculum to the variety of game titles offered.
  • Usability: Esports is a new educational area, and NASEF provides the most accessible and comprehensive scholastic esports program available. Adoption can range from simple to extensive, and support is readily available. Members of an enthusiastic professional learning community freely share their experience and provide practical support and encouragement.

“The CODiE Awards recognize the most exciting and transformative products in Ed Tech,” said Jeff Joseph, SIIA President. “This year, these leaders helped our nation respond to the historic pandemic, enabling learners, educators, administrators and parents to remain connected to each other and to critical educational resources via an array of innovative services and platforms. Congratulations to this year’s finalists for demonstrating the vitality, resilience and importance of this important industry.”

Acknowledged as the premier awards program for the software and information industries for over 35 years, the SIIA CODiE Awards are produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software, education, media, financial information and digital content industries. NASEF was honored as one of 152 finalists across the 42 education technology categories.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry's only peer-recognized awards program. Educators and administrators serve as judges and conduct the first-round review of all education nominees. Their scores determine the SIIA CODiE Award finalists which accounts for 80% of the overall score. SIIA members then vote on the finalist products and the scores from both rounds are tabulated to select the winners. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Business Technology category winners will be announced during an online winner announcement celebration June 22, 2021.

Details about each finalist are listed at https://history.siia.net/codie/2021-Finalists

About NASEF

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) is on a mission to provide opportunities for all students to use esports as a platform to acquire the STEM/STEAM-based skills and critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. NASEF is the anchor of the World Wide Scholastic Esports Foundation, a nonprofit umbrella entity formed to support NASEF’s global expansion along with other international partners. Find NASEF at NASEF.org and on TwitchTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognized for achieving excellence. For more information, visit siia.net/CODiE.

About Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)

SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 700 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing, and health technology companies. Our diverse members manage the global financial markets, develop software that solves today’s challenges through technology, provide critical information that helps inform global businesses large and small, and innovate for better health care and personal wellness outcomes.

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Media Contacts:

NASEF, Claire LaBeaux: claire@NASEF.org           

SIIA Communications Contact: SIIA@methodcommunications.com