Fortnite Virtual Classroom? Online Learning Experiences Your Students Will Want To ‘Streambrag’ About (Updated)

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Elearning Success Summit

Updated on March 26, 2020. Let’s give a definitive answer to the question that’s on everyones’s mind:

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Can Fortnite teach a full K-12 curriculum for you?

On a serious note, here is some academic discussion on the merits of Fortnite in education, both as a representative of the videogame and esports spaces, and on its own special merits:

If you are involved in K-12 education, but missed the announcement by Epic Games (partly owned by Tencent) to commit $100 million USD towards Fortnite-based eSports competitions, you might want to pay closer attention. The massive videogame hit tells a story of meteoric popularity rise, in that it took years to light up the sky overnight. Fortnite will, in all likelihood, join the Paris 2024 Summer games, as eSports are in talks to become a new Olympic discipline.

eSports have coalesced as an entertainment industry in its own right, with viewership records broken each passing year, a growing pool of celebrity “e-thletes”, and increased commitments by advertisers, as well as broadcasting networks. They also enjoy a special familiarity among the digital natives —often synonymous with “Gen Zers” or “Zoomers”—, who increasingly get their driver’s licenses and soon will join the workforce in droves. If gaming skills are what makes people stand out, then everything you need to succeed is literally at your fingertips. The way skills are acknowledged by peers, and the systematically recording (and live-streaming on Twitch) of practice, could have important lessons about motivation for elearning professionales.

eSports pros ideas worth of the ‘elearning pros’ attention

  • Teamwork is imperative. The most popular mode in eSports is “battle royale,” where teams must ensure their survival at the other teams’ expense. Just like any battle, defensive and offensive tactics matter, but there are also game-specific considerations about resource procurement and management, which demand specialization within the team. Over time, team cohesion is essential, and in turn this helps validate individual players. If anyone makes a mistake, acknowledgment and willingness to improve beats blame and rejection every time.
  • A rich setting matters as much as the goal. As hard as it can be to accept, a paradoxical fact of the educator’s life holds true here: The less obvious a learning is happening, the more engaging and ultimately effective learning can be. In any case, at the end of the day video games have elements of thrill, comedy, drama, and just plain fun. Students join a game, have the time of their lives, and as a result their dexterity, spatial processing, planning, resourcefulness, and other game-specific skills are increased. What’s not to like?
  • Openness for everyone to create their essential story. As a result, specialization in a rich environment creates new opportunities to shine. Besides its colossal appeal, Fortnite has spawned another frequency of pop culture waves thanks to the dancing moves of the characters.
  • And, of course, welcome #streambragging. Gameplay streaming sites like Twitch show that players don’t have to feel like they are superstars to showcase their abilities, and just a little encouragement is all it takes to keep them going. And as a nice bonus, their progress is meticulously recorded for posterity. If you don’t livestream on your own Twitch, I hope your grandchildren will still remember you. ■
Elearning Success Summit