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Thursday, October 3 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Developing a Youth Esports Federation: A Case Study of Connected Learning in Action

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This symposium offers a view into both the theory and practice of NASEF, an esports organization for youth, highlighting ways in which a mission-driven organization found synergies with designers, educators, and researchers committed to reimagining connected learning in the context of esports. NASEF is both a sports program and a model for the design of connected learning environments. The league meets students where they are by tapping into a gaming interest. It helps youth connect this interest to relationships and opportunities through a near-peer coaching program, school-based clubs, associations with professional esports organizations, and a standards-based curriculum. Most critically, it was designed with the understanding that youth learn and develop an interest over time, across settings, and in partnership with others. Founding organizations include the Samueli Foundation, Orange County Department of Education, University of California at Irvine (UCI), OC STEM Initiative, and Connected Camps. Participating groups from UCI include UCI Esports, the Connected Learning Lab, the School of Information and Computer Science, and the School of Engineering. Collaboration among these various stakeholders has helped grow the league into a thriving platform linking researchers, educators, parents, esports players, game companies, and sponsors together in pursuit of genuinely engaging, resilient, and relevant learning opportunities for youth. From its founding mission, to its design, and associated research agenda, the federation has shown a deep commitment to systemically supporting youth in pursuing their interests, developing meaningful relationships, and offering access to opportunity.

avatar for Jessamyn Acebes

Jessamyn Acebes

League Operations Coordinator, North America Scholastic Esports Federation
avatar for Tom Turner

Tom Turner

Executive Director, Educational Services, Orange County Department of Education
I currently serve as the Executive Director of Educational Services with the Orange County Department of Education. In this role, I regularly interact with site administrators and district leadership in implementing professional learning and program development throughout Orange County... Read More →

Katie Salen

University of California, Irvine
avatar for Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler

Professor of Informatics, University of California–Irvine
Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine where she researches culture, cognition, and learning in the context of multiplayer online videogames. She is an ADL Belfer Fellow, Chair of UCI’s Game Design and Interactive... Read More →

Thursday October 3, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom A 311 Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA, 92697