Ludington assistant principal shares why starting an esports program at his school helps students thrive   

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LUDINGTON, Mich. — Ludington High School assistant principal Steve Forsberg was featured on a recent statewide series about innovation in Michigan classrooms, the BRIGHT series, for his work launching an esports program that provides opportunities for students who may not otherwise engage in school or team activities.

“We already have students that are already playing these games, so why wouldn’t we bring them in, organize them, and have them do it together in a place where we can build some community and a positive culture?” According to Forsberg, “When students are a part of something in a school, their academic achievement, self-confidence, and mental health improve. There are all these intrinsic and side benefits to being a part of something.”

Michigan is home to many outstanding educators. Now in its third season, the podcast and blog series from Michigan Virtual — BRIGHT: Stories of Hope & Innovation in Michigan Classrooms — features inspirational Michigan educators known for their innovative approach to learning, what their classrooms look like, how these changes impact students, and what advice they have for fellow teachers looking to try something new. For its third season, the theme of the BRIGHT Podcast is “Three Strategies,” a chance to ask experts in the classroom to distill their wisdom into the top three things they want the rest of us to know. 

“Student interest in esports is overwhelming,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “There’s communication, there’s coordination, there’s teamwork, and there’s accountability. It has all the aspects of traditional athletics and extracurriculars, but engages with students who have other interests.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the opportunities for improvement in our educational system, and the perspectives highlighted in the BRIGHT series will help propel Michigan students and communities forward.  

By discovering new ways to grow, Michigan Virtual is committed to learning from local educational leaders and making a difference in education. This means learning how best to leverage face-to-face, blended, and online learning innovations to meet the needs of everyone involved: teachers, students, parents, and schools alike. 

“For educators, this might be a new arena. Students are excited to teach, grow and learn alongside one another and add an additional dynamic to the games they already love and are playing at home,” continued Fitzpatrick. 

Read and listen to Steve’s BRIGHT series feature, and see the full series of interviews. For more information about Michigan Virtual, visit michiganvirtual.org

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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