eSports in Virginia

SVRTC met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at Nottoway High School and attracted 22 members from 14 school divisions (Amelia, Buckingham, Brunswick, Cumberland, Danville, Franklin City, Greensville, Prince Edward, Prince George, Hopewell City, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Sussex). Melissa Hanes, Buckingham County, organized the professional development for the meeting to be presented by Randy Fisher, from Louisa County Public Schools, on their eSports program.

Man on screen with headphones.
SVRTC members listen and ask questions to Mr. Fisher about Louisa County Public Schools eSports teams.

Mr. Fisher joined the SVRTC meeting virtually and provided an overview of how Louisa County school division is running eSports with their students. He explained the county currently is engaging their students in competing in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Smite eSports games. Mr. Fisher explained League of Legends and Smite require each team to have five members and Rocket League requires only three members on each team. Currently, Louisa runs two teams for both League of Legends and Smite and three teams for Rocket League.

In addition to the team members, Mr. Fisher added that teams can have up to two subs per team and one coach. The teams meet three days per week for practice. Team members for the eSports were selected by completing an application with the proper paperwork, agreeing to dedicate their time to the sport. There were over one hundred students that were interested in joining.

Mr. Fisher also explained the technology recommendations that would work with all the games, including the existing computer labs that were transformed to use for the eSports. In addition to the twenty computers in the eSports lab, the teams can utilize ten computers in the lab next door which is very beneficial at times for the players/teams.

Currently, there are seventeen schools from Virginia that are competing in the Virginia High School League (VHSL). There is a charge of $64.00 per player to compete. Currently Louisa schools is paying for the students through their Athletics department.

GoGuardian Software Gives Power Back to Teachers

Twenty-four SVRTC members gathered on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 for the SVRTC meeting at Nottoway High School. They represented 14 SVRTC school divisions (Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Danville, Dinwiddie, Franklin City, Greensville, Hopewell, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward).

During the meeting, members heard from Ryan Lassley with GoGuardian, an educational technology company that offers software solutions that keep students safer online and engaged in learning. Lassley presented virtually from California on how GoGuardian’s software can monitor and filter what a student can access on the internet while also providing an opportunity for classroom management. The software allows teachers to view student activity and have control over devices used in the classroom. Mr. Lassley answered questions from members that included bandwidth usage, various packages, and pricing for the consortium.

Several SVRTC divisions reported that they currently use GoGuardian software to provide various needs (e.g., take- device management, pushing URLs out to student’s browser tabs). More information can be found on GoGuardian’s website.

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