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Friday, April 19, 2024

Curro Esports Indaba 2024—Building Esports into Learning

The Curro Esports Indaba, sponsored by Acer for Education, Curro Schools, North-West University, and the ACGL, returned in 2024, hosting educators from across South Africa. For three days, interactive sessions and networking helped the attendees leverage gaming and esports to improve learning experiences and develop their students’ confidence and skills.

At first glance, the Curro Esports Indaba 2024 attendees might look like hardcore gamers, sporting gaming tags such as ‘Stone Cold’, ‘Candybar’, and ‘Wildwillow’ on the back of their shirts. But these are educators embracing the power of gaming to elevate their classrooms and introduce esports at their schools. Dozens of learning professionals gathered at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus to see how to harness video games for constructive learning and skills development.

Gaming in education—from basics to pro

Last year’s Indaba introduced attendees to esports, learning how to leverage gaming for sports and education. The 2024 Indaba revisited and updated the introductions and expanded on taking those efforts further, such as creating gaming content specific to South Africa. With sessions structured according to skill levels (using gaming nomenclatures’ noob’, ‘intermediary’ and ‘pro’), the attendees learned everything from the basics of creating your first gaming network (LAN) to how to coach school teams in the hottest esports games such as Valorent.

“I love the Curro Esports Indaba,” said Stephen Reid, VP of Learning at the Endless Foundation and one of the event’s international speakers. “I think it is one of the most high-energy events that I attend from all over the world. The Indaba, held by Curro in South Africa, is one of my favourite events because of the sheer willingness to learn, the creative energy, the goodness and the kindness of the people. The dedication that they show towards their learners is second to none! It is one of my most energising weeks of the year.”

Presented by experts in gaming and education, the sessions covered a wide range of related topics such as game streaming, tournament planning, AI in education, and the progress of South African esports. The presenters included education promoter and media personality Johan van Lill, African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL) director Nick Holden, Curro Digital Transformation Manager and Esports Project Lead, Magdeleen de Kock, and professional gamer and Acer Predator ambassador Julia ‘Bish’ Robson.

“This Indaba has been truly amazing and very eye-opening,” said Robson. “My favourite thus far is seeing all the teachers wearing their gamer tags on their back and playing some Valorant against each other—really getting to grips with what it means to be effective in your communication and understanding strategy and everything that encompasses being an esports gamer.”

Building SA’s gaming education community

Attendees experienced the best games for esports and education, such as using a popular title like Minecraft to enhance lessons and create new ways for learners to grasp their subjects. The Indaba also provided platforms for educators to network and participate in discussions around esports in South Africa.

“What an incredible three days it has been, packed with gaming-fun, learning, and networking,” said de Kock. “The coaches soaked up a wealth of gaming knowledge and are eager to bring it back to their schools. A massive thank you to our gaming partners, ACGL, Acer for Education, and North West University for making the Indaba possible.”

Doubling its attendee numbers since the 2023 event, this year’s edition showed that the synergy between gaming and teaching is helping educators and learners open new possibilities.

“It’s been a fantastic second Indaba, much bigger than last year’s,” said Glenn du Toit, Country Manager of Acer Africa. “Curro has blown us away with the investment they have been making into helping teachers. Not only within their schools but across the board.”

Curro and Acer for Education are at the forefront of blending technology and learning to prepare today’s generations for tomorrow. Their partnership is opening doors not just among Curro schools but for educational institutions across SA, from schools to colleges and universities. The success of the Curro Esports Indaba 2024 shows that there is a big appetite to use these new methods in classrooms, delivering real results for the educators who embrace gaming and esports as part of their students’ development.

The 2024 Curro Esports Indaba might be concluded, but its momentum is only getting started, building up to another great year for gaming in education and another big Indaba in 2025.

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