WEP 119: The Importance of Video Games as Esports Games in Your School, An Interview with James O’Hagan

An Interview with James O'Hagan

“It is not cutting edge to have an esports team. It is cutting edge what you do with it to connect kids into something more than the games.”

In this episode, Kelly interviews James O’Hagan, an expert in esports games in education, a veteran teacher and administrator, and host of the Academy of Esports Podcast. James will challenge your thinking about the importance of video games in school and offer you amazing resources and direction to help you start up your school district’s esports team. I love this interview with James, and I know you will too. He is brilliant! I love his thoughts on how his school’s athletic director is more like an activities director, and how he lists the benefits of esports games in education including improvements in: attendance, engagement, grades, health, becoming coachable, social media appropriateness.

An educator for 20 years, James O’Hagan has long believed that video games can promote a positive culture for students that engages creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. He has served as an elementary, middle and high school teacher and administrator, and has worked with rural, urban and suburban students. In addition, James founded esports teams in two school districts that have blossomed into city-wide conferences.

James is a national speaker on a variety of topics involving the intersection of technology and education, and is currently completing his dissertation in the field of instructional technology at Northern Illinois University.

Mentioned in this Podcast: 

Planbook.com: The best way to create, organize, and share your lesson plans, sponsored this podcast.

Unthink Before Bed Launch Team: Kelly’s closed, private, and limited Facebook Page: Unthink Before Bed: A Children’s book to encourage mindfulness and erase anxiety. This is the launch team to help bring this book to life and promote it. Please join us!

The Future Focused Team Facebook Page: This is a closed, limited, and private Facebook Group that will post one 30 day challenge and one task per month, and the community will hold you accountable to post your results. It will be fun and help you become your best self. Please join the Future Focused Team Facebook Page.

James O’Hagan’s favorite book: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Li

The Academy of Esports Links
The Academy of Esports Homepage – http://www.taoesports.com
Apple Podcast Link – https://esports.irish/ApplePodcast

YouTube – https://esports.irish/YouTube

Twitch Channel – https://esports.irish/Twitch
SXSW EDU 2019 Session – https://esports.irish/SXSWEDU
James Links
James LinkedIn Profile – https://esports.irish/James
James Twitter Profile – https://esports.irish/JamesTwitter
Educational Resources
North American Scholastic Esports Federation – https://www.esportsfed.org/
NASEF Integrated English Curriculum – https://www.esportsfed.org/learning/curriculum/
Popular Esports Games


Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram