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Introducing Mike our Esports Programme Manager

Author: Mike Barnes

I am delighted to be joining the Digital Schoolhouse team as the new Esports Programme Manager and would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, my background and why am I thrilled to be part of the team.

After growing up in south London I made the first wild choice of my career by joining the British Army. Serving as an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals I got my first real taste of teaching as a helicopter handling instructor. After leaving the army to study law at the University of Nottingham I returned to teaching by moving to Japan in 2004 as an English tutor. During my twelve years living in Tokyo I taught at every level of the public education system before becoming a tutor at Waseda University, teaching a range of English and communication skills; from everyday English to critical thinking and academic debates. I returned to the UK in 2016 and threw myself into the startup world as a content developer and digital marketer, most recently in the esports industry.

My time teaching in Japan has taught me the incredible value of task-based and play-based learning. It increases cooperation and communication, leads to greater understanding and better retention, and it's also a lot of fun. As a result I am incredibly excited about the Digital Schoolhouse esports programme. It provides an opportunity for students to learn valuable career skills around a hobby through clear, practical tasks while connecting them to opportunities in the world’s number one growth industry. As an avid gamer myself it is a programme that I wish had existed when I was a student.

The Digital Schoolhouse esports tournament has proven remarkably successful in the last couple of years and I am looking forward to helping it grow in terms of both the number of students involved in each school as well as the number of schools participating. The tournament also provides a fantastic opportunity to introduce schools to the wonderful workshops and other services that Digital Schoolhouse provides and I cannot wait to work alongside the rest of the team to showcase all that Digital Schoolhouse has to offer.

You can contact me at mike@ukie.org.uk.

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