5 Oct 2023

Brendan Growden

Innovation in Teaching

Brendan Growden

Marsden State High School students are preparing for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics under the guidance of 2023 TEACHX Innovation in Teaching recipient Brendan Growden.

eSports have been named for inclusion in the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Brendan has wasted no time in developing the South-East Queensland eSports League (SEQEL) and embedding eSports into the classroom curriculum.

In what Brendan describes as his proudest achievement of this year, SEQEL sees students compete in games like Mario Kart, Rocket League, and FIFA 2022, with over 60 schools in the region expressing interest in taking part.
The positive impacts on students are clear to see attendance in eSport classes are 3% higher than the school average leading to improvements in academic, behaviour, and effort outcomes.

In addition to the wide interest from schools, businesses have expressed interest in sponsoring the competitions which has provided opportunities for community mentorship programs and internships have presented themselves. The use of eSports in the classroom leads the way to foster skills of collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving through hands on experience with innovative technology.

In addition to the SEQEL, Brendan had a role in the establishment of a Drone Racing League that sees students learn to design, build, and pilot drones to develop their understanding of aerodynamics and programming and has seen participation in after-school club rise steadily. Brendan’s efforts are preparing MSHS students for their future careers - 70% of participants have expressed interest in following pathways into aviation industries.

Further embedding eSports in the curriculum, the Sports Technology subject is backed by a Certificate II in Applied Digital Technology and Certificate II in Skills for work and vocational pathways (also provides 8 QCE points). Students gain the skills and experience required to analyse sporting performance through analytical software and hardware tools, collaborating with coaching staff and players, and using multimedia platforms to develop and share content.

Brendan was drawn into the profession through his experience as a personal trainer.

“I had been full time personal training and had identified that a point of difference I had in regard to achieving success with clients was through educating them, and not just expecting two more reps.”

It's not just students who are benefitting from Brendan’s commitment to his practice – he runs professional development sessions for his colleagues on data collection methods, data mining practices, and other innovative teaching strategies. These sessions have equipped teachers with valuable support to leverage technology to improve student outcomes.

“Seeing the difference you can make in regards to shaping a young person’s confidence, career, and life beyond school - that’s the best thing about being a teacher.”