B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 4 months ago

Future-Proofing Curriculum and Connectivity: Esports & Modern Education


Arenas are being erected. Huge competitions are being streamed. Scholarships are being granted to recruit the best players. 

Esports are beginning to permeate sports culture, and that doesn’t exclude the modern education systems. 

Whether a club team or a fully funded competition team, schools across the country are employing. The same technology is also being utilized to create better curriculum engagement in the K-12 environment. 

Shelby Skrhak speaks with Mike Stachura , National Account Manager at LG , about:

  • What sets esports apart
  • The role of athletic departments in technology implementation
  • How LG is supporting esports 

For more information, email mike.stachura@lge.com

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify , Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next, DOT INGRAM MICRO DOT com to find out war. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, Shelby scare talk, and my guest today is Mike, the Sura National Account Manager for LG Electronics. Mike, Welcome. Hey, shelby, thank you so much for having me. Super excited to be here. Thank you. So today we're talking about the this this idea of ultra gear gaming monitors and and how that relates within Uh k through twelve schools and uh and sports and e gaming. So let's uh, let's dive in. First of all, though, tell me a little bit about your role there at LG Electronics and and uh what, what fun stuff he gets to do? Yeah, so I've been part of the L G, LG Electronics on the B two B display division for a little over nine years now. I was with Ingram prior to that. So I've been in the distribution world for I called in fifteen, sixteen years now. Prior to that, I was gonna play circuit city. Many may remember, I was at home, Home Theater installer there. So I had a lot of fun, a lot of fun just live in the TV life. So I still get to hang around with this, with displays and get to see the latest and greatest cutting edge technology. UH, and it's super cool. We get to play with a lot of like futuristic type display technology. Um, within the past few e sports brand in the in the the mantra, kind of becoming more and more popular. Uh, we were we I know we were chatting a little bit about how, with the COVID pandemic coming in, all of a sudden everybody had to stay at home. And what did you do? You had to still be anybody, and the sports was a great way to to build that network beyond just your immediate community, but still stay connected with a lot of your friends, whether it be kt twelve collegiate. Uh. You know, Full Confession, I'm a little bit older and I still love gaming online. I don't siege Tuesdays, but Anywhoy, Um, I'm not that good, but it's been really cool to see that that kind of market continue to grow and drive in a lot of different aspects. So, uh, and seeing just the technology itself visually so fun to see where it was five, ten, fifteen, twenty years ago to see where it is now. UH, one of like the old Nintendos and my daughter, she's two and a half and she gets to play with she plays like a little nintendo controller, playing curby. She calls it piggy boom. You switch over to some of the latest and greatest VR stuff. You get new Microsoft flight similar, which is week. But any who, I think I said that all in one breath. Well, you know, it's funny because, Um, you know, I I, uh, we were at Davon busters the other the other day. I don't know if that's national or not. It's basically like a big arcade for for adults at the bar Um. Anyway, the Um, you know, we're talking about. How you know, Arcade Games, you know the ones that are kind of there in in in an arcade, if you will. Uh. You know, they haven't developed as much as the as the technology we have at home. You know, the Games that we're playing on on our xbox and with our you know, our TVs and and monitors. Just loads that stuff out of the water, and so it's amazing to see the the progress that that we've made. Right. Yeah, yeah, and I think that David Bosters mean so much fun. I love seeing those chains and my favorite thing to do when traveling is going to check out new barcades when you have just the grown a version where it's like the classic Eighties Arcade, like going to David Busters. How it's all collaborative. It's networking, it's having eight people playing the same game together on some massive machine. Um, there's I mean ticket redemption...

...is obviously Super Fun. You can also hats, a little widgets and stuffed out too, and I'm saving up for get that cool new teddy bear wearing a sweet bills had or something. But yeah, spot on the collaboration and making it fun. That's huge. Well, absolutely so. When we talk about then this uh, this idea about, you know, e sports, how how schools can use u e sports programs within their you know, their school to kind of create this community within a community. What does that mean, though? I mean, you know, when when you're when you're looking at it, you wouldn't necessarily see the connection besides maybe just some some, you know, periphery uh interest. You know you're not, you know, not truly integrating it. How, you know? What does that mean then, to really put the concept and the principles behind the sports into K through twelve? Yeah, if you if you look at like General Teamwork, you know sports and what they mean for for a group. It's about community, that the teamwork, the collaboration, Um, having your skill set shine in a particular position. You're now able to almost digitize that and I love talking e sports. I get to say the word metaverse, which makes me sound way cooler than I really am. Um. So with you'll see it really project when metavers becomes way more mainstream. But through your traditional sports there's a lot of synergies and similarities to an e sports the benefits of having an e sports program so with the pandemic and with just video game technology over the past few years, you see not only the teamwork collaboration in certain games, but you see a lot of developmental and engineering focus around that and I think we all remember number monshers in Oregon trail for many years ago. You learn a lot by doing that stuff. Um. So now, from a k through twelve standpoint, you still get that team work, the collaboration, but you're not expanding your network where maybe you're at a small, you know, it's lated location in the middle of nowhere, and you're able to compete on a global scale where hundreds of thousands of viewers are going to see your twitch of your school facing off against another school. So you get that piece but, like I mentioned, the stem piece as well. So, from a learning and education standpoint, Um, you have games like minecraft, huge and now there's certain flavors of that that are going into the learning and development applications. So really cool to see that be embraced. And the technology itself fits into so many different aspects within a k through twelve. What once was, oh, it's a technology perspectives to buy ten new computers for a computer lab, it's now your athletics department that's buying technology. So it's really weird to see how how that's kind of shifted over the past few years. Yeah, it has. It has well, and minecraft is a great example of being able to use this uh, for one programming skills. Uh, you know, there's plenty of summer camps that are using, using minecraft as the as the way to introduce you to the principles of coding Um all the way up until you know the UH, the larger subjects, you know, stem really really getting into uh, into some of the mechanics of science and technology and being able to put that into a format that they're familiar with, an environment that they're familiar with. Right. Yeah, yeah, and it's also, for better or for worse, it's a great advertising medium for companies. So it was, let's say, what was during the it was Obama's campaign when it was the first president to really embrace digital advertising, and there was a game. It was called burnout too and it was a driving game. Drive around cool and there were virtual billboards with ads for like vote for the president. It was it was crazy to see stuff like that. But now you take from a k through twelve and in e sports application, you still see advertising has a strong focus in that. Um Games like rocket league huge hundreds of thousands of known current views on on twitch, where you'll see schools facing off...

...from against one another and you can actually have like your teams, the home team's logo be on the ball in rocket league. So it's Kinda it's kind of NEAT. You have that like you know, it's you still the home team versusway team type feeling. Um, but it's games that promote teamwork, in collaboration and synergy, so to bring that positive element to it. So when when a school is looking at a you know, trying to integrate esports into their programs, Um, can you speak to some of the UH, some of the benefits, some of the advantages that that this has tangibly for for education, being able to, uh, to reach students in a different way? Yeah, what an awesome question. So I think getting into it, it's it really depends on the school district and what their current technology level is. Um. I know my local school, I'm in a K through twelve district here, and at school districts or Central School, uh, they just have a club team. So it's almost like a little homebrew where you still do the boosters clubs and kind of get donations to to run it, to spark it up, but it's not a fully fledged e sports team yet, whereas you get some of the I know there's a couple of schools in southern California that have full out teams and they work with companies Um U, G C and ultimate gaming and they have a full platform. They're standardized rules be against different games, UM, announcers. It's really cool, really fun. So, uh, starting with yeah, a your local school district. You can search for technology perspectives and then your local school and a lot of that information that your school districts, whether it be local nationally, will actually publish what their technology investments are going to be for the next five years. So from a from a market standpoint, thinking locally, yeah, technology perspectives for your local schools and that I'll give you an idea of not just what e sports, but what other technology of the school is gonna be purchasing. Are there, you know, more desktops, laptops, anything like that that they may need, interactive whiteboards, stuff like that. Um. So really, what's that the next five years look like from your current school district? And then get into all of the local community is always fun too. So well, and we're talking about technology, and especially within a school system, you know, the future proofing is always a concern, you know, both with the technology itself and then being able to to keep up with the trends in education uh, how does Um, you know, how how does L G address this idea about, uh, you know, providing technology that enables these, uh, e. sports, connected curriculums? Uh, what is what is the what's the benefit? I mean how how does LG really really kind of because that's the thing, you know, when someone, you know, when someone's trying to look at this technology perspectives, they are concerned about, is are we? Are we gonna still be cutting edged, you know, a couple of years down the road, or are are we still going to be, you know, uh, hanging the stuff off when we're not getting the full benefit of the newest newness of the technology? I guess if you will. Yeah, that's that's a great there's always that chasing, chasing the future and what what can, what small minute piece can be be approved upon? And I fall victim to that myself. I'm always I need the latest and greatest. If there's something that's tiny, little minute difference, but I'm missing it. I needed any needed, uh well, from a from a student in a collegiate standpoint. Um, I've heard like the three year life cycle refreshes really kind of that sweet about three to five years. Um, that's when you'll see that kind of the next biggest jumps in technology. Um, and that can be from the certain firmware's resolution of types of inputs that it may have. Um. But whether it be for the consumer in our homes or whether it be for a B two B application, schools, full arenas, collegiate levels, dorm rooms, there's there's always kind of, you...

...know, newer stuff that's coming out. Um. He evolves and then the display technology helps support that. So it's really cool. It's a it's a fun community to be a part of. So what is what is possible then? I mean, let's look at some of the ultra gear, gaming monitors and some of the some of the hardware that, uh, that is really enabling these curriculums. Yeah, so algae is algae is one of the they're really fun component of e sports and gaming, because it's ultimately the display that's showing up all the magnificent stuff that's happening behind the scenes within computing. UH, your your mice, your keyboard, you know, all that stuff culminates in that visual experience. Um, LG displays really shine with communicating that information visually and we talk about different B Two b applications of mission critical. Within the sports arena it's mission critical. You can see everything the way that it needs to be seen, because millisecond differences can be you know, score your goal or missing completely. So lgs, they're always pushing the envelope with trying to to to produce a better panel, produce a you know, the next level refresh rate, the next you know, lower a lag in, put something along those lines. Um. So it's it's really fun to see that kind of growing evolve. Yeah. Well, Um, can we talk a little bit about some of the specific technology that's within within the monitors, just so to understand what's really possible, because if, if you're not, I mean it's just like, you know, televisions, you know, back in your circuit city days. Um, if you're not actively keeping up with uh, you know what the what the latest technology and display is. UH, these terms can easily just kind of washed by you and and it doesn't really click onto what difference it makes between a ten, eight, you know, p all the way up to you know, five k like. So I guess can you just talk a little bit about what what is in with and these these monitors. That that makes it so unique and really makes LG products stand out from other competitors. Yeah, so you'll see technologies and features and functions that align specific to e sports. So there are gonna be a little bit different from your traditional your traditional desktop monitor that you'll see. So you'll see things like a much faster response time, refresh rates, hundred forty four parts refresh rate. Um, you see N video gcin compatible things like Hdr, so like hr six, etcetera. Um, you then have the immersion effect of how are you immersed visually in the game? So, depending on what you're playing, there's like an ultra wide desktop display that you can actually see more left and right. We see that and actually a lot of emergency response Um simulators. So if you're training to be, you know, learn how to drive an ambulance, you can do it visually first, in a very powerful way that you feel like you're sitting in the driver's seat of an ambulance and now you can see all the way around you three, sixty, three or six degrees of what you should be seeing. So it's it's cool from that aspect. Um. He just the latest and greatest maybe h d m I inputs, but it it's trying to put is much technology into the display that matches this system that it's going to be working with. So whether that be a certain type of video card, maybe it's going to be a certain type of you know, if you're using display port, H D m I, U, SBC, Thunderbolt, anything like that, trying to match all that technology to work with that gaming rig. Uh. And I know lighting is awesome, so you always gotta make sure to have a related r GB lighting as well. So that's a cool piece too, that having you know, certain monitors have that little glow on the back of it to help match with that. I know we're on I know we're on video, so I can show this, but like my mouth has the little matching whatever background...

...my system changes the like. It helps, it helps it, it immerses you into into things. Well. So let's go from from small to big then. So, you know, moving from the desktop monitors and the gaming monitors up into some of the larger displays that we're seeing at e sports arenas. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah, yeah, so I think it. So LG is a display company has a lot of a lot of different display technologies and when you talk about the arenas, there's so many different elements to that. Like you have your Menu Board at your concession stand, you have the giant direct view l e Ed scoreboards, you have the wayfinding displays, touch screens, um l g even has wayfinding robots now that that will, you know, walk around the facility and you can walk right up to you and say, Hey, here, you know what you're looking for. Um. So there's a lot of communication, visual communication, that can happen, especially within an arena Um, and we've all meant to the sports venue or an along those lines. You're in your sweet you have your own private viewing area, but you got your giant scoreboard over top of you know what everybody's seeing, and it's really fun to work on those because you actually have the uh what when when you have like your players that are sitting at their machine, they injected delay to what's actually on like the video screen. So coaches and and you know you can't have any spectators saying hey, watch out, the guy in the Greens moving left because you're playing in real time. So, uh, it's really fun to work on some of those applications. Just seeing more and more arenas. Uh, I know there's a few companies, the company in particular, it's gonna be building some game arenas throughout the US five and you actually see your hometowns have true e sports teams that you can go see, but you can also watch online. So it's really cool because you still get that in person event, the spectatorship, the Camaraderie, the community element from that, but then you also have it online that you can your phone, your your laptop, your table, whatever it might be. Well, and it seems to be that the the the importance of the display is even uh, it's amplified with the sports, because you know, if you're watching Um, you know I'm in Dallas. I'll say if you're watching the cowboys, you're watching the mavericks. Uh. You know. Yes, your eyes especially, they're at the UH A T and t stadium. Yes, your eyes are probably drawn to that giant, giant television there above, but you're still watching the game itself. We know with you know live, you know these guys running around on the field, but with the sports you don't have that. I mean you're not looking, you're you're sort of looking over the player's shoulder. But so you need the display to really, really, uh, draw you in. How, you know, I guess, how how has lg been able to to do that, to to make sure that when with the spectators are watching e sports, which is growing, uh, that they're really getting enthralled and and kind of enraptured with what or what they're seeing. Yeah, that's such a wonderful I love the topic of the experience and making sure that the display technology it's being used creates the experience that's desired. Um, and you think of waiting at a bank. If someone puts a TV up on a bank, what it actually does is it reduces the perceived weight time that an individual in line has. It's done absolutely nothing else, but it just reduces that. So it's not the display technology itself, it's having the right display in the right place at the right time. And I think we could talk about some of the beautiful, like cool curved video wall displays that you know, you can form a full waterfall on. But in the case of e sports, it's really that experience that you want. You want that big screen to be seeing what the players seeing and feel like you're part of that that group that moment and you're sharing that with everyone around it. So very similar to football. Um, the maddened tournaments and champions that they have out are those are those are...

...wild, those are border her line full games that people, you know, view and attend. Um, it's awesome and I think you're seeing more and more colleges offer scholarships. So within the sports market we're seeing a keg about growth, which is pretty powerful, especially within the technology space. When you look at something over the next five years, that's that's pretty consistent double digit growth, Um, and I think it's amplified when you start talking about scholarships, and I said my my daughter's two and a half. Who knows what the collegiate landscape is gonna look like in the next fifteen years, but you bet your you're I'm already saving for it in some way, shape or form, because I know it's gonna be expensive if it is still around. Um, so scholarships are a huge thing for that. So, heck yeah, she's got a she's got a Nintendo controller in her handed too. She's gotta get good right, right. She's gonna Start Practicing only on the line here. Get in and do your homework, uh, you know, forget piano practice, need to uh need to get on your love it. Go, get on your xbox. Come on, take your tablet up please. Well, that's the thing, though, I mean, because you know, if you are if you're newer to to this, you may not understand the, uh, the impact that Um gaming has had on on society, a positive impact. You know, sometimes you you can, you can dwell on the negative, but you know, when you see the amount of Um of gaming, of gamification within within business, Um, and then you apply that to you know, you know, professional sports, personal sports, teams of education being able to drive deliver curriculums that that really engage their their students. Uh, it's it really is bess saying, and I think it's probably worth an entire discussion just within that. You know, the unexpected ways that that gaming has uh kind of infiltrated of places in our lives that you wouldn't expect and the gamification that you mentioned. I mean I get to use that word metaverse again, which I love using that term. You see schools building arenas in the digital world and now you have a digital space to go to to have that in person feeling without any barriers of social interactions. There's no you know, you're just making your own Avatar. So there is no racial, age, gender and there's there's none of those barriers anymore. It's just people being people. Yeah, well, uh, as we do start to uh to wrap up our episode, we always ask our guests the same final question, and uh, that's where do you see technology going in the next year? I know that's broad but uh, maybe within this space. where? Where is the flight technology going within the next year and and maybe a little bit beyond that? Yeah, I love it. I would love that. I've been on the B two B tech talk a couple of times and I would love to go back and listen to what my previous answers to see like was I on point? Did we really get virtual, three dimensional McDonald's delivered to our house and give them? I don't know. Do we have rocket ships that take us to and from work? Probably not not, because we're not going. Um, yeah, I have I really love that question. I think the if you would ask me this two years ago, I wouldn't have been on virtual experiences. Now I think virtual experiences kind of coming gone, but I'm really thinking in the next year. So I'm excited to see what the hybrid experience for social gatherings looks like. Things like virtual concerts and verse physical concerts. Um, the cooking classes, the wine tastings, uh, the you have such a broader range of experiences you can do virtually now. Uh, and I'm really excited to see kind of where that technology goes.

Well, for our listeners who want to find out a little bit more about Um, you know some of the L G products that that we've made mention Um in some of the uses. Um. How can they reach out? Yeah, Um, so ingram micro is a huge partner of Alge. So definitely reach out to your Ingram micro resources. Um. LG's got a wonderful, wonderful landing page with a lot of information specific to e sports, some really cool case studies like called university. Um. That Youtube Linkedin, Um, twitter, the usual social handles. Um at Mike on Display if you want to get hold of me through twitter. But well, Mike, I really do appreciate the time, the insight. Uh, you know, I know we jumped a little bit all there, but this is this is good stuff. You know, we can we can nerd out a little bit on this on this episode. So love it. Well, shelby, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Thank you, and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. If you like this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on twitter with the Shag B two B Tech Talk. Until next time, I'm shelby scare talk. You've been listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. B Two B tech talk is a joint production with sweet fish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform.

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