How Gaming can develop SEL skills of students

Mar 27, 2017

A nonprofit organization, The World Economic Forum is calling out educators to make students understand what kind of jobs will be available for them in the future. This will help in preparing the students of today to the workplace demands and social participation requirements of tomorrow.

The forum reported in 2016 that traditional learning is not enough to flourish in the 21st century. They need social and emotional learning (SEL) which develops teamwork, communication, and various other skills. The report added that along with the traditional skills, proficiency in SEL would help students adapt to the future generation of the digital economy.

Succeeding at work is no longer about analyzing, finding and solving a problem. It is equally important for an individual to communicate the findings. In addition to good qualification grades, a person's resume must include social and emotional learning skills.

Technology and Gaming

A technology based job in future requires its potential employees to have tech skills such as coding. But along with those necessities, SEL skills are an equally important requirement for the same position. Dev Bootcamp's is one such growing company, which trains future coders, who understand the upcoming demands of the corporate world. In their Engineering Empathy curriculum, they teach coding, as well as skills such as collaboration, empathy, communication and problem solving to the students.

Gaming, nowadays are great tools to build a student's SEL skills Teachers can encourage student to play such games which help prepare them for future jobs. Fortunate enough for the educator's kids love technology and games. Teachers should introduce those games to the student's which develops SEL skills and teach them about its advantages and how it can be fruitful for their future. Each and every game - develops or teaches something valuable to the kids. But SEL based games were built with the focus of enhancing some specific skills, which are essential for the 21st century.

Games that connects SEL skills with Career

Classroom Inc. has two major games named ‘After the Storm' and ‘Community in crisis' which helps students learn that having decision-making skills are of utmost importance in the workplace environment. Students fill the role of an editor in the game titled "After the Storm." While "Community in Crisis" puts them into the shoes of a community center director. Kids feel empowered due to such games as it makes them feel like a leader who has the decision-making authority.

Common Sense Education brings out SEL based apps each week which is also worth playing out.

How can teachers maximize student's engagement of SEL based games?

  • By asking students to recognize their field of interest and what kind of jobs they are more willing to do in their future.

  • By asking them to share their favorite games which they play a lot. This establishes that you have an interest in their personal choices and values. Also, this broadens other student's knowledge about SEL based games.

  • By making them understand what SEL skills they are gaining from playing such games. For example skills such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration, decision making, etc. are acquired from these applications. Provide them insights on how these are developed through such games?

  • By telling them the importance of these SEL skills in their career and how it can prepare them for the future.


65% of the kids who are studying in grade schools today will go on to work in jobs which do not exist now. This employment sector shift will require students to learn and develop SEL skills. Economists argue that employees in the next generation will be asked to solve problems, do unscheduled manual tasks and work with new information. Thus, gaming should be used as a teaching method to prepare students for the workplace environment in the future.

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