Using Popular Video Games to Improve Executive Functions and SEL Skills:  Randy Kulman, LearningWorks for Kids

Randy Kulman, Ph.D. is the Founder and President of LearningWorks for Kids, an educational technology company that specializes in using video games to teach executive-functioning and academic skills. Dr. Kulman is a child, clinical psychologist who specializes in assessing children with attentional, learning, and executive functioning issues.

Video games can improve a variety of cognitive skills such as attention, fluid reasoning, and processing speed. Recent studies have also demonstrated how playing selected video games can directly improve executive functioning and social emotional learning skills, keys for problem solving, collaboration, and self control. This presentation reviews the research connecting video game play and improvements seen on skills such as cognitive flexibility, working memory, and social awareness, identifying dozens of popular games in which executive and SEL skills are practiced. Methods for transforming game-based skills into real world competencies are identified, and specific previewing, metacognitive, and generalization strategies that optimize skill development from game play are explored.