Kinect in the classroom – new case studies

Following on from previous posts about Kinect in education, here’s a couple of case study examples of Kinect in education that you may be interested in.

Sunset Elementary School

imageAt Sunset Elementary School in Colorado, students are using Kinect across the curriculum, to study geography, science, natural history etc. And their teacher reports that she’s seen improvements in their comprehension and knowledge retention. As Cheryl Arnett says “There’s power for kids in things that capture their interested, and are also something they can learn from. We’ve barely scratched the surface of where this can go; it’s limited only by our imaginations.” 

University of Washington

imageRobin Angotti, an associate professor of maths education at the University of Washington-Bothell, is also working with Kinect for education. With two computer science students at UW-Bothell, Jebediah Pavleas and Jack Chang, she’s created a custom Kinect app to help teach students functions of mathematics such as distance, acceleration, and velocity by letting them plot these equations on a graph in real time using Kinect and their bodies rather than just computing an equation with a pencil on graph paper.

She came across Kinect and decided to create a math app that would bridge the gap between the abstract formulas and the real world her students live and breathe in. Why? As Robin says:

  Maths is a gatekeeper. If kids don’t get into algebra by their [their first] year of high school, they’re off track to major in any kind of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] field. It’s really interesting – data shows that maths is a favourite subject when kids are younger. Somewhere in the middle school years, when they’re starting to have to abstract (when math moves from the concrete world of addition, subtraction and multiplication to the more abstract equations of geometry and algebra), we’re losing them. This piece of software makes math less abstract.  


What’s going on?

Why are there so many projects looking at the use of Kinect in education? Cameron Evans, the National and Chief Technology Officer for the Microsoft Education team in the US, puts it simply:


The potential behind bringing gaming to education is immense.

The majority of time spent playing video games, the gamer is failing, he said. Yet when a player fails in a game, they come back again and again until they get it right. Bringing gaming to education could help a student who fails a maths test, for example, keep trying until they get it right


Where to find out more about Kinect in education

The case studies above are available in more detail on the Microsoft News Centre website.

There’s a further article about Kinect in education projects where teachers are using Kinect with Xbox to support learning:

  • Using Kinect Sports to help teach maths concepts such as patterns versus randomness, probability, and angles through bowling
  • Students using Avatar Kinect to produce late-night shows and commercials, strengthening their language arts skills
  • Teachers using Kinect to teach maths lessons on angles, probability and arithmetic. School

Learn MoreFind our more about Kinect in Education on the Microsoft website