I have spoken in a previous blog post about the amazing uses for the Xbox Kinect with children on the Autism Spectrum. However, there are also many other ways that Kinect technology can be used to teach a wide range of things. The website http://www.kinecteducation.com/ has tonnes of educational games that people have developed for a wide range of subjects. Some of them are a little basic, which is what you might expect for such a young market. However, it is clear that the Kinect has great potential for games based learning.
I do recommend taking a look at that website as it is full of interesting games and lesson plans etc, but I’m going to focus on one game developer in particular in this blog who has particularly caught my attention. David Renton is a games developer and lecturer based in Scotland. He has created several games for the Kinect, which look both educational and great fun.
The first game is Kinect Angles. This game aims to help children learn angles, percentages, fractions and decimals in a fun way. In-game, the screen shows a picture of the game-players through the Kinect’s webcam-like system with superimposed images on top. The aim of the game is to visually represent angles correctly with ones’ arms. The game can be played individually or as a pair, competitively or not. In David’s own words, the game “promotes active learning methodologies. Pupils are engaging with their learning in a physical and multi-sensory manner, meeting the needs of different learning styles; aural, visual and kinaesthetic.” One child, in a pilot lesson said, “It’s active and you understand it better than just doing it in your jotter.”
The second game is Kinect Time. It works in a similar way to Kinect Angles, but is used to help teach children time. Again, it can be played individually or as a pair. In David’s words, “The point of the game is basically to set the hands on the clock to match the time digitally displayed, you do this by moving your arms; Kinect captures the motion and my game translates it to the hands on the clock face.” Visit this blog post for a video of the game in action.