Monday, 10 September 2012

Kinect Games Based Learning

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 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.

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  1. Cool! I love seeing the innovation around Kinect and game based learning. I have to share a project currently under development. The ladies behind Kinect Biology are amazing people, amazing science visualization artists, and programmers.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. Great and innovative ideas of how to use the Kinect in teaching! I also watched the Kinect Biology and I'm sure students will better understand the material if they learn by this way. I have two questions:
      1. Do you know if someone made a research of learning using Kinect? If yes, can you send links?
      2. I'm a chemist and would like to know if there is an application of Kinect in chemistry. Does anybody know?


    2. Hi Asnat!

      I'm not sure if anyone has published any research about learning using the Kinect yet. But I have found these links abount the Kinect and chemistry which might be useful for you: - this is the science page of KinectEDucation, which might have some interesting things on it. - this has loads of school activity plans. You can select 'science' at the side to target results. - this is an interesting article about a game used to teach Physics and Chemistry. - this is a short video about a Kinect game which simulates a laboratory.

      Hope the links are useful. Let me know if you find anything else out!

  • Wow! That game looks like it is going to be amazing, thanks for sharing!

    If any one else wants to share their projects or anything that they have seen, please do. I love to hear about projects like this!

  • Sounds great.I am so happy to see different teachers utilizing game based learning,I am an adapted Physical Education teacher and have been working with classroom teachers to utilize interactive gaming.I have collaborated with peers to made thematic units based around games to make learning fun and realistic.It was a great deal of fun making it and seeing the response of the students.Best wishes.
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