Kinect in Education: The New Technology Focal Point?
I’ve never been more excited about the potential for a single piece of educational technology. This considered, I’m going to make a bold prediction: within the next few years, the technology driving the Xbox Kinect will be a technology focal point in our classrooms.
UPDATE (4/14/2011): Check out KinectEDucation, a new community dedicated to exploring the use of the Kinect in education.
For those unaware, Microsoft’s Kinect is a console adapter for its Xbox 360. The dual camera system will allow for gesture based gaming, in addition to voice recognition for controlling software. It’s a controller-free setup, allowing gamers to completely immerse their body into the game – arms, legs, hands, and feet.
This experience is now (unofficially) being ported to PCs by Kinect hackers. As a result of being ported to PCs, I predict that the Kinect will provide an engaging, cost effective, and intuitive experience for educators and students.
Keep in mind that this just the beginning. Once Kinect development on the PC becomes mainstream and officially supported by Microsoft, I would expect to see software designed specifically for the needs of education.
Until then, here are some ways people are using the Kinect with their desktop computers. Whether you’re a parent, student, teacher, or administrator, these videos will help gear up your imagination to dream of the implications this could have in education:
Video above: Anatomy Exploration using Kinect
Since there’s many media resources, I chose to hyperlink to the rest rather than embedding the media.
- Sign language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFH5rSzmgFE
- Physics: http://kinecthacks.net/davinci-touchless-kinect/
- Robotics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdSfLyZl4N0
- Flying with Gestures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkHakM-vpM8
- Hollow Man: http://kinecthacks.net/hollow-man/
- Distance Learning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvTXLpTrEFw
- Musical Instruments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgLp-KyK5g8
- Full MultiTouch on Windows 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-wLOfjVfVc
If you’re an educator, you may have the justification you need to spend the $149 to purchase a Kinect for yourself. Are aware of other ways educators can use the Kinect in their classrooms? Feel free to comment below.