Review of Kinect in Education

The Wii and Kinect for XBox are very similar technologies. Both use body movements to control the devices and both are very productive tools to use in the classroom. Learn about the Wii in the classroom in one of my earlier posts and read Danielle Sherman’s blog to get all the details about the Kinect.

kinect

Unlike the Wii the Kinect is controlled solely through motion sensors; there are no remotes. Danielle originally thought that would cause problems but she ended up being very impressed with it. She also couldn’t believe all the educational value it had. Reasons it should be used in the classroom are as follows:

  • versatile between grades and subjects
  • engages students and promotes participation
  • physical activity
  • incorporates all learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
  •  multipurpose in and out of the classroom
  • cost effective
  • user friendly for teachers and students

As with anything it has its drawbacks:

  • only up to 4 kids can control the device
  • not good for controlling a desk top (mouse is more effective)

In my opinion, the Kinect would be a very beneficial addition to any classroom. All students in all subjects could benefit from these interactive games. Interacting with the information during the games helps reinforce student learning and they learn without realizing it because they’re having so much fun. But, would I recommend this technology over the Wii? Yes, the majority of benefits and drawbacks are the same, so why would I pick the Kinect over the Wii? Basically, it boils down to the remotes, or lack there of. Not having remotes is a benefit because it’s one less extra part. You don’t have to buy more remotes or replace them if they get broken. Plus it makes it easier to involve more students because nobody has a remote and everyone feels like they are involved in the game not just the privileged student, or students, who get to hold the remote.

(Photo Credit: Kinect Sensor at E3 2010 (front) by James Pfaff)

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