Exercising to Learn: Kinect in Education

I’m reading Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina. This book explores brain research and how this plays into who we are as human beings. Some key points that stuck out to me from this book so far:

- Our evolutionary ancestors walked up to twelve miles per day.

- Our brains and bodies are not built for idling in desks and cubicles for eight hours per day.

- Our brains developed not while we were lounging around, but while we were moving.

- Kids pay better attention to their subjects when they’ve been active; they’re less likely to be disruptive in terms of their classroom behavior when they’re active. They have higher self-esteem, less depression, and less anxiety, all of which can impair academic performance and attention span.

- A lifetime of exercise can result in large gains in cognitive performance, compared with those who are sedentary.

Source: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Few would argue against these key points; the benefits of exercise can also be further validated by our own experiences. The question that’s been troubling education for so long is “how can we effectively integrate movement in typical classrooms with all the red tape that exists?”

I believe the Kinect will offer the solution that allows all education stakeholders (parents, teachers, administrators, lawmakers, students, etc.) to share harmony with their desires, goals and agendas. I also believe that Microsoft’s releasing of the noncommercial SDK for Kinect provides further evidence that Kinect development for PC is being embraced, encouraged, and will eventually lead towards the evolution of classrooms to the 21st century model we’ve been working to attain for quite some time.

Check out the emerging Kinect Apps for Education; feel free to upload your own creations and to download the developments of others!

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