9 Excellent Programming Resources for Kinect

Last edited on 12/6/2011.


Students, educators, and enthusiasts are creating amazing things with Microsoft’s Kinect for education.  While new Kinect development resources are constantly emerging, here are 9 people-driven and digital resources that offer assistance for developing Kinect applications.



1.  Channel 9 @ MSDN

Channel 9 has projects, guides, and people to help create future software for classrooms.  Channel 9 describes themselves as a community that brings forward people behind Microsoft’s products and connects them with those who use them.  What makes them great are the plethora of projects available, along with engaging dialogue among community members.

2.  Lou Zulli & Doug Bergman

Together, these gentlemen create a dynamic group personality that would otherwise be nonexistent. The driving forces behind the coding development of “When Fish Fly” were the students in their classes. Using the Kinect SDK, they gained priceless insight throughout the process of development.

Doug, Lou, and I were members of the “When Fish Fly” team that won Microsoft’s 2011 Partners in Learning Global Forum.  Download “When Fish Fly”, try it out, modify the code – just make sure you share with others! 🙂   Lou had a separate project that also won, which is a testimony to the talent and passion he brings to the table.

3.  “Meet the Kinect” Book

This book is a programming guide for Kinect is set to be released in December of 2011.  From Amazon.com:

“Meet the Kinect introduces the exciting world of volumetric computing using the Microsoft Kinect. You’ll learn to write scripts and software enabling the use of the Kinect as an input device. Interact directly with your computer through physical motion. The Kinect will read and track body movements, and is the bridge between the physical reality in which you exist and the virtual world created by your software.”

4.  Alfred Thompson

Talented, experienced, and passionate.  Alfred Thompson’s passion for education and computer science is contagious.  An excerpt from his blog reveals that Alfred “…is the K-12 Computer Science Academic Relations Manager for Microsoft where he has worked for the last seven years. Prior to Microsoft, Alfred was a high school computer science teacher and school-wide technology coordinator. Before teaching, Alfred was a software developer for 18 years.He has written several textbooks and project books for teaching Visual Basic and C# in high school and middle school. In his current role he is a frequent speaker at conferences and advisor on computer science curriculum.

5.  Pat Yongpradit

He’s as genuine as he is passionate about computer science.  Pat was the 2010 winner of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum and is doing amazing work with Kinect and his students.  Pat succeeds as both  a computer science teacher and curriculum consultant.

6.  Stephen Howell: “Scratch and Kinect Guy”

Stephen Howell teaches others how to integrate Scratch with Kinect. A quick look at Stephen’s About Me page reveals that “He presented research based on Scratch at the first Scratch conference in MIT, and has written and presented several other papers and workshops on Scratch, Kinect, games design & teaching software development. When he is not lecturing, he consults with industry on how to build the next generation of natural user interfaces for marketing, content production and elearning systems.”

7.  KinectEDucation’s Kinect Apps for Education

Most of the apps uploaded here include both the executable files and source code to modify.  Can you imagine how we can transform classrooms with a repository of Kinect software for classrooms?  This is unchartered territory and we’re all learning a lot about what to expect next, but we must start somewhere.

8.  Ray Chambers

Personable, passionate, and also an exceptional programmer. Ray has developed a beginner’s guide to SDK development and also hosts his developments on his site, which helps introduce basic Kinect development to beginners.


I love FAAST because it’s easy for most anyone to use. The developers of FAAST will also soon be providing an SDK-version of their software, along with (I assume) object-oriented development.  In my opinion, this will be a critical development towards creating that 21st century classroom model of actively engaged students we’ve been fighting for.  I envision that classroom model to be more mainstream over the next few years.  Admittedly, it’s quite challenging right now because there are different parameters I didn’t consider, such as funding and the fact that in my math classroom, I cannot afford the time to “tinker” because of the reality of high-stakes testing.

Kodu with an object-oriented version of FAAST would be amazing.  Perhaps upcoming versions of Kodu will have the ability to map gestures?  Speculative, but I’m hoping.  Meanwhile, here is the current Teacher’s Guide for Kinect Development using FAAST.

What other resources are you aware of? Feel free to contact me or post it on KinectEDucation’s Facebook page

Johnny Kissko | KinectEDucation

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