KinectEducation’s “What Will You Create” Contest Winner for Best Video

The votes have been submitted and the results are in! Congratulations to Kartik Aneja for his winning video submission, Nayi Disha: A New Direction, in KinectEDucation’s first contest! Kartik now has the opportunity to decide what school to donate $500 to, which he has as revealed below (outstanding story).

If this is your first time to KinectEducation, here’s a quick background of how things got started.

It all began in April of 2011 when a call to action from KinectEducation was put out to the Kinect development community: what will you create for education? The original idea along with the KinectEducation website were then taken to Seattle, WA to present at Microsoft’s US Partners in Learning event, where it caught up with the minds of Doug Bergman, Lou Zulli, and Margaret Noble and resulted in a first-place winning project at Microsoft’s Global Forum that integrated multiple layers of collaboration and KinectEducation as a resource for the world to download, upload, and modify their contributions to the project’s evolution.

Kartik Aneja responded by creating this; here’s his story.


Kartik has expressed how much this win means to him. From his story, video, and downloadable app, you gain perspective of how coupling people passionate about education with transformational technology can truly renew many of today’s classrooms. 

While this victory for Kartik is a reflection of his hard work and dedication, it’s a victory that, in my opinion, reveals key elements of the most genuine 21st century classroom I’ve seen yet:

Passionate teachers tackling real-world issues while delivering the whole-person learning experience.  Students are literally immersed in their content because the technology is intuitive and so seamlessly integrated.  It simply disappears while facilitating something that would otherwise be unattainable.

This next part of Kartik’s story makes me tremendously honored to be associated with not just his project, but Kartik as an individual.

The region Kartik resides in has very active community service programs. During his junior and senior year of high school, his school sent him to the National Association for the Blind twice every week. His experiences there led him to make the decision that the $500 contest money will be donated to his high school to provide Kinect cameras so that students can start exploring ways to use the Kinect sensor to help people with such disabilities. Upon reading his story, an inspired anonymous donor has also committed to giving the orphanage where he tested the app $250 to serve their needs as well.

I told Kartik I wish more could be provided to promote his cause. He expressed that while this money may seem like a small amount, the conversion rate in India will make the money serve wonders.

Here are some thoughts from our judges about Nayi Disha:

“This was my favorite video because it really showed how this helped the children have fun with the apps and learn about the world around them. This was applied to real world learning. I could see these two apps [referencing the games within Nayi Disha] being used in other areas as well with different types of objects instead of the trash and flies. I also like that the children have the music incentive because students react well to incentives and this is really at the heart of game based education where achieving certain levels means receiving an award. -“ Shelly Terrell


"This video captured me the moment it started and held my attention, mind, and heart the entire time. Not only was the message powerful, it brought an entirely new dimension to gaming; social good.  Brilliant!" – Angela Maiers





After watching the video, Andrew Miller also expressed how engaging he found the application to be.  Similar sentiment was captivated by judges Kelly Croy and Lucy Barrow:





“I really enjoyed this application! What a unique and powerful exploration of Kinect in education. I was very impressed with the variety of programming, the authentic purpose, and immediate benefits of this project. The programming could be applied to different social messages from trash to drugs, and even classroom subjects…Very touching project, well done.” – Kelly Croy




“This app is directly relevant to the students’ situations yet could easily be used successfully by students in other locations. It illustrates perfectly the value of the Kinect Sensor Camera, a relatively inexpensive piece of technology that can be used in so many engaging ways!” – Lucy Barrow




This has been a very fulfilling experience and I am honored that we could get Kartik’s message out. Kartik has also agreed in principle to continue contributing his developments (keeping his rights to the intellectually property, of course) to KinectEducation to help deliver a “connected education” for schools around the world.

Congratulations Kartik!  You may also find more of Kartik’s projects on his YouTube channel and other downloads in our emerging educational apps directory. If you have thoughts you’d like to send Kartik to further promote his vision and cause, we’ll pass it on or you can share your thoughts on KinectEducation’s Facebook page.

Contest results for “best app” will be announced soon. Meanwhile, the question still remains: what will you create?


Johnny Kissko


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