Music

 

Kinect in Education: Good-Bye, Old School

Monday, September 19th, 2011

School community, curriculum and instruction, and administrative tasks/leadership represent the framework of most schools.  Periodically throughout the year, school leaders and education practitioners reflect on best practices and build their effectiveness in each domain by adding or modifying their game plans respective to each three.  While well-intended and making great strides, the scope of change within each domain is usually isolated and there simply isn’t enough time make everything on the list a reality.  But on occasion, we do find something capable of being leveraged for gain in all three domains.  I believe the Kinect will serve as an instrument of mass appeal and change for teachers, administrators, students, and parents.  

The videos and examples below serve as a testimony to how Kinect technology will be a game-changer in the field of education. For more examples, visit 9 Incredible Developments for Kinect in Education.

 

Commercial Software & Games

Software that makes it to the shelves has been tested to work, is easy to use, and instruction can be creatively adapted to the game.  This is an exciting area of development; more details and links to come, soon. 

Microsoft’s South Africa team integrating Kinect in classrooms

“No more monologue by the teacher aimed at the students who don’t retain half of what they hear. No more boredom in the classroom… “Language is no longer the barrier; physical impairment is no longer a shortcoming. Interactive schooling is the way of the future.”

Avatar Kinect in Action

Kinect Physics Interaction Demo

School walls virtually become nonexistent with software like this; this has definite implications across all grade-levels and content areas. 

Robotics

From Microsoft Robotics Website: “There has been tremendous excitement with Microsoft Kinect within the robotics space signaling the potential opportunities that exist in transforming robots to low-cost mainstream consumer devices. RDS4 beta, with support from the Kinect sensor, aims to make it easier for developers to build applications, including those directed at personal robotics and consumer scenarios, both in hardware and in simulation.”

The download link and more information about the beta version of Robotics Developer Studio can be found on Microsoft Robotics’ website.

Anatomy & Science

Clearly, this has implications in the medical industry.  Why not bring it to the classroom to immerse kids pursuing the medical field?

 

 

Immersive “Mobile” Learning

Taking gesture-based learning on-the-go is tangible with this solution:

 

Interactive Lighting – Cut Down on Electricity Costs

This solution would cut down on unnecessary electrical costs.  Many schools already have motion-sensing switches, but this solution would work well for those that don’t and for new construction.

 

 

Multi-Touch Screen

A $149 touchscreen? 

 

Presentations Evolved

I envision software like this being used to transform presentations into interactive teaching and learning experiences.

 

 

Nuvixa StagePresence

If you’re already making podcasts for your students, why leverage your time by recording video of yourself?  Many kids are visual learners and this would tap into their style of learning.  This doesn’t work like your standard webcam; Nuvixa StagePresence actually replaces your physical background and augments you into your presentation.   Check out Nuvixa’s website for more information and a download link. This is my video demonstration:

 

Community of Kinect Apps for Education

KinectEDucation is sponsoring a contest that will award two $500 prizes for Kinect developments and videos demonstrating Kinect use in their learning environment.  A few contributed developments can be found in the links below. Check out the Kinect Apps for Education downloads and forums to see what’s new.

 

Music as Body Motion by Danny Cortes

Quiz Generator by Ray Chambers

Keyboard Piano also by Ray Chambers


 

Kinect Contest Entry #3: Music as Body Motion

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Danny Cortes’ has entered his “Music as Body Motion” for the KinectEDucation contest.  A video of his work in action is below; Danny’s app can be downloaded from the Kinect Apps for Education directory and Danny’s website.

This is amazing work and is representative of what talented people can do to produce game-changing applications for education.  Keep Danny on your radar for future developments!

To discuss Danny’s development and other ideas for development, check out the forums


 

Kinect in Education Contest: What Will You Create?

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

 

With Kinect, classroom instruction can be adapted to promote the well-being of our children, as opposed to conditioning students to unnecessary classroom routines.  While the vision for such a classroom exists, roadblocks also exist.  Primarily, these hindrances includes (1) relevant classroom software and (2) school technology infrastructure, such as the need to have Windows 7 to run the Kinect SDK and school reluctance to purchase Xbox’s for classrooms.  Although the Kinect community can’t write school purchase orders for new technology, we can create relevant Kinect software that reveals the need. 

Starting on September 9th and running through November 30th, KinectEDucation is hosting a competition to promote the advancement of education through game-based and active learning. 

Two separate awards are being given:

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$500 for the most innovative and adaptable classroom software uploaded to the Kinect Apps for Education directory.  “Adaptable” means that your software can be integrated in multiple content areas.  For example, the Shapes Game that is included with the SDK could be adapted for math classrooms to “grab the factors of five”; for an English classroom, “grab all the conjugates.”  The developments don’t have to be complex; in fact, the easier it is to execute, the better.

$500 for the “best” in-class video showcasing a Kinect classroom experience in the KinectEDucation Classroom Showcase. The “best” video reveals a classroom actively engaged in your content with Kinect and relevant software.  Advanced video editing skills are not required or needed.

You may participate in both contests if you’d like.  Additionally, winners will receive a write-up on KinectEDucation featuring them and their work. 

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Here are the caveats and further details:

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Software must be developed with the Kinect SDK and (2) uploaded as a zip file that contains at least an executable file and a “how-to” of some sort.

The winners must designate the cash awards to a classroom or school that is considered a public or private institution (K-12 or higher ed).  If you’re an educator or student, you certainly have the option to designate this to your own classroom. 

All participants must provide at least one additional idea for using the Kinect in classrooms in the KinectEDucation Educator’s Wishlist forum. Edit: Spam issues prevented legitimate registrations and there was additional difficulty in the forums; therefore, this was ruled to be an excessive obstacle to attaining the objective of the contest and therefore was omitted criterion for all submissions in final judging.

All artifacts must be classroom appropriate. 

A panel of judges consisting of educators from multiple content areas will select the winners.  Winners will be announced no later than December 5th. 

While it’s not required, it’s suggested that you include the source code to promote further development. 

 Because of major spam concerns, separate login credentials are required for the Kinect Education Forums and Kinect Apps for Education.

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In my opinion, the non-monetary gains outweigh any potential financial incentive.  As both an educator and a person advocating for renewed paradigms, please trust me when I say that many school administrators simply aren’t aware of the opportunities that lie ahead.  Your contributions would reveal to decision-makers the ability to integrate meaningful movement in classrooms, which promotes memory retention and increases academic gain.  So, even if you don’t win an award, you could heavily influence the future direction of education.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  If you’re new to KinectEDucation, check out the video below revealing how the field of education would benefit from integrating the Kinect.

 


 

Kinect Apps for Education: Interactive Quizzes

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Ray Chambers recently contacted me about his experiences with Kinect in classrooms.  On his blog, I found a development he had been working on:  an interactive way to take quizzes with Kinect.  After compiling the software and demoing it myself, I provided Ray with basic feedback from other educators trying to use Kinect in their classrooms. 

In my opinion, much of the power of using Kinect in classrooms lies within simple applications like this.  With this software and similar applications, the instructor or learner can quickly interact with content and then resume more traditional forms of instruction if it’s needed.  Here is a video showcasing Ray’s use of Kinect Quiz:

 

 

 

Ray’s blog is http://raychambers.wordpress.com.

Last updated 12-26


 

Kinect in Education Presentation

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

This presentation provides a great framework to engage educators in further discourse when helping integrate the Kinect in education.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me

 

Direct link: KinectEDucation on Prezi


 

Kinect in Education: The Progression of Innovation

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

“Exploring the adjacent possible can be as simple as opening a door. But sometimes you need to move a wall.” – Steven Johnson

In Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, author Steven Johnson explores the art, process, and history of innovation. One idea explored in this book is the “adjacent possible,” which describes how the world is always capable of extraordinary change, but only certain changes at certain times. Ideas evolve and continually build on previous ideas; they are built on a collection of parts that already exist across multiple disciplines. As ideas and innovations expand and evolve, new combinations of ideas are possible that weren’t possible or likely to succeed with the previous iteration. Johnson likens the adjacent possible to a house that magically expands with each door opened. For example, you start in a room with four doors; upon opening one door, you find another series of four doors. However, to get to the brand-new series of doors, you initially must travel through the first. At times, we may have to remove a wall to even find the door.

While the door leading to School Renewal exists, it remains as just a theory for many. While some have gained access, many are left knocking.

Innovating instruction in public education can be challenging. The “walls” that exist may block doors leading to innovation and a renewed framework for how we teach our children. Fortunately, I think we’re reaching a tipping point in education where we are exploring unparalleled “adjacent possibilities,” which will lead to exponential change years from now. The evolution of technology has provided us with new tools like Kinect, which will be catalysts that open up brand-new doors for education reform. One outcome of inviting these innovative, accessible, and transformational technologies into our schools will be the removal of some of those hindrances that are blocking prized paths. If we can facilitate meaningful active learning experiences that demonstrate academic gain, this may lead to restructuring the framework, both physically and philosophically, of our schools.

For the right doors to open, we must continually reflect on the path we’re following.

Johnny Kissko | KinectEducation | Microsoft Partner in Learning

Join the movement.


 

Kinect in Education: How to Create Relevant Games

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Active learning isn’t far away from mainstream classrooms.

Described below is a method to integrate Kinect and promotes active learning, higher level thinking and can be made relevant to all content areas. Driver support from developers will continue to stabilize; school infrastructure and administrators’ paradigms will continue to evolve to fully support Kinects in classrooms. I believe that this method offers a glimpse of what to expect over the next few years.

The activities found within this math module are designed for use with Kodu and provide a great framework for all math teachers to integrate game development in their classrooms. Finished projects can then be integrated to work with Kinect using FAAST. Within this PDF document are great examples of how to use Kodu in math classrooms; with additional basic programming knowledge, these creations can then be integrated with Kinect. Currently, this proposed setup uses the OpenNite drivers, which is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. FAAST will soon support the Kinect SDK, which will help end-users integrate this in their classrooms.

I made a very basic video showing how you may use Kodu in your content area as great way to support instruction. This took about thirty minutes to create, and I’m by no means a Kodu expert. With object-oriented programming, your developments can be very simple as my demo is, or you can design fairly advanced software. When integrating with FAAST, this becomes truly transformational. You can take Kodu and your classroom a step further by using FAAST to map keys from your keyboard to gestures; by doing so, you create authentic active learning opportunities for your students. For example, instead of using the arrow keys to move your character, you can run in place and shift your body accordingly.

 

If you need help learning how to integrate software with Kinect, check out my Teacher’s Guide for Kinect.

One suggestion might be to integrate this as a classroom project within each unit. Before the summative assessment, one class day may be used for students to prominently display their work and have others “interact” with their content.

The challenge I’m running into now is a lack of support resulting from different drivers; unfortunately, you can’t use software that utilizes the Kinect SDK and the OpenNI drivers on the same operating system. So, until development standardizes or support for both is provided, this may be early to see in classrooms. But those problems will resolve; I do believe this is the future of education.


 

Kinect Lesson Plans!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Check out the new and emerging section of KinectEDucation, Kinect Lesson Plans!

There’s nothing here yet; these lessons are community-generated and tweaked before being included in this directory. This is a community-wide effort; if you have any idea for a lesson plan, share it with the community!

Before being published, all lessons will meet the following criteria:

  • Lesson name:
  • Content area:
  • Appropriate age group:
  • Software required:
  • Lesson description:
  • Projected learning outcomes:
  • Assessment available (not required):

Feel free to contact me with any questions!