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“River Crossing” is a new Kinect educational app available for download, freely provided by Kinems. Kinems is a company that provides learning games utilizing Kinect for K-9 children and enriches the traditional therapeutic method with their motion-sensored educational games.
A video demonstration of River Crossing is featured below.
Here is some more info about River Crossing from the Kinems Game Launcher:
Objective: Visual-kinetic coordination and development of critical thinking.
Description: In the ‘River Crossing’ game, the child undertakes the task to lead a boat in a river and transfers a duck, a fox and a sack of seeds from one shore to the other. The child-skipper should be very careful so as not to throw his boat on the rocks that exist in the river. Sometimes the passage becomes narrower or wider, depending on the difficulty of the game! For more experienced skippers, the task becomes more complex and as a result the duck should not be abandoned with the fox or the duck with the seeds at the same river shore, since there is always the risk that one disappears from the other. The correct option, in conjunction with careful driving, is to practice the delicate mobility, the visual-kinetic coordination and the grapho-kinetic skills of the children, contributing in this way in the development of the necessary skills for the conquest of writing.”
River Crossing is one of the many apps featured on Kinems’ website.
Welcome, Ben Allen, to KinectEducation!
Ben Allen is a student from the UK, where he crafts websites, software and apps. He has been passionately running the business (pixelblast.co.uk) for over a year now, with a quickly growing portfolio. Self-taught in C#, Java, PHP and HTML, to name a few, Ben actively gets involved in new projects to see what he can bring forward. His enthusiasm continues outside of work, where Ben enjoys playing the drums, mountain biking and reading. Ben has an admirable passion and skill for creating digital content that enhances learning and builds communities. The work that he’s doing is an extension of his passions – creating innovative applications using the latest technology available. Ben has a contagious enthusiasm for technology and we’re here to partner it with other educators, students, and developers.
What’s Ben been up to so far? In addition to creating a Kinect physics game, Ben has been collaborating on a project with Cody Short, a student in Virginia, who will also soon be announced. While the project they’re working on in itself will reflect great work, it’s the process that’s absolutely the most fascinating.
The students, developers, researchers, and educators here are pioneering a new dimension of learning that minimizes cultural and device preference barriers. Ben is from the UK, Cody is from the USA, Kim Jackson is from South Africa, Patricio is from Chile, Guillermo is from Mexico City… and this list continues to grow. There is no isolation here. There is no “us,” “them”, “Brand A” or “Brand B.” We are all connected and from our own unique perspectives see the value of what our classrooms will look like through creating compelling content with Kinect. We’re leveraging each of our unique skillsets to create something bigger than what any of us would have done on our own.
We’d love for you to create with us! Join the movement.
Math Jock: Kicking Your Way to Mastering Mathematic Equations
3.OA.4. Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 × ? = 48, 5 = _ ÷ 3, 6 × 6 = ?
4.NBT.4. Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
5.OA.1. Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions, and evaluate expressions with these symbols.
NCTM: Numbers and Operations- Understand operations how they relate to one another. While addition and subtraction is for K-2, the time challenge makes this appropriate for grades 3-6.
Welcome, Guillermo Palacios, to KinectEDucation!
Guillermo Palacios is 34 years old and has been happily married for two-and-a-half years. He’s a Computer Science Engineer and has been an IT professional for 10 years, working in the development and management fields developing applications.
In his down time, Guillermo enjoys mountain biking and photography. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog; clearly an enthusiastic person, Guillermo also likes exploring new technologies, one of which is Kinect development. Right now, Guillermo is working with people who have special education needs, both who are physically and mentally handicapped. His goal is to develop several Kinect applications to provide students with special needs with the physical independence that they were once lacking. Through his efforts and his university, COAMEX, (Coalition for Human Rights for People with Special Needs Mexico), he hopes to target this sector using Kinect technology.
Guillermo is from Mexico City and will be providing his research and his applications here to share with others. Guillermo, we’re excited to have you as a part of this!
Welcome, Tom Smurthwaite, to KinectEducation!
Tom and I met through our work and interests with Kinect earlier this year. Tom has been a recording and performing musician for over 40 years and has keen interests in using his skills to help learners with special needs. Here’s some more background information about Tom, his experiences, and how he is instrumental to KinectEducation.
I have been a recording and performing musician for over 40 years. I am qualified as a music facilitator and have worked as a community musician for the last 10 years. I was always drawn to the people excluded from normal musical activity either through lack of motor control and/or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). I also studied electronics and have retained a fascination for the beneficial uses of technology. Combining these elements led to me being a founder member of Decoda and the driving force behind our innovative Music Gym project. This ran for 5 years (initially a years pilot) and converted a large sports hall into an interactive space for those with PMLD. An inflatable interactive maze for wheelchair users, called the Decodamaze, won an NHS award for the beneficial use of technology in social care in 2009.
I have a vast practical experience of engaging and enabling people with profound disabilities.My aim is to enable people with complex needs to engage with the world in a meaningful and creative way. Technologies designed for musicians, dancers, gamers and security companies can be adapted and used for this purpose.
I use ultrasonic sensors and motion sensing/capturing software to enable people with PMLD to have some control over their environment, to make things happen. Combining different technologies into interactive spaces is my passion, taking technologies away from their designed use. When the Kinect sensor was launched I was very excited at the possibilities of a consumer priced 3D game controller and the last year has only increased that feeling. I am interested now in the transition from Kinect hacks to Kinect apps and will continue to blog about this progress (www.multisensorysolutions.co.uk). I am a musician, songwriter, engineer, producer, performer, technician, stage hand, designer, problem creator and solver for the Music Gym Ltd.
Tom believes that dissolving the interface in computing opens up the benefits of technology to everyone and is honoured to be invited to to join the team! He’ll be starting a year long project with disabled children in January and hopes to include various Kinect applications throughout the year. Tom will also be looking at gesture recognition and the possibility of using two Kinect sensors (cheap eye-tracking anyone?). Tom, welcome to the team!
We’d love for you to be a part of what we’re doing here – building a community of educators, developers, students, parents, and all other education stakeholders – to transform the traditional classroom model. We’re open to every single person – join the movement and be a part of something big!
We’re receiving several questions related to “What’s Next” With KinectEducation. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working to make sure that our model going forth is as effective and efficient as possible. We’ve got a strong team in place and are looking forward to an exciting 2012.
Welcome, Lakshman Sankar, to KinectEducation!
Lakshman Sankar is a graduate student and entrepreneur who is very excited to see how natural user interfaces will affect technology used in the classroom. He recently graduated from MIT majoring in Physics and Computer Science and is currently completing a Master’s degree (still at MIT) in Computer Science. During this time, he is also conducting research at MIT CSAIL in gestural interface design.
Lakshman has always been interested in education. Before coming to MIT, he planned on studying and eventually teaching physics. At MIT, he discovered a love for technology and building things and realized the impact he could have with technology in education. His final year at MIT, he co-Founded Braingenie (http://braingenie.com/), an e-learning tool/curriculum that hopes will be a game changer in math and science enrichment.
Lakshman is very excited about the changing role technology is playing in educational tools and believes that the Kinect opens an entirely new range of possibilities. Lakshman has engaged in prior work in large development environments and also provides a solid framework for tackling large projects.
When visiting with Lakshman, it’s very clear that his primary purpose is to help learners by creating a “Connected Education,” and his skillset facilitates this higher purpose. With everyone’s overlapping skillset and common vision, we aim to carry ideas from development to deployment to provide Kinect Effect experiences to transform the traditional classroom model.
Lakshman, we’re honored to have you!
We’d love for you to be a part of this! Join the movement.
Welcome, Julie Sessions to KinectEducation!
Julie Sessions is an educator with 18 years of classroom experience in both public and private schools. She has taught a wide range of grades and subject material ranging from first grade through seventh grade. Her specialty is science, but she has also taught Reading, Math, and Social Studies. Julie has chaired departments, lead grade levels, presented at numerous conferences, and formally evaluated teachers. This unique perspective gives Julie the knowledge to better help her fellow teachers as a curriculum specialist. Julie has her Master’s Degree in Reading, is a Reading Diagnostician, and has her Doctorate in Curriculum Studies. Hands-on exploration, interdisciplinary learning and cross-curricular units are Julie’s specialties. She has a passion for learning that is contagious!
Currently, Julie is teaching at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC where she is also the Lower School Curriculum Coordinator. With extensive work on analyzing and developing curriculums, she shares her knowledge with the faculty and staff to help incorporate 21st century learning skills into the current curriculum. Julie is very excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to using her skills to help with lesson development and curriculum integration.
You gain a strong sense of who Julie is very quickly. Julie loves that we’re here doing something much bigger here than what any of us could do alone. Taking an idea, spinning it off the brilliance of others, and then coming up with something bigger than what we could have originally imagined ourselves – that’s the ultimate collaborative effort. Julie, welcome aboard! We’re very excited to have you here!
We’ve got voices from developers, educators, and students that will soon emerge from Mexico, the UK, Australia, and elsewhere! This team is open to anyone from all ages, countries, and backgrounds. We’d love to have you part of what we’re doing.
Welcome, Kim Jackson, to KinectEducation!
I was honored with the opportunity to meet Kim while we were at Microsoft’s Global Forum in Washington, DC. Kim’s classroom integration with Kinect is much like my own and everyone else’s. We have the vision of how this classroom will look and work; together, our collective abilities will serve to do great things together. I think that there’s an understandable tendency to think that everyone here has everything figured out. We don’t – we are all here striving for the ideal and collectively have the drive and leadership abilities within our own areas of expertise to make it happen. Kim’s vision of how to best reach learners and her ability to collaborate across cultures are two highly regarded assets to help pioneer the effort.
Here’s a background of who Kim is and how she hopes to play a role in this mission:
I am a South African teacher who has been teaching for 7 years. I am currently HOD at St Cyprian’s School in Cape Town, South Africa. I joined the school at the beginning of this year and met up with my colleague, Louise Clarke. I have taught Grade 4 for many years and Louise and I both wanted to challenge as well as enthuse our girls with regards to creative writing, so we decided to incorporate ICT whilst teaching.
St Cyprian’s School is a Microsoft Mentor School and it is here that our Head, Tracy Laubscher, introduced us to the Microsoft Innovative Teachers’ Competition. Louise and I were finalists in the competition and flew to Washington DC, USA in November. While South African education needs to improve, especially in ICT, it is here that we had the privilege of meeting fantastic teachers who introduced us to diverse and amazing ways we could incorporate ICT in the classroom back home. Subsequently, our school has purchased an XBOX Kinect and we would like to begin the journey of marrying ICT and education.
We want our girls to become active participants in the classroom; gone are the old- fashioned teaching methodologies, where the teacher dictates facts and the students listen. Louise and I analyzed the use of ICT in the classroom over the year and came to the conclusion that students perform better (results wise) if ICT is incorporated into the classroom environment. It need not become completely ICT related, but must be used as a tool. We have evidence that our students’ results, when using ICT, far surpassed their "usual" marks and as an educator, it was an extremely interesting discovery. With that being said, I cannot wait to be a part of such an exciting time in education, particularly in SA. I look forward to using Kinect and seeing what is being done around the world.
Kim, very honored to have you as a member of this group committed to transforming classrooms around the globe!
Kim Jackson | KinectEducation | Microsoft Partner in Learning