kinect in schools


Kinect Paint: Hand Painting Without the Mess

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

This application, Kinect Paint, is a lot of fun to play around with. Although developments are still early, this undoubtedly has definite implications in elementary classrooms and is further evidence that the Kinect development community is growing strong.

As this Kinect community grows, the need for accessible downloads is warranted. This is provided a single executable file, making it easier for everyone to access. Most developments thus far have required you to compile source code, which can be tedious and perplexing. That being considered, make sure you read the instructions from the provider’s site in order to get this to work, because you will need to download the Kinect SDK first. If that sounds like too much legwork, I will tell you that it is beginning to become much easier to utilize these developments.

This application is available for download at and is also listed in the Kinect Apps for Education directory at Using the Kinect and a PC, you can draw using coordinated hand movements.

Check out my video demonstration below. I may be super-nerd for filming myself like this; if I am, oh well. It’s far too cool not to share.



Direct video link



Kinect Apps for Education Community

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I’m announcing the Kinect Apps for Education Community section of KinectEDucation, where anyone can download and upload their own Kinect FAAST key bindings, software, and articles.  All content, including membership, is free.  If you’re new to  



Top Applications for Kinect in Education

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

The results are in! After compiling results, these are the top application categories educators would like to see “Kinectified” with key bindings for use in their classrooms:

I could focus on specific applications (with the exception of Google Earth), but my intent is to decentralize control and have the community determine the direction of a lot of these initiatives.

The key binding contributions for each of these application categories have been placed in the community forums.

A couple of guiding suggestions:

  • – Determine what the most appropriate software is within each category
  • – How to compartmentalize efforts so contributors are working on unique components (meaning each person’s role is to focus on key binding gestures for specific features.

Contributors will be acknowledged in credits when this project is presented to Microsoft (official press release coming soon).

How can you help? Join the community. Once your registration is approved, you can begin contributing.

With our combined efforts, we can help classrooms evolve beyond the rhetoric.



Learning with Kinect: Follow the Path of Innovation

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Success within your professional career is largely a matter of aligning yourself with the core values of your surrounding environment; but occasionally, adhering to your environment and the status quo may come at the expense of innovation. If the system you’re operating within is isn’t aligned with innovative practices, your innovative idea may not fit well within the organization and may threaten its foundation and your personal success.

Our students and our teachers deserve to be guided by best practices, not practices that place excessive emphasis on teaching “tricks” that help attain a passing score on standardized assessments. Please don’t misunderstand me – I do teach shortcuts to help attain that important passing score. It’s hard to escape, and at times, “tricks” do help students succeed as we’ve defined it. But if better options exist – options that can help teach content and minimize the “tricks” – we need to spend more time pursuing those.

Will gesture-based learning innovate schools? As an educator, I strongly feel like this dimension of learning may help teachers, administrators, students, legislators, and state education agencies share harmony amongst their respective values. For most schools, these new dimensions of learning currently exist as mere ideas that need innovators to effectively integrate them in learning environments.

It’s important to step back from time-to-time and make sure that the road we’re on is worth taking. If innovative instructional practices can help us focus on what’s most important in our classrooms – rigor, relevancy, and relationships – then that’s the path we need to follow.

Using the Kinect for learning (gesture-based learning) is just one new paradigm to explore; what other innovative avenues have you been exploring? Feel free to leave your comments in the community forum or on the Kinect Education Facebook Page.



5 Reasons Kinect Will Succeed in Education

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Will the Kinect have enough influence to transform learning environments around the world into true 21st century classrooms? If we evaluate trends, growing research, learning theory, and the market, most findings indicate that the Kinect may very well become the new technology centerpiece in schools. The indie development scene is active and many of the basic applications designed already have potential in classrooms around the world. Check out the Kinect Apps for Education directory to see the software that’s available and become a community member (it’s free) to start collaborating on your ideas.

Here are five reasons why the Kinect will succeed in schools and become a technology focal point of learning environments:

Reason 1: Content Relevancy Amplified



What Can Education Expect with Kinect?

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Classroom integration of the Kinect may be preliminary, but assessing its potential is not. The featured video below encapsulates an early look at what the field of education can anticipate with the Kinect as a classroom focal point.

If you’re in agreement that the Kinect could create a new classroom identity – one that’s aligned with the current parameters demanded by the structure of most schools – help pioneer this new dimension to learning. Spread the word about the free, open-source KinectEDucation community through the KinectEDucation Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube channel.

Share your best practices and ideas relating to Kinect integration in learning environments in the community forum.

Author’s note: Microsoft is holding its annual U.S. Innovative Education Forum in Seattle this year; two attendees will be chosen based on the number of YouTube “likes” received for a submitted video. If you like the idea of integrating the Kinect in learning environments, consider “liking” this video on YouTube.




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