Microsoft promotes using Kinect in schools

The Kinect motion gesture technology from Microsoft is a big hit for console gamers who use it on titles for the Xbox 360. More recently, the Kinect for Windows launch is showing how businesses could use the device for a variety of tasks, including the creation of an automatic shopping cart.

But can Kinect be used in perhaps an even tougher environment, the classroom? Microsoft claims that it can in a new press release. The company announced that it held a panel on Tuesday at the SXSWedu innovative learning conference in Austin, Texas on using the Kinect device in school settings.

For example, at the Sunset Elementary School in Craig, Colorado, first grade teacher Cheryl Arnett let her students use Kinect in order to study and learn about subjects like science and geography. Arnett claims that after using Kinect, her students showed better comprehension of the subjects along with improved retention of what they learned.

Educators are also creating custom Kinect apps for teaching purposes. One, created by a professor and two students at the University of Washington-Bothell, helps math students learn about concepts such as distance, acceleration, and velocity. The Kinect app allows those students to "plot these equations on a graph in real time using Kinect and their bodies rather than just computing an equation with a pencil on graph paper."

Image via Microsoft

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