Rationale

While brain research and the study of human cognition are continually making new discoveries about how we learn, we do know that the more senses we employ when recording a memory the more intricately woven that new knowledge will be in our minds. Additionally body movement has been shown to improve not only physical health but also priming our brains to be able to learn.

 

Designing a learning sequence using interactive gaming technology involves the creativity of the teacher to unlock the learning potential for the student. There are many skills that a student has the potential to develop when playing a game using a Kinect on an Xbox gaming console. To illustrate how the Xbox Kinect can be used within a learning environment, a teaching support document has been created to demonstrate how the curriculum can be supported in various Key Learning Areas (KLA’s) from K-6 and in Life Skills Courses 7-12 across the NSW curriculum.

 

Like any learning setting or teaching context, a teacher should not assume that a student always comes with the skills to be able to effectively use this system. They will need to be provided with adequate time to familiarise themselves with both the concepts within a game and the ways in which you can interact with this game. They will also need a number of opportunities to practise the skills associated with each interactive learning environment.

 

There are a number of fundamental skills in the following KLA’s that have the potential to be addressed through learning opportunities based on the Xbox Kinect. These include:

 

As well as these KLA skills, personalised learning outcomes can also be written in domains that include communication, physical therapy and movement, social learning and learning leisure skills. These teaching areas are not made explicit in the game software package or in the console information. In the case of the Kinect, the software package 'Kinect Adventures' can be used to support the individual and group learning needs of students, whether they have adjusted learning needs or whether they are able to access curriculum from K-12 without additional supports.

 

The following document outlines key learning content areas from courses and KLA’s in the NSW Curriculum. It then organises learning content into lessons that support learning in a way that is meaningful both in and outside of the game (Kinect Adventures). Further links are made to alternative software titles and all learning content areas are supported by a Smart Notebook package available with this learning support document.

 

Microsoft has established a Kinect Education Facebook page which allows users to share lesson plans, ideas and resources based on the Kinect. The Facebook page can be found by clicking the following link http://www.facebook.com/KinectForEducation. Microsoft also has a Kinect Education webpage which has a range of lessons plans and other support material. The webpage can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/products/Pages/kinect.aspx#3.