I was at a very interesting presentation at the ICT Conference in Johannesburg yesterday, about how the XBox Kinetic had been used in a small rural primary school near Vryheid, and how effective the staff felt that it was in uplifting English language and Mathematic skills. The Kinect, formerly known in typical Redmond fashion as Project Natal, introduces gesture-based computing to the XBox.
The following video explores how this is being used in the school:
What is clear is that this has enormous potential! What is not so clear is how it can be used in the classroom. One point to be made is that the XBox itself is an Internet connected computer in its own right, and can therefore double up on purpose.
Will it enable immersive virtual simulations? A kind of Second Life where you and your avatar are kinetically connected? These are fascinating prospects, and open up huge possibilities. Only time will tell.
In the short-term, I’m not about to rush off and try to convince my principal that this is the most vital piece of kit that I need! On the other hand, it might be something for the school games club to get, and share with teachers willing to try it out!