My partnership with European Electronique has encouraged a lot discussion and research in to the possibilities of using game console hardware beyond the box they come in. I have seen Raymond Chambers (@lanky_boi_ray) speak and followed his blog for a year or so. Ray uses the Kinect Camera with a laptop and creates his own apps for secondary students to use in his ICT lessons. After many chats with Ray he has kindly produced a spelling app based on Letters and Sounds for my class.
The app is well within its infancy and we still have a few tweaks to make to it, but the latest version is available on his word press blog.
The concept of using a Kinect camera on a laptop is a simple one. Children are exposed to the latest gaming technologies in an explicit educational context. Children use gestures which the Kinect recognises, and they select letters to spell words.
What is interesting is the way the apps can make a direct link between physical literacy, reading and segmenting for spelling. The large gestures children use to select letters on the app continue to stretch the muscles in children’s arms, legs and back meaning their ability to sit and balance on a chair when writing is somewhat developed.
The possibilities of creating more impressive apps for all ages is great.. You should check out the recent advert for the X Box Kinect:
During BETT 2012 I had a fascinating conversation with a doctor who was interested in the motion sensor of the camera. We wondered if the camera could be programmed to track the movement of the eyes pupil so paralysed patients with eye movement could play games and use specially designed apps… What an exciting future gaming hardware holds for us!?