Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows has been used to help school children in the US to understand how to measure angles and solve geometric and trigonometry problems.
Professor Carmen Petrick Smith at the University of Vermont in Canada and Professor Barbara King at Florida International University in the US used a Kinect-base activity to help 20 third- and fourth-grade students to understand the key properties of angles by moving their bodies.
During the activity, students used their arms to create different angles while a Kinect sensor was used to measure the depth and image of these arm movements and positions.
This data was used to create an onscreen graphic representation of the students’ bodies in which arrows duplicated the angle formed by their arms and the monitor screen changed colour to indicate whether it was an acute, right, obtuse or straight angle. In addition, students were able to measure the degree of the angles using a virtual protractor.
The students’ understanding of angles was tested before and after they completed the Kinect activity. The final results showed a statistically significant improvement in their understanding of angles.
“The idea that body movements can enhance cognitive understanding has been established in a number of experiments and this study provides further evidence of the value of incorporating kinaesthetic learning in the curriculum,” said the Kinect for Windows team in a blog post. “We’re delighted to see yet another example of how the Kinect sensor can be a valuable educational tool.”
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