The use of the Kinect in the classroom

So for many years we have all become slaves to the interactive whiteboard and it’s uses. I know from personal experience with my classes, that my students absolutely love the opportunity to come up and play interactive learning games. But what if there was a cheaper alternative which offered just as much interaction? Well there are ways….

Recently having tried different tasks with the interactive whiteboard I had started to think about different ways of delivering some of my lessons. I started thinking about using the new Microsoft Kinect. The only problem was that Microsoft had not released the SDK or the drivers for the PC! However! I got around this and you can see the results here for yourself.

A student at the front of my lesson using the Kinect to answer questions: 

You can find the example resource which was used here: xboxcontrol

I set up a Microsoft PowerPoint, however I used the standard Xbox360 start up screen. I filmed this off another Xbox360 as I thought It would get the students more involved. It was quite interesting when the students come into my lessons asking “Sir, where is the xbox?” haha. To make my resource I simply made a PowerPoint with 4 multiply choice answers. It allowed me students to progress to each slide when they got it correct. The ending of the game was also very similar to the Xbox360. Once they had completed the game, they would be given achievements…. I recorded this sound off the Xbox360 to make it more realistic. You can see the results for yourself from the video and the resource above. Continue reading to see how I got it set up.

How I got around it….

After strolling the internet for the tools required,I found a program called KinEmote. The program required a number of installations to run and it also required the drivers. The great thing about the website is that it pointed you to all the right places and explained all of the different drivers which were required. If you follow the steps below you should be able to set up the Kinect on your own PC/Laptop.

Setting up the Kinect:

Install these requirements in the following order before installing KinEmote 0.4 beta

1. OpenNI v1.0.0.25 Click Here to Download UPDATED for 0.4b
2. SensorKinect Click Here to Download
3. NITE Middleware v1.3.0.18 Click Here to Download UPDATED for 0.4b
4. Motor & LED Driver Click Here to Download (Update existing NUI motor driver manually with this)

Use this license key to install the NITE middleware: 0KOIk2JeIBYClPWVnMoRKn5cdY4=

Once you have all of the above files installed on your machine you will need to download and install KinEmote. You can download this from :

You will need to sign up to the forum in order to download the tool.

Advantages: –

Students seem to be interested in something as good as they have at home. They do not feel scared of it. They think that it is fun and the resources set up also played a big roll in the success of it in my classroom.

Disadvantages: –

Although it is new, there are some bugs. I had to use a wireless mouse to allow my students to click, however KinEmote are looking at bringing out a new release very soon with the feature to click using your hand…. watch this space.

Summing Up: –

Looking at the success of this in my classroom has really got me thinking. How much do schools spend on Interactive whiteboards? How much do they spend on training? How much cheaper was it to use the Kinect in my classroom? The great thing about it was also its portability. I was able to move this to a room without an interactive whiteboard in it and use it with my form class. We did team building exercises on the standard whiteboard and the students controlled the cursor.

You can buy a Kinect from amazon for as little as £120?… how much would you spend on an interactive whiteboard… wireless technology is the way forward….

About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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14 Responses to The use of the Kinect in the classroom

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The use of the Kinect in the classroom | raychambers --

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  3. Thanks for posting this! I have been looking for something to take the place of my Wiimote white board (which works, but sometimes my students have trouble operating the infrared pen).

  4. Pingback: #tmm11 Xbox Kinect in the classroom – Raymond Chambers @Lanky_Boi_Ray | Oliver Quinlans Live Blogs

  5. AKinferno says:

    I am interested in your progress with this project. There is an SDK now and some better tools for the Kinect. I am trying to get my wife some good interactive tools for her classroom. The entire school got smart boards, but she teaches from a portable building, therefore was left out. I was leaning toward the Wiimote whiteboard solution, but would love to see what people come up with with the Kinect.

  6. Pingback: The New Microsoft Kinect | Game Skill

  7. Treena says:

    I was wondering if this would work with the SmartBoard and the Promethean boards as well.

  8. How do I wire up the camera to my laptop? I have downloaded and installed the drivers, but I don’t know to plug the camera in? At first I thought it was a USB connection… but it doesn’t fit?


  9. Rankugo Sai says:

    Dear Sir,
    Beside using fingers, can we use a pen to write on the whiteboard using kinect? Like usually I use a IR-Pen in wiimote Whiteboard. It is easier using a pen/spidol to write on the whiteboard when we must explain complex math problem.


  10. Pingback: Interactive Projection Systems: Meg Athavale of @POMOInc - Miles' Tomes

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