Akron: University researchers 'kinecting' classroom instruction

5:21 PM, Sep 30, 2011   |    comments
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AKRON -- Researchers at the University of Akron are developing teaching modules that will challenge students to use video game skills to learn.

Dr. Yang Yung, Dr. Philip Allen, and Dr. Yingcai Xiao received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to use the Kinect 3D camera system as a teaching tool.

As a video game accessory, Kinect allows players to create an on-screen avatar that reacts to their movements. Using the same idea, researchers want students to use their avatars to take apart cells in microbiology or allow engineering students to move pieces of a building.

Allen believes there is a connection between the motor skills of touching an object and the memory skills of learning about a topic.

Students at three area high schools -- North and Firestone in Akron and McKinley in Canton -- will test the technology in 2012, along with freshman and seniors at the University of Akron.

Eventually, the idea is to put together teaching modules that use Kinect for a variety of subjects that can be used in classrooms across the country.


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