Using Interactivity & Connectedness to Teach MS Kinect

IAP 1-week intensive
  • Office of Digital Learning
Unity Guided Tutorial

Faculty/Instructor: 

Kyle Keane

Digital Innovations & Tools: 

  • Active Learning
  • Simulations & Visualizations

Innovative digital tools and collaborative classroom management strategies are combined to create a learning environment of content creation rather than consumption. Kyle Keane and his team built a system that allows students to design, create, and publish gesture-based, videogame-like simulations using the Microsoft Kinect. Simulations allow users to 'play and experience' scientific concepts in a more tangible and kinesthetic manner. Students built a molecular dynamics simulation that shows a cluster of interacting molecules. To 'play' with the molecules, the user closes their hand in front of the screen to select a molecule and then drags the molecule to see how it affects other molecules.

Students, some with no previous programming experience, are engaged in every stage of the ideation, design, creation, and testing of their team's project. Storytelling and 'failing on purpose' are strategies to facilitate a classroom culture of creative collaboration and teamwork. 

Watch Dr Keane's xTalk video.

Read a MIT student Ivory Zhu's reflections on Dr Keane's presentation.