The Xbox 360 and Kinect™ for Xbox 360 make great additions to the classroom. As well as being able to play games, you can use the console and Kinect sensor to connect to other classrooms around the world via Xbox LIVE.
Xbox LIVE has loads of features, and some of the best ones include Video Kinect (a simple but powerful video conferencing solution); the ability to create Xbox Avatars (great for those Internet Safety and Responsible Use Lessons); and you can even use your Xbox 360 to update your class or school Facebook and Twitter pages. Kinect Sports allows you to compete with other players at virtual sporting events via Xbox LIVE. This is a great way to develop international education and citizenship in your classroom. When using Xbox 360 in the classroom, it is important to emphasise to students that it is not a games console but a platform and tool that they will be able to use to help improve their learning. Although games and playing games may sometimes be used as a reward, the best use of Xbox 360 in the classroom emphasises that the console is part of the normal learning experience.
Technical ability and set up Technical expertise is a worry for some teachers. But this is more of an exercise in trust. If you don’t know how to set up an Xbox 360, ask one of your class. Many of them will know how to do it and the rest will figure it out very quickly.
One thing that you will need to do is prepare part of your room to use Kinect™ for Xbox 360 particularly if you want more than one person playing at any time (which you do). One challenge that you may encounter with younger children playing the Kinect™ is that they step out of the play area and the Kinect™ sensor can’t see them. In the classroom, a quick solution to this is to mark the sensor area on the ground with masking tape so that they have a visual reference.
For more information about using Kinect in education environments, you can view and download our Kinect Sports in the Classroom resource document below:
Is there any advice available for getting Xbox LIVE to work through a proxy server, since almost all schools in the UK have a filtered proxy? In many schools even the technicians cannot bypass the proxy.
At BETT 2014 Microsoft launched Xbox360 for Education see www.xboxforeducation.co.uk for more details and pricing for UK Schools, Colleges and Universities.