CPS KINECT at the Microsoft "Partners-in-Learning" ConferenceJuly 31, 2012
Chicago Public Schools is pleased to participate in the Microsoft "Partners-in-Learning" Conference in Redmond, Washington. See our Illinois project here. See the project video here.

Planning and Design of the Learning Environment
  • Program Goals: To provide opportunities for greater student engagement through educational gaming, additional options for standards-based learning, development of motor skills, and support for physical fitness.
  • Implementation:
    • District pilot with 13 schools during the 2011-12 school year.
    • Pilot kick-off training - full day in the Chicago Microsoft offices.
    • Provided Xbox KINECTs and two games, Body & Brain and KINECT Sports primarily, to pilot schools.
    • Mobile carts for three libraries to expand school access and training.
    • Email group to support professional learning
    • Project deliverables included photos, video, blog posts, and activity in the eamil group.
  • Culimination:
    • Half-day district-wide training in the Chicago Microsoft offices attended by 80+ teachers, tech coordinators, and administrators
    • See training materials

Evidence of Learning
  • Pictures
  • Video
  • Blog posts
  • Email discussions: Our pilot group communicates with each other using a Windows Live email group.

  • Teacher Overview: "This activity is part of our social studies weekly activities. Focus: Good sportsmanship and team work are essential in being part of a team. Also, learning to work with all of your classmates build camaraderie that can last a lifetime. Our 4th grade class uses the Kinect for team building with a focus on developing cooperation strategies while taking all team members ideas for developing a winning plan. The students were placed into two or four teams (depending one the number of players per game). They voted on team captains and player placement. While team members played, they were cheered by their teammates. The winning teams received a rousing round of applause and congratulations from the others. We learned that playing games is fun, but what's important is how you react to your win or loss." ~M. Willis-McNeely

Knowledge Building & Critical Thinking
  • Avatar Book Trailers: Students from Tarkington Elementary School created avatar book reports as part of their after-school program. Students expressed their personalities through the design of the avatars, read popular books, wrote scripts to motivate other students to read the books, recorded their voices reading their script to develop speaking skills, and shared the videos with their classmates.
  • Math Calculations: Students in various schools (see the example at Byrne Elementary) used statistics from various games in KINECT Sports to calculate averages, create leaderboards, convert metric to US measurements, and military to standard time.
  • Special Education (Following Directions): Special education students at various schools used these games, especial Body and Brain, to practice following directions while developing gross motor skills

Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom
  • Students brought games from home to extend the schools' collections
  • Students from Goudy Elementary adapted the cheers from "Let's Cheer" to use at their school's sporting events
  • Games, such as Dance Central, were used in extracurricular activities, such as cheerleading, dance, and fitness activities

Cutting Edge Use of Technology for Learning
Fourth-grade students at Spencer Academy talked about how the use of the KINECT system benefitted them beyond the classroom:
  • "I love the Xbox because I get to have fun and get along with people." - Jessica
  • "I think the kinect in class is great in the classroom because the kinect is an active game and an active (game) gets us kids in shape. I also think the kinect in class will help us work with partners more." - Alexis
  • "The class Xbox is the greatest thing because it helps me learning how to work with other people and we get to know them and we get to work in groups." - Akbar
  • "I think it is good because when I work hard all day I like to play the kinect. It helps me get more closer to my classmates because it's fun and everyone will have a good time playing. It can help people not be mean to people and have a good time." - Havalynn
  • "It is fun to use the kinect because we get exercise and stretch. The Xbox kinect is an active game system, but the fun part is I get to play the Xbox with my classmates." - Milaun

Teacher as Innovator and Change Agent
Some of our pilot teachers conducted professional development for their colleagues.
  • "On Friday, February 3rd, I had the opportunity to share my experiences of using Xbox KINECT in the classroom with my colleagues. I shared Microsoft’s websites that discusses information about KINECT and the lesson plans that are available to us. I also shared the CPS’s KINECT wiki and showed how we have been integrating KINECT in the classroom, not just here at Byrne School but at the other schools involved in the pilot program as well. All the teachers participated in a group game using Brain and Body Connection. The object of the game was to make the correct time with your arms as the minute and hour hands. They all thought they were making the arms move on the clock but I later told them that I was the only one making the arms move. This was a good lesson on how to the get the whole class involved without them knowing that only one person was actually answering the questions. The teachers thought it was great!
    Overall, the staff response was positive and I have had several more teachers ask to use the KINECT in their classroom."
    by Mary Beth Corbin, Byrne Elementary
  • "I did a training with most of the Pirie staff today. I demonstrated how the system works and showed them Adventures and sports. We discussed some of the goals of this program and brainstormed some ideas for using KIENCT in their classrooms. Then, I showed the teachers the Microsoft site, so they could browse other ideas at their leisure. We rounded off the training by everyone coming up to the console and playing a fram of bowling. I think the training was a success. The teachers were excited about the system and I've had several teachers express interest in using this with their classes." Stacie Bell, Pirie Elementary