Case Study Students of Down Syndrome use Kinect to improve Math and reading skills
Based in Bogota, Colombia, the Down Syndrome Corporation provides specialized instruction for students of all ages. As a core part of its mission to enrich
learning opportunities for its students, the corporation identifies and incorporates innovative accessibility technologies into its curriculum. The Down
Syndrome Corporation recently adopted Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360, which offers students the capability to interact with educational gaming content in
a natural way—using body gestures and voice commands. The company was keen to enhance instruction by incorporating interactive technologies into
lesson plans. It wanted to go beyond traditional visual aids or presentation tools and deploy a solution that offered students a chance to immerse
themselves in the lesson and become the focal part of the learning activity.
The Down Syndrome Corporation chose to adopt Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360, a controller-free gaming system where players interact with content by
moving their bodies and using their voices. It now uses Kinect as an integral part of its curriculum. Kinect leverages a motion-sensing input device so that
students can use physical gestures to interact with the content on a television or projector screen. When the game requires a player to jump, for example,
the player simply jumps, rather than using a keyboard or controller to simulate the action.
Over the past two years, teachers have noticed that students have progressed in key cognitive and behavioral areas, while also showing enhanced physical
coordination. As children take turns playing Kinect Adventure, one of a series of educational games that can be used with the system, teachers are able to
monitor student performance in several areas. Now, students with Down Syndrome are developing Math and reading skills, as well as hand–eye
coordination, by using Kinect learning activities.