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Kinect for Xbox 360 Helps South African School Children Learn English

South African schoolchildren using Kinect for Xbox 360 to learn English.

“Microsoft employee Larry Venter, a native South African, had a hunch that Kinect for Xbox 360 could help the children at a rural school in his hometown get excited about learning English and that gaming could help in the fight against widespread illiteracy.

Venter decided to put together a plan for getting Kinect in classrooms at Lakeside Park Primary school, and each week he and fellow Microsoft employees Curtis Young, Chris Jensen, Rebecca Roedell, Anna Kinney and Frank Chiappone met to put that plan into action.

After the group found internal funding for the project, they procured the hardware and found a way to make sure it would not be stolen from classrooms. They also had an educational expert create a module that would allow the school’s teachers to use current Kinect games to create learning opportunities for the children. For e.g., teachers use the bowling game to boost numeracy skills or build an avatar to teach the English words for parts of the body,” Microsoft stated.

The school also received Windows MultiPoint Server and [email protected] (Microsoft’s free hosted email, communication and collaboration services for education) training to help it become more proficient in using and teaching technology.

[Source: Microsoft Press]

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