Today was the second day of a creative mini conference of educators. You can read about Charleston Teach Meet Day One here. We started off today a little differently. Doug Bergman showed off one of the Kinect games that one of his students created. We talked about about the cross curricular learning that such a project required. The student consulted with friends who had better math skills to work out a lot of what he needed to know to create a flight similar that was controlled by body movement.
Next up was David Renton (visit his site of Games 4 learning) who showed us some of the educational games he created for use with elementary and middle school students. He has some interesting quiz style games for use with wireless Xbox controllers. Teachers can easily create their own questions. I may try this with my freshmen this year.
He also showed us one of his Kinect based games. This one was about angles. The program asked students to indicate an angle with their left arm and signal when they think they have it. The software measures how close they are to correct and awards points (it’s a two player game). David’s two children demonstrated the game and they are GOOD at it. I can really see how it would help students visualize what angles look like a lot better than drawing them on paper with a compass.
We were joined for a while by Lou Zulli from Florida. Lou couldn’t make it in person but we had a lively conversation as he talked about his internationally recognized work and ideas.
Julie Sessions showed off OSMO which I hadn’t seen before. OSMO is a set of educational games for use with the iPad. Looks like fun for younger kids.
The afternoon was spent in a wide ranging conversation and brainstorming session that explored many ideas we all had about innovation in teaching. It was great but moved fast for me. I’m hoping one of the other attendees will blog about that.
Overall I have had two wonderful days of idea sharing, conversation and real revitalization of my attitude for returning to school in the fall. I’ve got a lot of things to try for improving my practice. What more could a teacher want?
BTW the fun image below of me and Bob Irving (from Porter-Gaud) is courtesy of David Renton and one of his Kinect programs.