Can the Xbox (and Kinect) change the way we deliver online education? We often view the Xbox as more of a gaming device than anything else. The primary purpose of the Xbox has been to bring such into your living room. Add the Kinect and you get a great gaming experience. However, Microsoft has been expanding the uses of its device to include movies, television, and social networking. In short, the Xbox has become more than a gaming device, it has become the living room gateway to much more. Rumors have been floating about that Microsoft will be adding internet browsing, Skype, and much more to further its "gateway" mission. As these new features are brought on board, I would suggest to you that the Xbox can be utilized as an educational tool, rather than just gaming and entertainment. There are three ways I would suggest such and there are through communication, social learning, and immersion education (yes... I made the last one up, but it applies.) Let's take a look at how these will work.
First, in order for education to work, there must be some form of communication taking place. While asynchronous works well, I believe people do like some form of synchronous. With the addition of Skype to the Xbox platform, educators and students will be able to benefit from the real time discussions, sharing, and interaction. Instructors can create webinars and group sessions, while providing the informal environment of their living room or office. Tutoring, office hours, and much more, can now take place via a Skype session. Utilizing the Kinect, provides the ability for an instructor to create live classroom sessions with minimal effort. Utilizing the hands free capabilities, one can focus on the content rather than the data entry.