Papers and Presentations


Anderson, J.L. & Wall, S.D. (2014). Kinecting Physics: Aiding students' conceptualization of motion through visualization. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual International Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, April 2014.

Anderson, J.L. & Wall, S.D. (2014). Kinecting in Physics: Aiding students in the conceptualization of motion through visualization. In the Proceedings of the International Conference of Learning Sciences 2014. Boulder, CO: ISLS. 

Anderson, J.L., & Wall, S.D. (Under Review). Kinecting in Physics: Aiding students in the conceptualization of motion through visualization. To be submitted to the Journal of Science Education and Technology.
KInecting Physics

Kinnecting in Physics

An area of research in  early exploration is examining the effect of physical embodiment and
spatial resolution using the Kinect® motion senor. Recognizing the affordances of this specific
technology, my study is designed to identify factors that allow Kinect® simulations to increase
student participation while simultaneously challenging them in their conceptualization of
science content. This design-based project has completed two iterative cycles and is
beginning its third.

Secondary students often have ideas about science concepts that are disconnected
(Casperson & Linn, 2006 ). One way to overcome these conceptual challenges is through the
use visualizations that have the capability of immersing students in the study of unfamiliar
scientific concepts (e.g. Clark et al. 2009;NRC 2011). Research suggests (e.g. Masson et al.
2011) that the scaffolding of simulations and visualizations can be used to support learning
(Gee 2008). By using visualizations, students can begin to integrate discrete ideas, allowing
them to begin to make connections (diSessa 2000 ; Linn and Eylon 2006 ) with complex
scientific content that is represented through observable, unwritten representations. Typical
uses of technology facilitate student learning through visualization which when combined with
students’ co-construction of knowledge, creates environments where students feel
empowered to take ownership of their learning (Bereiter & Scardamalia 2010 ). In this study,
the environment was generated by utilizing the Xbox Kinect® as a pedagogical tool. The Xbox
Kinect® represents a new type of digital tool that can potentially strengthen these social
interactions and embodied experiences in physics classrooms (Tolentino et al., 2009). One
way in which this can occur is through the representation of dynamic processes at multiple
spatial resolutions (Tolentino et al., 2009).  By using the Kinect,  students can move between
multiple levels of abstraction (Megowan, 2007). This study examined the use of 3D simulation
to support the teaching of Newton’s Laws of Motion in a secondary physics classroom.

Recognizing the affordances of embodiment and spatial resolution of this technology, our
study aimed to  identify factors that allow Kinect simulations to increase student participation
and scaffold their conceptual understanding. Specifically: How can the Xbox Kinect®  be used
in pedagogically valuable ways to scaffold instruction in Newtonian physics?


Kinecting Physics: Emboddied learning of Kinematics in Physics Classrooms