A growing number of schools may be recognising the benefits of bringing new technologies into the classroom to help motivate students and encourage them to learn.

As well as interacting with devices such as tablets, a growing number of facilities are taking advantage of Microsoft's motion-controlled Kinect for Xbox innovation, the software firm has said.

It stated as many kids are now familiar with digital gadgets such as games consoles, bringing these items into the classroom can help offer immersive, interactive approaches to help youngsters develop skills that will be vital in the 21st century.

Microsoft observed the release of the Kinect software development kit has inspired a wide ranging group of hobbyists and academics to come up with new applications that can enhance lesson plans and improve special education, communications and collaboration.

There are also more than 200 ready-to-use classroom activities available from Microsoft that can use existing audio-visual equipment such as projectors and electronic whiteboards to enhance learning.

General manager for US education at Microsoft Sig Behrens said: "We are doing this because we believe pedagogy needs to evolve if we want to inspire children."

He added game-based experiences bring an added degree of personalisation to learning and act as a great motivating tool.

"You can really see the connection – challenges are fun; there is less fear of failing and children can learn instantly with instructional units in a gaming system," Mr Behrens continued.

Pilot programs in the US have used games such as Kinect Sports to help youngsters understand mathematical concepts such as probability, randomness and geometry, while other software such as Reading Idol can help boost children's literacy skills.

Originally unveiled as an add-on for the Xbox console in 2010, Kinect is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest selling gaming peripheral ever, with it selling an average of 133,333 units per day for its first 60 days on sale. It has also recently been adapted to work on PCs using the Windows operating system.

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