, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 594–601 | Cite as

Moving Bodies to Moving Minds: A Study of the Use of Motion-Based Games in Special Education

  • Panagiotis Kosmas
  • Andri Ioannou
  • Symeon Retalis
Original Paper


From an embodied learning perspective, the active human body can alter the function of the brain and therefore, the cognitive process. In this work, children’s activity using motion-based technology is framed as an example of embodied learning. The present investigation focuses on the use of a series of Kinect-based educational games by 31 elementary students with special educational needs in mainstream schools, during a five-month intervention study. Results based on psychometric pre-post testing in conjunction with games-usage analytics, a student attitudinal scale, teachers’ reflection notes and teacher interviews, demonstrated the positive impact of the games on children’s short-term memory skills and emotional stage. Overall, the study improves our understanding of embodied learning via motion-based technology in teaching and learning with children with special educational needs.


Educational games Embodied learning Embodied cognition Kinect-based games Kinesthetic learning Motion-based technology Inclusive education Students with special educational needs 



Co-funded by the Erasmus+ program (2017-1-CY01-KA201-026733) of the European Union.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author A declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author B declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author C declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cyprus Interaction LabCyprus University of TechnologyLimassolCyprus
  2. 2.University of PiraeusPiraeusGreece

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