[Also posted on educatorslog.in]
I have had the good fortune of being peripherally involved in efforts in India to explore the use of technology to help children with Autism. It is with much excitement, therefore, that I share this YouTube video I stumbled upon last night, which adds a new technology tool to the wealth of resources already amassed on educatorslog.in to help teachers, parents and care-givers of children with Autism in India.
Google SketchUp has already been talked about in the past here, in the context of a good design tool that is freely available. However, this YouTube video uploaded by Google shares some inspiring stories of how SketchUp has helped kids with Autism (who are known to often have advanced visual and spatial thinking abilities) express themselves. There appears to be an entire research project (Project Spectrum) that is devoted to studying this.
As a matter of fact, Google SketchUp has great potential in any classroom setting. It's "a powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software tool that combines a simple, yet robust tool-set with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design." It's a great companion tool to use with Google Earth - once you've built your models, you can place them in Google Earth.
Download it, and try it out!