Kids with autism build life skills in MinecraftTeachers are using Minecraft as a tool to teach autistic students the skills they need to excel academically and socially.
A few years ago, as students started to come into the classroom and talk about this Minecraft game, and they were just engrossed in it. And they were very passionate about it. So we thought as a teaching staff, we need to really look at this game and get a good sense of what it's about. I'm Craig Smith and I'm the Deputy Principal at the Aspect School for children on the autism spectrum. Students on the autism spectrum are very visual learners, and the more that we looked at it, the more that we felt it really reflected among the core characteristics of autism. They find extraction difficult and problem solving can be a tricky thing. Our teachers started to put together lessons around Minecraft and to share them with each other And to talk about the different ways you could use them. and we ended up with such a really big bank of all these really interesting lessons that use Minecraft that we were able to put together a text book called Minecraft in your Classroom. Conceptualizing time can be quite an abstract notion to talk about. The process of change and we did a series of lessons on Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series about what. S Tunes recreated those artworks, so you have these beautiful, big sculptures inside of the Minecraft world. What was fantastic was, the students could play what the same painting would have looked like at night or first thing of the morning, and to get a sense of how time changes and transitions around an object like this painting. We sometimes do fighting and making some sketches. We just have fun in minecraft together. So we've seen Hamish take a big interest in minecraft, and that's also helped him engage in other areas of the curriculum. He would go to the library and often wander around a bit aimlessly before, and he helped look at a lot of other books as well to try and thing what can I create in minecraft to challenge himself It's been a big pride moment for me, because I'm a gamer. Have been for years. I play mech warrior a lot, so he's now making mechs in minecraft. It's him reaching out in a different way to try and get attention. So it's been good for me in some senses. It shows me just what we can do that way As a parent you're always concerned about how much screen time your children take on but I think when it is used in a way that's creative and enjoyable bit also has that learning aspect to it I think it's a real big benefit. [MUSIC] [INAUDIBLE] And Minecraft gives the children a smaller version of the world to test things out. They're able to test out social skills, practice rules. And they're able to understand the world on a level that is very manageable to them. And apply that into bigger social situations in the real world. And that transfers skill from the game into the real world. It's a really exciting thing for our students. [BLANK_AUDIO]