Monday, October 4, 2010

Exhibit Designer's Notebook: SketchUp and Project Spectrum

SketchUp is a great free tool from Google that makes it easy to present ideas visually.

I've used SketchUp for several years now and really love its flexibility and simple learning curve.  I even started a Museum and Exhibits SketchUp group (which could use a little more traffic and interest --- so please join if you're not already a member.)

But today I'd like to highlight a program called "Project Spectrum".   Project Spectrum gives people along the autism spectrum, especially young people, an opportunity to use SketchUp to develop ideas and express their creativity while also learning a marketable life skill.

You can find out a little bit more about Project Spectrum by watching the video at the top of this posting (or here on YouTube.)

As noted on the Google for Educators website:  "The idea for Project Spectrum originated when we began getting phone calls and emails from users telling us about how much kids on the autism spectrum were enjoying SketchUp. As the calls kept coming in, we learned that people with autism tend to be visually and spatially gifted—that, in fact, they think in pictures. When people with these gifts get their hands on powerful, easy-to-use 3D design software like SketchUp, sparks tend to fly."

If you're not already familiar with the many other resources Google provides for educators check out the Google For Educators website.

And if you don't already use SketchUp, download your free copy today!

Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Free Updates" link on the right side of the blog. P.S. If you receive ExhibiTricks via email (or Facebook or LinkedIn) you will need to click HERE to go to the main ExhibiTricks page to make comments or view multimedia features (like videos!)