Jul 9, 2016

Microsoft uses BBC Micro Bit and virtual reality to prepare autistic kids for jobs

Posted by in categories: computing, education, employment, neuroscience, virtual reality

Good work by Microsoft.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning not all people that meet the classification have identical behaviors. Some of these folks are very functional, while others may struggle more to socialize, or not be able to hold jobs.

According to Microsoft, 85 percent of those with Autism do not hold full-time employment. This is unfortunate, as some of those with the classification are likely falling through the cracks — capable of work, but not equipped. Luckily, the Windows-maker, in association with CASPA and Dennis Publishing, is aiming to change this with some unlikely tools — the BBC Micro Bit and HTC Vive virtual reality solution.

“The participants — aged between seven and 19 — were taught to code using the BBC micro: bit — a programmable mini-computer that features an LED display, accelerometer, compass, micro USB plug and external battery pack. They learned to light up the LEDs, and change that display by moving and turning the micro: bit”, says Microsoft.

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