Exploring the Use of Virtual Characters (Avatars), Live Animation, and Augmented Reality to Teach Social Skills to Individuals with Autism
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMultimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2020, 4 (3), . https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030048
Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities struggle to acquire and appropriately use social skills to improve the quality of their lives. These critical skills can be difficult to teach because they are context dependent and many students are not motivated to engage in instruction to learn them. The use of multi-modal technologies shows promise in the teaching a variety of skills to individuals with disabilities. iAnimate Live is a project that makes virtual environments, virtual characters (avatars), augmented reality, and animation more accessible for teachers and clinicians. These emerging technologies have the potential to provide more efficient, portable, accessible, and engaging instructional materials to teach a variety of social skills. After reviewing the relevant research on using virtual environments virtual characters (avatars) and animation for social skills instruction, this article describes current experimental applications exploring their use via the iAnimate Live project.