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Stanford Educational Technology Students Create Apps for Learning

Students in the Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) program at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education will present their master's projects at the LDT Expo taking place on July 31 at the university.

Students in the program identify and analyze a learning problem and then work on a year-long project to tackle the problem using technology. This year, 18 master's projects will be presented at the annual LDT Expo. In the past, some of the projects have gone on to become popular apps, classroom teaching aids, Web sites or educational toys, according to information from the university.

One of this year's projects is Nomster Chef, an iPad app developed by Ashley Moulton, who worked on the preschool math show Team Umizoomi before pursuing her LDT degree at Stanford. Nomster Chef is designed to encourage parents and preschoolers to cook together as a way of helping children establish healthy eating habits. The app includes educational videos about the foods they will be working with, and it provides "visual, step-by-step recipes designed for kid-friendly meals," according to a news release. Moulton said parents who tested the app noticed differences in their children's eating habits.

Another project is FeelingTalk, an iPad app developed by Karen Wang to help children with autism learn to recognize facial expressions. The app uses the concept of contrasting cases to teach emotions. "By comparing a couple of very close cases, we're helping children identify the key features in each emotion that they may otherwise overlook," said Wang. In the first level, the app presents children with four faces, three of which show the same emotion. The child must select the face that shows a different emotion, and the app then labels it. In the third level, parents can upload their own photos to replace the illustrated faces, so children can practice identifying emotions on real faces. The app is still being tested, but Wang said she hopes to make it available in the App Store eventually.

Nomster Chef and FeelingTalk are only two of the 18 master's projects that will be presented at LDT Expo. Further information about the event can be found on Stanford University's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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