Smart Classroom

Stanford Learning, Design and Technology Students to Showcase Master's Projects

Students from the Stanford Graduate School of Education's Learning, Design and Technology master's program will showcase their master's projects on July 29 at the LDT Expo on the Stanford campus.

This year's LDT Expo will feature 16 projects, from web apps to teaching kits, which were developed by individuals or teams of students in the program. As part of the expo, the students will present their projects to experts, potential investors, peers and the general public.

One of the projects, called "SuperGenerational," developed by LDT students Alex Barker and Lucas Longo, is a "video-based platform designed to connect young learners with a curated network of seniors who would act as an audience and give feedback on student work," according to the news release. Barker and Longo tested a prototype of their app at a senior services agency in Palo Alto, CA, and refined it at a retirement community in Menlo Park, CA. They said they hope to partner with senior organizations to establish a network of seniors to support the network.

Another project, called "CollegePath," developed by Shelley Williamson, "provides interactive video vignettes from graduates who were the first in their families to go to college or who had good grades but doubted their college prospects," according to the news release. Williamson developed the software platform with the goal of demystifying the process of getting into college.

A third project, called "Releaf," developed by Mingming Jiang, "is a social networking application where people can seek help from their friends during stressful periods," according to the news release. Stressed out students can use the app to post anonymous messages to their existing online network of friends. The friends can then recommend a research-based coping mechanism from a list and write a personalized message, and then the stressed out student can choose whether to "love" the recommendation.

The year-long LDT master's program at Stanford is currently in its 19th year, with students entering from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds. The program prepares students for careers as learning technology specialists developing technological solutions to educational challenges. "Their projects are grounded in learning theories and empirical research, and then combined with human-centered design strategies," according to the news release.

"The idea is not to start with a cool technology but to start with the problems we need to address, looking at who needs help and why," said Karin Forssell, director of the LDT master's program, in a prepared statement. "Then you can use the technology as appropriate to solve real problems."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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