Technology

ScratchJr

ScratchJr is a new, innovative software program to support integrated STEM learning in early childhood education. The program is designed specifically for K-2. ScratchJr will work to teach children through three main strategies: discipline-specific knowledge, foundational knowledge structures and complex problem-solving skills.

ScratchJr is a project led by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers and her DevTech Research Group at Tufts University and by Professor Mitch Resnick from the Lifelong Kindergarten at the MIT Media Lab. The project is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

Watch the video below for more information on this ongoing project:

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AutismSees

Two Tufts Students, Danielle Feerst, A16, and Isabella Slaby, A15, are currently raising funds for their business, AutismSees. They are working to create an iOS app for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The goal of the app is to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders to improve their social skills, personal presentation skills, and leadership development.

The app has a range of important features, such as using the device’s camera in order to give video feedback to the user. Any text can be imported into the app and visual cues will be embedded to make the user look up at a pair of eyes on the top of the screen, as many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulty with making eye-contact.

The part of their app they are currently raising funds for is “Text to Speech” technology. Basically, software will be embedded in the displayed text in order to detect vocal intonation, mispronunciations and timing of the user’s speech. This feature will help individuals to improve pronunciation, respond to questions on time and build vocabulary.

Watch the video below to see Danielle and Isabella discuss more details about their app and why they believe it can improve many lives:

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Why We Need An Easi-Scan Song

A group of Tufts University veterinary students entered the BCF Technology University Contest to win an Easi-Scan ultrasound system. To enter the contest, the students had to send in a group photo, article and video of why they deserve the system for their program. This group of Tufts students from the Student Livestock Organization  were chosen to be one of the final eight schools in the competition.

The Student Livestock Organization is a group dedicated to helping students gain experience working with various types of livestock. Among other activities, this past year they sponsored a poultry-handling lab on campus, a full day of hoof trimming at a local sheep farm, and an AI certification lab. They also organize several practical labs each year and monthly rounds with their ambulatory vets.

Watch their video below and vote for Tufts here.

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What Do Students Learn in Mobile Health Design?

Mobile Health Design is an online course offered by the Tufts School of Medicine. Taught by Assistant Professor Lisa Gualtieri, the course explores the role of mobile devices in consumer health at both national and global levels.

Some of the topics included in this course are trends in use of mobile devices, how design incorporates mobility and input/out capabilities of mobile devices, the role of big data and predictive analytics in public health, how and why consumers find and use health apps,  and techniques for creating, maintaining and overseeing the use of health apps. This five week course is conducted through a mix of lecture, discussion and skill-based exercises. The program culminates in the actual creation of a health app by the students for a real organization.

To learn what some students have done for their final projects, check out this YouTube channel and watch below as Meghan Hamrock, N13, shares details on her final project about medical adherence and the app version for patients:

 

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Tufts Hackathon Success

This past weekend was the first annual Tufts Hackathon. Teams of students gathered to create various programs in only 24 hours.

From the Music Machinery Blog

Two participants, Barbara Duckworth and Jennie Lamere, joined up to create a program that would give its user movie suggestions based on its sound track. Basically, users could put in their favorite artists and the program would suggest a movie that had a soundtrack with similar sounding music. After working hard on their program all night long, Barbara and Jennie received the rookie award which was for the best project by a team with a majority freshman and no upperclassmen.

From the Music Machinery Blog

For more information about their work, visit Barbara’s blog post.

For more information on The Hackathon in general, visit their website.

 

 

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Crisis Mapper – Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier, a Ph.D. candidate at The Fletcher School, recently starred in a video inspired by the work of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF).

SBTF group includes 1000+ digital humanitarians in more than 80 countries around the world. They are responsible for some of the important live crisis mapping operations that support humanitarian and human rights organizations. Crisis mapping involves monitoring use of information communications in conflict and disaster areas in order to improve response.  SBTF is committed to rapid learning and innovation as well as creative uses of technology due to their dedicated volunteers, Mapsters.

Check out this short video about Meier and SBTF that first aired on National Geographic Television Channel.

For more information visit Meier’s blog here.

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TuftsLife, New and Improved

The TuftsLife Team recently released a statement on their blog excitingly announcing the secret makeover and the upcoming release of an all-new TuftsLife site.

The new site will be equipped with responsive design, a technology that automatically fits the size of the site to the size of whatever screen it’s being viewed on, allowing readers to enjoy TuftsLife on their laptops, phones, and tablets. The site will also include a new apps section to highlight Tufts apps like JoeyTracker and BookSwap as well as a more organized structure for viewers to “get the stuff you want at a glance and be able to dig deeper for more useful stuff.”

If you’re interested in being involved in the exciting re-launching of the beloved Tufts site, contact officers@tuftslife.com and check out the TuftsLife blog.

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App Your Way to Healthy Eating

Photo: iTunes

Taylor Salinardi, N12, has launched Bon’App, an app for Android and iPhone and on a website, that provides simple but necessary nutrition guidance.

It is a health app, that unlike many of the existing apps, goes far beyond just bringing up a nutrition label. Bon’App gives extremely detailed information on every food possible but does so in straightforward and easily understandable language. Furthermore, it allows users to personalize the information they receive based on individual health goals, restrictions and preferences.

The app works by using a strong visual: a battery that depletes as an individual consumes less-healthy items and also changes color from green to yellow to red. For protein and fiber, the battery starts empty and fills up as the individual eats towards the recommended amount of these items.

For more information about Salinardi and her app, check out this Friedman School blog post.

 

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For the Techies

If you’re into technology and Tufts, then you’re in luck. Tufts Technology just joined Twitter and Facebook and is filling the Internet with information on IT classes, helpful tips, fun apps, and more.

Their Facebook Page will light up your newsfeed with all things tech and Tufts while their Twitter handle will bring you interesting tech information from experts from sources like Wired, Mashable, and Lifehacker. Be sure to give them a follow and a like!

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There Could be an App for That!

Amy Vaz, a Pain Research,  Education and Policy Program (PREP) student at the Tufts University School of Medicine, has envisioned an app that focuses on the positive.

For her capstone project, Amy conceptualized an app that would allow individuals with chronic pain to monitor their better days. She was inspired to create it when she realized that the existing apps only helped individuals to monitor pain levels on bad days.  She calls the smartphone app, “Chronic Pain: The Good Day Diary.”

The PREP program is the first and only multidisciplinary postgraduate pain management masters program in the United States. For more information on Amy’s project and on PREP, check out this blog.

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