Smart phones contain a silicon chip inside the camera that might be used to detect rare, high energy particles from outer space. J. Yang/Courtesy of WIPAC hide caption

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The UASK app helps sexually assaulted college students in D.C. access a range of services, from rides to the hospital to phone numbers for counselors. The information is personalized to their school. Another version of the app, ASK, provides the same resources to non-students. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

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Sgt. Mark Miranda, a public affairs specialist at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, demonstrates the use of a program in July 2011 that was designed to help calm symptoms of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. A new class of apps is offering more sophisticated mental health help to struggling teens, including emergency, 24/7 connection to counselors. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Examples of what the iPhone app looks for: The white reflection from an otherwise dark pupil can indicate a tumor, a cataract or other eye problems. Claire Eggers/NPR hide caption

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Teachers are incorporating mobile technology and a digital sensibility into classroom lessons with assignments such as this one: to caption a historical photograph for teacher Nicholas Ferroni's high school history class in Union, N.J. Courtesy of Nicholas Ferroni hide caption

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Will Davidson and his Minecraft creation, modeled off the Santa Cruz Mission Steve Henn hide caption

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Lively is a sensor that can be attached to a pill box, keys or doors. It lets people know whether aging parents are taking their medicines or sticking to their routines. Courtesy of Lively hide caption

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