MAD-news for August: Back to School Safety

Hi Guest,

As we navigate these tumultuous back-to-school times, we hope you and your families can stay safe and healthy. We know this is not easy, but please believe in our collective power to do what is right for our staff and students, and don’t forget to use your voice to share your concerns or help find solutions. We can’t do this alone. We all have a large responsibility to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

We wish you the best, always!

Alefiya Master
Founder & CEO

What’s hAPPening

On the Road Again!

It had been over a year and a half since we were able to work in person with teachers and students. This summer, we were invited to conduct in-person trainings for teachers and camps for students. Since we are all fully vaccinated, we felt safe to accept those invitations.
A series of two-day camps in Central Texas allowed Alefiya and Gregg to conduct face-to-face sessions for three ESC Region 12 GEAR UP programs. The students were a joy to work with, and we even convinced some hard-core Luddites to create apps that would be useful for such unique needs as agriculture and ranching! Gregg’s trip to Washington State to work with Walla Walla High School GEAR UP students proved just as rewarding—for students and facilitators, alike. The students were also engaged and excited to share their stories, both during breaks and in their apps. It was another successful collection of fresh ideas and sources of pride for the students involved.
The photos below represent the balance all “road warriors” should try to find when on business trips. Gregg was able to not only connect with many fine young people but take in a wide variety of interesting sites tucked away in parts of the country folks don’t often get to see. Next up: teacher training sessions in Central Wisconsin and the “Windy City”!
Top Row: Students enjoying a relaxed Texas ESC Region 12 camp session; entrance to Walla Walla’s beautiful Pioneer Park; proud GEAR UP student showing off his app at Walla Walla.
Middle Row: Walla Walla campers hard at work; Twin Sisters Monument along the Columbia River; Austin, TX, from across the lake park.
Bottom Row: One of several tributes to Central Texas oil beginnings that populate downtown Corsicana, TX; Mt. Rainier from 30,000 feet; concluding a great camp with ESC Region 12 “appreneurs”!


MAD-teacher of the Month

Although Blanca Hindle is new to MAD-learn, she has already made quite an impression. This Project Director and Curriculum Support Specialist at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL has that infectious type of enthusiasm. A 17-year education veteran, Blanca at one time was an entrepreneur, herself, having owned a virtual book and home goods store. Perhaps that helps explain why she and our own CEO hit it off so well!

Blanca entered the classroom and after some years earned a Master’s degree, and ultimately realized her current position. In this role, she strives to “build the capacity of fellow educators and serve all stakeholders of the school community.” We can attest to her commitment and are excited to be working with her and her colleagues through the STREAMing in Action program designed to help high-needs students get exposed to not just STEM, but Reading and Arts as well.

MAD-family Continues to Grow

We want to thank schools that have either renewed their partnerships with MAD-learn or are just joining our MAD-family. We are so happy to know we will be continuing our work to help students at:

  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools Schools (FL)
  • Lake Local School District (OH)
  • Lakeview Elementary (FL)
  • Oceanside Schools (NY)

August Featured Tutorial

Here is a great tutorial to check out in both slide deck and video versions. It’s about using the Mind Map builder found within the MAD-learn Platform. These organizational tools do much to help students visualize how their apps will look and how the content within them needs to be organized.

We have seen the difference it makes to include this step in the Design Thinking Process so please encourage your students to spend time building these!


Don’t leave without…

… checking out these great voices from the nation’s 4th largest school district: Miami-Dade County Public Schools and their feedback on the value of integrating technology creation, not just consumption, into their classrooms!

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