MAD-news for March: How to create apps in the classroom and inspire design thinking

Hi Guest,

Want to see if you or your students made it into our amazing Year in Review video? Chances are, you did! Check it out below and share the love. Thank you for making our year so incredibly special – YOU are what makes us whole!

If you guessed a quiz template, you get a 100! Starting today, you will see a new template in the BUILD module of our platform for Quizzes.  This template is unique in that it is a NEW code-based template and has multiple quiz styles to choose from.  All options include user-friendly multiple-choice quizzes – ranging from shorter 3-question quizzes on one screen to longer 10-question quizzes that advance through multiple screens – that provide instant results to the end user. Log in today to check it out!

Last month, we handed the reins over to our MAD-teachers so they could share their expertise in how they use MAD-learn in their schools and classrooms. We want to thank Mara Karfinkel, Candi Thornton, Victor Hicks, and Robbie Kuykendall for sharing their MAD-learn experiences and best practices with us!  Below, you’ll find some of the best takeaways we learned:

  • Hands-on activities, such as App Wars or Glows and Grows are a great way to kick off and engage students in mobile app development.
  • Just because students are learning how to build mobile apps doesn’t mean they have to be glued to a computer the entire time!  There are lots of offline activities available to teachers in the MAD-learn curriculum that are interactive and help students understand the design thinking process.
  • Students know more about coding than they think! Students don’t have to know how to code to use MAD-learn AND they can interact with coding templates even without prior experience with coding. Students who have never coded before are still able to use coding templates because the MAD-learn platform makes them user-friendly. 
  • MAD-learn teaches students more than just coding. They have the opportunity to experience “real-world tech scenarios” such as learning about design, content creation, and entrepreneurship.

If you’re interested in hearing from these teachers directly, click here to watch our Teacher Takeover.

Our Customer Success team is growing.  We’ve recently welcomed Caroline Westervelt to our MAD-family as one of our newest Curriculum and Implementation Specialists.  Caroline was a teacher for 20 years, and spent the last 10 years at The School District of Palm Beach teaching middle school computer science.  Be on the lookout for a revamped HCJ demo app (coming soon) and updated coding curriculum thanks to Caroline and her expertise.  We are so excited to have her on the team.  You can reach Caroline at  She will be working directly with Gregg and Alexandra to support all of our amazing customers with training and curriculum, so be on the lookout for an email you may get from her soon.

Our team has been buzzing all over the country as we kick off Spring.  We’ve been to conferences including the North Carolina Technology in Education Society conference (NCTIES) and The New York City Elementary School Principals Association conference (NYCESPA), Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies conference (ASSET) as well as facilitated an App Camp in Jasper, Texas and attended the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) STEM Day. Take a look at our photos for some highlights:

This month, we’re shouting out Erin Keith at Kedron Elementary School in Fayette County.  Erin taught high school English for years and this is her first year teaching K-5 elementary students and her first time teaching computer science (quite the transition!).  We’ve been so impressed with her willingness to dive in and learn as many new things as she can this year, including mobile app development. Erin loves MAD-learn for how easy and user-friendly it is.  In fact, her students were able to navigate the platform and start developing an app before Erin even had the chance to meet with us for training.  Her 4th grade students have created some truly phenomenal apps to help them prepare for Georgia’s upcoming state testing. Be on the lookout for our April 1st APPetizers issue to see some of her students’ apps.

PS: If you are a MAD-learn teacher and do not get APPetizers (our monthly email on the 1st of every month, specifically for MAD-learn teachers), please email to ensure you are added to the list!