Happy 8th Birthday to us! MAD-learn celebrated our 8 year anniversary last week and we couldn’t be more proud of the work that we have done these last eight years, the lives we have impacted, the ideas we have turned into reality, and the visions that we have for the next 8 years of our work. THANK YOU for your support and belief in us. Hear from our team and some of our favorite moments of life at MAD-learn thus far.
As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we look back on last year and the moments we shared with you, the lessons we learned with you, and the ways in which we grew together. As Dr. King stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others”. Here is what we did for you and with you last year.
MAD-learn’s Alignment with…the Future of Education
- Education technology trends in learning and teaching— technology-infused teaching methodology comes with its own challenges, but it also allows teachers to be flexible in offering their learning schedule. MAD-learn exploits the use of technology and affords success to students whether they are working in a classroom, at home, independently, or in groups working both together in real-time and asynchronously.
- Soft Skills training–A Future of Jobs report highlights some of the crucial workplace skills that include critical thinking, problem-solving, people management, and creativity. MAD-teachers are well aware of how important such “vital and transferable” skills are to the program and how they have benefited their students.
- Student trend: decreasing attention spans–A Microsoft study took notice of the attention spans overall between 2000 (which is considered to be the dawn of the mobile revolution) and 2015. They came to know that attention spans decreased by an implausible 4 seconds – from 12 seconds to 8. This explains why the addition of short, focused video tutorials has been so popular with the students and teachers we work with. MAD-learn enables teachers of any discipline to provide a quality experience to their students, thanks to the resources available and wide range of sophistication in the delivery options.
- Teaching versus facilitating learning–With information at the tip of their finger, students feel a sense of independence in their learning. Teachers now seem to be more in a facilitative role. This presents different challenges for teachers who are now required to work on their own soft skills, problem-solving, and leadership.
MAD-teacher(s) of the Month
We wanted to start off the new year with something unique and fun. That’s why we are recognizing two MAD-teachers who have both successfully instituted MAD-learn with their students. They happen to be teachers in the same school district (Cobb County, GA). What makes them unique is that they are our first husband and wife team! They have been married for 34 years and have two children (who are actually young adults).
Sheri Dennard has been teaching 8th grade Math (on-level through High School Credit Algebra) with the Cobb County School District, Georgia, since 1990. She has a Master of Science in Middle Grades Education.
“Looking for a way to have my students collect data to create a quadratic, I happened upon the MAD-learn all day experience at KSU one Saturday in early Spring in 2018 (I believe).” She said, adding, “I had no idea what I had signed up for, but I was eager to learn. This didn’t solve my quadratic problem, but it did open the opportunity for my students to display and demonstrate what they have learned in the math program during the year. Since the training, my students create math apps over one topic that they have learned in the final unit over statistics.”
She continued, “Each year, I make myself extend the lesson and have the students incorporate new ideas and do they come through. The students take the basics and some of them go all out. Their products are amazing, and they are thrilled when their product is selected to be published. This year, I plan to allow the students to focus on quadratics or exponentials. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”
Sheri’s husband Richard Dennard is completing his 22nd year of teaching with the District. He previously worked for Philips Electronics and Canon USA, Inc. until a career change led him to teaching. Richard has both a BBA & an MBA in Marketing and currently teaches Sports & Entertainment Marketing along with an intro computer science class in his high school’s Career Tech department. Sheri introduced him to MAD-learn and showed him the amazing apps her 8th-grade students developed over the years with MAD-learn.
Richard shares his experience. “Last year our district CTAE director asked the high school marketing teachers to pilot MAD-learn for CTE. I was excited to introduce MAD-learn to my students based on the experience my wife has had with her middle school students.
APP development is not just for STEM classes; it is a skill all students will need in their future careers. My Advanced Sports & Entertainment Marketing classes over time will use MAD-learn to develop basic apps for school clubs, sports teams, and our school store. My goal is to incorporate MAD-learn into my 1st & 2nd level Sports/Entertainment Marketing classes whereby the time they are in my 3rd level they will be able to publish their apps.”
Congratulations this husband-wife power duo! We are proud to have them be a part of the MAD-family!
Don’t leave without…
…congratulating the Winners of our first ever Holiday #appsthatmatter Grant! Javier at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy and Matt at Highlands Elementary have won a grant that provides them with a classroom set of licenses and virtual PD for MAD-learn for them to kick off their STEM activities with students this semester. We can’t wait to see what their students create. CONGRATULATIONS!