MAD-news for January: New Year, New MAD-learn!

Hi Guest,

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are now back in full force and ready for the new year. I had the opportunity to visit my family in India and see Mumbai (where I spent 10 years of my adolescence) from my husband’s eyes as a first-time visitor to the country and the city. It was powerful, to say the least.
As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am reminded of his close relationship with Mahatma Gandhi, a mentor from halfway around the world. Today, even more than 65 years ago, cross-cultural ties and lessons can help us unite and build a stronger foundation for tomorrow. We experience this every day with our global team (with today’s temperatures in our cities being 20F, 27F, 40F, and 86F, for example). 
Who is one person in your life that is vastly different from you that you can talk to and learn more about?
Alefiya Master
Founder & CEO
With each new season, we shed the old and make room for new growth. MAD-learn is turning over a new leaf to kick off 2023 with a completely revamped platform. Our new product includes innovative features such as a dashboard that allows users to find essential information in one place, autosave to eliminate the nagging fear of lost work, customized avatars to add whimsy to the experience, and a progress tracker to help students determine if their app could earn a badge or be reviewed for potential publication. Login here to check it out!

We have also streamlined our app-building process and eliminated the need for an app shell. Users can now jump directly into any phase of the design thinking process and all work is saved automatically. Want to create a mind map, but aren’t quite ready for the design phase? No problem. Now, students can focus on each step in isolation and enjoy customizable design features to boot. The new platform also includes an old favorite: video and slide deck tutorials.

Our new year’s resolution is to show you everything our MAD-learn makeover has to offer! If you would like a tour or want to learn more about our redesigned product, feel free to reach out to success@mad-learn.com.
The cheers, excitement, and cake have been flowing at MAD-learn!  In addition to launching a brand new product this month, we also celebrate our 9th birthday as a company.  Alefiya Master, founder, and CEO created MAD-learn when she realized students’ voices were missing from apps about their schools.  That realization sparked an idea and MAD-learn (which stands for mobile app development) was born.  Through the years, the company has seen many iterations of our product, but one thing remains constant: growth and transformation are essential to what we do.  Those have become the pillars of MAD-learn’s philosophy and pedagogy and these values are championed by our ever-expanding team.
At MAD-learn, we believe students must be the creators of technology, not just consumers.  In that vein, we’ve spent nine rewarding years developing a standards-aligned curriculum that puts students in the driver’s seat.  Mobile app development isn’t just about computers and coding – it’s about developing student autonomy, collaboration, critical thinking, and computer science skills that are critical 21st-century workforce demands.  So as we blow out our candles and give thanks for another year, we’ll make a wish that MAD-learn apps, memories, and lifelong skills are being created in each of your classrooms.
Attention Georgia Teachers! If your students are interested in social activism and app design, it’s not too late to participate in the CS4GA App and Design Challenge.  This state-wide competition is for middle and high school students who are interested in developing app and design skills while promoting “awareness, community service and innovation” according to CS4GA challenge guidelines.  The deadline to submit winners is February 17, 2023 (*refer to the note at the bottom of the table for School and District Guidelines).
The challenge calls for students to work individually or in teams of up to three to create an app that solves a community-based problem using the six-step design thinking process.  Students must also complete a written submission describing the goal of their app and create a 1-2 minute video highlighting what the app does and its features.  MAD-learn is the perfect tool for students interested in this challenge.  Good luck, Georgia students and teachers! Let us know if you would like feedback on your submission.
For more information, visit https://cs4ga.org/app-challenge.  Please tag us on social media with your students’ app designs.  We can’t wait to see what they create – hAPPy designing!
Dr. Mary Mwangi is channeling big digital energy. As a soon-to-be-named MAD-expert and ambassador from Cobb County School District, she encourages her middle school students to take their love of technology, phones, and social media and harness their focus on creating technology rather than only consuming it. MAD-learn has been the perfect tool to “propel students to…think big,” she said. But Mary, who has been teaching for 26 years, also encourages other teachers to bring mobile app development into their classrooms as a way to “engage and empower teens” in “all subjects and all aspects of life – career, health, safety, journalism [and] art.” Her students have proven this through apps they have created on subjects such as assistive technology and to spread awareness about important causes. According to Mary, “app development in this platform inspires effective communication, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving.”
In fact, Mary has been such an advocate for mobile app development as a pedagogical tool that she recently convinced four teachers to attend a MAD-learn training so they could begin implementing it in their classrooms. She especially appreciates the new platform that launched this month, saying she is “in love with it” and that she anticipates her students will “dive right in.” Mary also emphasized that her students appreciate the accessibility and resources of the MAD-learn platform. “[The] MAD-learn platform is accessible for all students, [from] beginners with no coding experience to advanced,” she said.
FETC is around the corner! Will you be there? Make sure you come find us on Monday, Jan 23 at 11 am in Room 355 for the first-ever and only “App Development for Elementary Students” workshop! Learn how MAD-learn can help you bring an app development experience to your elementary students, build an app from start to finish yourself, hear implementation ideas from teachers across the country, and leave with some amazing MAD-swag.
We will also be on the UndisruptED Podcast Tuesday morning with Carl Hooker and Adam Phyall (streaming live from outside the exhibit hall) and on a CEO panel about Entrepreneurship and EdTech Innovation moderated by Jen Womble on Wednesday at 2 pm. Looking forward to seeing you in The Big Easy next week!
… congratulating our #appsthatmatter 2022 Grant Winners! Check them out here. We received a record number of applications this year and had a very hard time selecting only 5 teachers to win this grant. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their applications, share their meaningful work with us, and continue to do whatever it takes to bring the best experiences to your students.
To our winners, CONGRATULATIONS! We are so excited to see what you and your students create this semester. Make sure you schedule your 1-1 training session with our team ASAP to get started.
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