MAD-learn

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“Engaging students in the app creation process this year became a very valuable part of my Curriculum. The children not only picked up skills that were specific to the MAD-learn platform itself, but most importantly they were encouraged to try something totally new – follow their passions and their interests, exercise their curiosities, and trouble-shoot and problem solve. Make decisions, revise those decisions, and ultimately see the beginnings of the fruits of all that labor, and it was very cool thing.”

--Stephanie Bullock, Lovett School, Atlanta

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

All Students

Location

Nationwide

Grades

Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Promising link

Program Impact

MAD-learn was launched January of 2014 and is currently being used by over 50 schools and districts across the United States with over 10,000 students on the program. Initial observations and studies show a high correlation between app development for a particular project and student interest in that specific subject matter. As students make apps, they are learning valuable technical, computational thinking, entrepreneurial and design skills that will endure. 

 

Program Overview

MAD-learn (MAD stands for Mobile Application Development) is a curriculum program targeted at upper-level elementary, middle and high school students who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of mobile app design and development. Combining traditional classroom methods with interactive online learning modules, MAD-learn is designed with a progressive framework that has something to offer for students of all skill levels.

MAD-learn (MAD stands for Mobile Application Development) is a curriculum program targeted at upper-level elementary, middle and high school students who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of mobile app design and development. Combining traditional classroom methods with interactive online learning modules, MAD-learn is designed with a progressive framework that has something to offer for students of all skill levels.

Unlike other online “learn to code” platforms, MAD-learn uses a top-down teaching approach that walks students through the steps of building an app using a visual editor and then shows what happens “under the hood” in more detail as the student advances. Using this structure, the creators of MAD-learn hope to capture students’ interest and enthusiasm early on by “coding to learn” and building confidence, entrepreneurship, collaboration, design-thinking, and early success with coding. This is intended to inspire an interest in STEM careers at a later stage.

How To Get Involved

MAD-learn has received support from partners and corporations across the country. A corporate partner can get involved in the following ways:

  1. Sponsor a local MAD-camp 
  2. Sponsor MAD-learn implementation for all students, all teachers at a school
  3. Sponsor  Professional Development for teachers across the country

Sponsor a User Conference to enable brainstorming, idea share, collaboration amongst MAD-teachers

Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.