Teaching Students How to Build Mobile Apps from the Top-Down

March 21, 2016 by Crescerance

Computer programming, coding, mobile app development – oh my! Nowadays, you’d think you’d need an engineering degree just to decipher what these terms really mean, right?

Like with any other verbal language, learning how to program or code is a process, often tackled from the bottom-up. Traditional methods of coding often introduce the basics first, let’s call them the “ABCs of coding”. When a student has demonstrated proficiency with the ABCs of coding, then students would learn how to construct lines of code and basic commands. Once a student can master the lines of code, then they would move on to be taught how to string the lines of code together to make a computer program. This traditional way of teaching often requires an experienced computer science teacher and may take several months, if not years, before students are proficient enough to create innovative programs or mobile apps.

But, what about the majority of students who want to jump right in and start making cool, interactive programs after a few lessons? This traditional way of learning, though great for adults and for those really interested in learning how to code, is not the most effective method for those students who are eager to create immediately. This process for them would likely be overwhelming and boring to say the least.

That’s why MAD-learn created the seamless, top-down approach to learning how to program and create mobile apps! Our program engages students from day one to bring their ideas to life using our user-friendly, drag and drop interface.

We build excitement for technology and mobile app creation throughout our simple 7 step process:

  1. Idea Map and Brainstorm. Students begin with exploring the world around them to select a topic for their mobile app.
  2. Plan. The idea is mapped out to determine the overall functionality and look and feel of the mobile app to be developed.
  3. Research – Next, students will use resources inside and outside of the classroom to collect the content and information for their mobile app.
  4. Build Out Content – With a plan and content, students are able to jump right in and explore our interface as they begin to build out their app.
  5. Design – Here’s where the magic really starts! Students can customize their app by selecting the colors, backscreens, font styles, and adding logos.
  6. Iterate and Revise. Students can instantly share their completed mobile app in the MAD-Store, for the world to see and get feedback to make improvements.
  7. Market and Sell – Student created apps can be listed and sold in both the Google Play and Apple App stores.


With MAD-learn, programming doesn’t have to take months to learn how to do. We’re enabling students as young as 3rd grade to unlock their technological creativity and build mobile apps sooner than ever- without having to know the ins and outs of coding.

As students build their engagement and interest in mobile app development, our MAD-learn curriculum can also be used to teach basic coding. Students can tinker with the HTML code and see how it affects their mobile app. Think of it as a more hands-on approach to learning how to code, peeling the layers of the onion one at a time.


What’s the best part of MAD-learn?

It can be easily implemented by any teacher, any subject – not just the technology teacher – because no prior coding knowledge is required! Everything that is needed to build mobile apps is provided in our online portal, including teacher lesson plans, resources, and tutorials.

With MAD-learn, you’d be amazed by the innovation that can be created just from an idea! To learn more about the creative mobile apps students are making using MAD-learn, click here.