It’s been a long while since my last post.

Since late September, I’ve been on leave from my school to avoid burnout and to explore the potential of an idea to help teachers deal with the new pressures and expectations around professional learning.

So I guess it has been a little ironic that I’ve been quite busy in my “break” from school. I’ve probably had more meetings than ever in a similar time frame, travelled to BETT Asia in Singapore, built an app (well, web-based platform) called ELLA, and even managed to get into a startup accelerator to boost how rapidly we can get it into the hands of teachers. I’ve also had the chance to chat to more educators, thinkers and other stakeholders which always leads to my mind expanding over new landscapes of thought.

At BETT Asia, I had wonderful conversations with a range of educators and others from all over the Asia-Pacific region. It was deeply rewarding to be able to take part in a presentation, a panel and a teachmeet, where I met leading global education thinkers as well as my favourite group: teachers.

I learned about how Laos has several thousand primary schools and only 1/3 of them have electricity (certainly puts first world problems like intermittent wifi access in it’s place). I learned about how Russia embraces its history and looks to the future of teaching and learning. I learned how there is amazing potential to shift the futures of young people around the world if only we make a concerted effort to do so.

I learned that teaching may look wildly different in each culture and country and classroom but that it is a core human need to have a supportive apprenticeship-style relationship for learning. It might be rapid or long-term; it might be face-to-face or online; it might blur the lines of who is the learner and who is the ‘teacher’.

Learning is one of our vital and sustainable global resources.

And so, just yesterday I found out that my co-founders and I have been accepted into the Telstra-backed Muru-D startup accelerator program for 2016. Our cloud-based platform, ELLA, will help teachers rapidly apply their learning to see real impact without adding more admin to simply tick boxes (in fact, they’ll do that in less time!)

We need your help to make it something teachers love, not just something teachers feel they have to use.

If you are a teacher, or know a teacher, ask them to go to http://www.ellaapp.co and sign up for early access and like the FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/appforella

2016 is going to start(up) with a bang!

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