Ello’s new monthly email series for parents and teachers is full of recommendations and resources.
Co-Founder & CEO @ Ello
1. Why You Started Ello: I believe that education, and maximizing the potential of every child, is the most important thing we as a society can do. Every other problem that we face, can be solved if we help the next generation thrive and be in a position to solve them. I got deeply involved in the philosophy of learner-centered education — where we put the child at the center of the learning — and then with Elizabeth and Catalin, saw the potential for technology to truly revolutionize how children learn. Reading is the first step on this as reading is the gateway to the rest of learning.
2. Best Entrepreneurial Advice: Just do things and learn from them. Oftentimes, we want to do the best version of something because we want to do our best work, which often leads to us doing nothing or doing things slowly. No entrepreneur knows exactly the right thing to do. So it's much more useful to do something quickly and then learn from that experience and do the next thing.
3. Productivity Hack: Having a calendar-scheduling link. It's crazy how many people don't and how much time is spent organizing meetings.
4. What’s next for Ello? In the short term, we're completing our mission to be able to teach any child to read from start to finish regardless of resources. There are lots of exciting new features and changes ahead to deliver this. The current version of Ello is probably a third of the product we have planned for this year.
5. Dad Lesson Learned This Year: Make it clear when you really mean something. We say "no" and give instructions to our children constantly, and it's hard for them to understand which of them you really care about and which of them you're just saying as a preference. I say, ‘Do X Y Z, or there will be a consequence.’ to indicate to Oli that this instruction is one that he has to listen to. That helps him filter through the noise. To instill a love of learning in my son, I try to approach the world with the curiosity of a three-year-old. Kids feed off our energy so much, and if I am loving relearning the world, he will love to learn.
6. To instill a love of learning in my son I…try to make sure that I approach the world with the curiosity of a three-year-old. Kids draw so much energy from their parents, and so if I am loving learning with him, then I believe that he will also love to learn and that the natural curiosity that every child has will flourish.
7. Book I’ve Gifted The Most: The Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik. It describes that some parents see themselves as carpenters who are trying to take raw materials and create something that they have predetermined. And others are gardeners who believe that it's their job to create the environment in which that child will grow, but they don't know exactly what the child will turn into. Alison argues and I agree that the latter is the right approach.
8. To me, work-life balance means…Making sure that the time I spend with Oli, I am 100% focused on him, and the time I spent at work is focused on work. And to the extent possible trying to keep the two separate rather than let them bleed into each other and feel like I'm doing a bad job at both.
9. Tip For Ello Job Applicants: Read the job description!! :-) We put a lot of thought into exactly what we're looking for and so if you directly address the job description in your resume, cover letter, and interviews, you're likely to do really well. For us, the job description isn't just a quick marketing piece, it's the foundation of the entire hiring process.
10. I Recently Learned That…Groundhogs aren't mythical creatures! I moved to Pennsylvania and we have groundhogs which I'd only ever seen in the movie Groundhog Day.