How this former teacher went from curriculum specialist to ed-tech founder

MAPPEN Founder Karen Green with her sons Mark and Danny
MAPPEN Founder Karen Green with her sons Mark and Danny

Working in the education sector for more than forty years, Karen Green began her career as a teacher at just 17 years old. She left to complete a graduate diploma in Special Education, and later a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education, returning to teaching as an Assistant Principal before moving into a consultancy focusing on gifted education and curriculum development.

It was here that she found her passion and began working extensively with schools to plan classes that successfully addressed the needs of students with different learning capabilities.

Teachers are not especially well trained in the writing of best-practice lesson plans with rich content that takes into consideration different learning capabilities and keeps everyone in the classroom engaged. Every school Green consulted to had a different planning proforma for their own curriculum.

So, to address the inconsistencies Green sat down and developed a best-practice teaching plan, and began distributing it to schools and training people individually. Schools however struggled to implement her teachings once the time-poor realities of their jobs resumed.

Finding a solution to the problem

She realised there needed to be a smarter, more efficient way to train teachers in best-practice teaching methods and ways to design exemplary curriculum, so, a first iteration of MAPPEN was developed by Karen’s son and co-founder Mark Ritterman in the form of an application.

With co-author Amanda McCallum, Green spent the next five years researching and developing a fully mapped out curriculum for Australian primary schools from Foundation to Year 6, with rich lesson plans and built in learning and professional development for teachers.

Danny Ritterman, Karen’s other son and CEO of MAPPEN then developed this further into an online learning portal. The ed-tech solution is now supporting the education of more than 80,000 students and is updated regularly in line with changing state curriculum requirements and feedback from the teachers using MAPPEN.

With COVID-19 turning education on its head, MAPPEN were swift in adapting their online content for home learning. First adapting to enable teachers to better deliver remote education, they have gone a step further to enable parents to login, in order to support the variances in distance education and provide greater access to rich learning. They are offering the platform free to all schools during this pandemic to ensure there are no gaps in childhood education.