The Ed-Tech Industry Shuffle

Market Insight
LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and Publisher

There is a major shift in the ed-tech market’s behavior.  Schools and districts have crashed into the overwhelming complexity of software offerings and integrations.  This is causing slows and under-performance for some areas of tech sales.  Others are at great risk.  Because of this, your company may be missing out on the most critical ed-tech marketing you could be doing in 2019. 

The bottom line is, your sponsorship and support of the Learning Counsel means you get it.  By “it” we mean the fact that the digital transition of schools is way more than devices, software and some professional development for teachers to blend some screen learning into classrooms.  We mean structural change the likes of Amazon over Sears, Uber over taxis, AirBnb over hotels, Fed-X over the ol’ post office.  Even addressing small parts of what’s really needed in structural change is emotional and stressful for schools.  Still, they are coming to know that the transition probably isn’t classroom teachers remaining in the exact same types of roles as the last 100 years, not if schools mean to make true learning personalization happen the way normal people would define it.  Consumer personalization is always just for them, in their time, at their pace.  Schools need to do this while still maintaining teacher and fellow-student interaction.  With powerful tech and a clear leadership strategy it can be done for all ages of learners, literally revolutionizing schooling and setting into action an economic engine the likes of which the nation has never seen before. 

Meanwhile, marketers who are uninitiated in the full implication of digital transition for schools participate in actually adding distraction at normal conferences with a storm of random tech glitz.  Then they put additional industry marketing pressure on schools to innovate-in-place (no organizational change), which buries them alive in piles of newly needed professional development and more.  Schools are quickly demoralized by this.  Vendors soon find their customers won’t renew subscriptions or buy more hardware because it “didn’t work.”  Those poor schools bought the piece-meal tech glamour, and sadly never discovered the true north of educational digital transition.   Industry marketers then find they are producing fewer and fewer returns for their companies.  For the old-timers, it is very apparent that this is accelerating.

This hitch in school interest rather than continued rapid expansion is a market-wide condition caused by the collective.  The scene in K-12 ed-tech is a mosaic of random parts everywhere.  This is the total explanation for the annual “shuffle of ed-tech representatives” which happens to thousands of reps and marketers every year who are fired or laid-off, only to pop-up in another company and start all over again.  Time to find out the true story. 


The True Story of the Learning Counsel

Some mission-based organization who really understands schools and software, algorithmic inference recommendations engines, security and tech model architecture needed to step up with true organizational-design leadership for educational institutions in digital transition.  That’s the Learning Counsel.  Instead of being traditional media participants reporting from high up in the bleachers on play-by-plays, we’re on the field, helping lead from a base of knowledge surprisingly few organizations have about eco-system leadership.

You and your company have much to gain by aligning with this epic mission of getting to true change in education.  If you study the attrition and preference for online homeschooling and all opt-outers, and have any sort of desire to see public education continue rather than fall into decay, you’ll want to support Learning Counsel.  We found that every tech or curriculum company we met so far has a fit in this transition.  That fit is only truly understood by educators once the full context of transition is understood – because only then does the logic of your fit settle into the minds as more than just a random bit in an overwhelming mass, probably interchangeable with many other offerings.  You are just a “vendor,” one of many, too many to keep up with.


How it Started

LeiLani Cauthen, a news media, organizational and software expert, and Dr. David Kafitz, a former Superintendent, founded the Learning Counsel in 2014 to bring research and context around digital transition to schools.  This missing information caused explosive growth for Learning Counsel, which now has more than 215,000 readers and members. 

The Consumerization of Learning, a book about how educators can co-opt new technologies to transform learning was written in 2017 by LeiLani.  The enormous amount of research and perspective given in this book took the education market by storm and continues as part of formal training by the Learning Counsel with the EduJedi Leadership program. 

An annual National Survey also shows the progress of the market as well as the numerous resources timed to meet those school and district needs exactly match predictions by LeiLani.



Learning Counsel meetings in nearly 30 cities annually have progressed year-over-year to include ever-higher levels of authority from schools and districts, even Boards and Senators.  Quality over quantity attendance is emphasized.  More importantly, the events deliver useful content to leaders found nowhere else.  If you represent a company and sponsor these events, it is likely you’ll see a major jump in sales and reach.  Plus, your company will be seen as part of the real change needed, a holistic strategy, not just selling a one-off piece. 


Special Reports & Custom Publishing

Learning Counsel Special Reports provide further understanding of deep leadership concepts and are staged to match the change continuum predicted.  As such they are in high demand the minute they are released.  Advertising in these Special Reports sees huge returns.

Custom Whitepapers and our trademark “Journal-Posters” are favorites by education leaders, also generating great returns and branding.



For schools wishing to bring their whole administration up to a high degree of skill in tech leadership, the Learning Counsel now offers the EduJedi Leadership training to provide context on how to become a systems leader, evaluate digital curriculum, define terms, write strategic plans, understand school and learning analytics, and more.   Many of these schools need sponsorship of this training and will agree to face-to-face meetings to get it sponsored. 



Is your company profile and all products on the KnowStory site?

Learning Counsel has not rested on its laurels and built a new social media site for education called Knowstory.  Besides traditional social media, this site delivers a free market place for all products to be represented with tiles and full pages, both free or paid professional.  Schools and districts can hierarchically “crowd-source” the individual user or school-level libraries to get a complete and dynamic picture of what software and digital learning objects are in use.  They can also track license distribution and run analytics.  Individual objects can be sequenced into playlists called Knowmixes.  Users can share and schools can validate badges called Knowcred.  This is a first-of-its-kind offering that allows the individual student to be in control of their own page for life – free.  Top executives who are over academics and technology have already joined Knowstory to be a part of ongoing discussion Learning Groups that are led by the Learning Counsel. 



Stop the Shuffle

Companies who are “all-in” with support of Learning Counsel events, publishing, groups and training are automatically considered by the tens of thousands of education leaders as companies who “get it.”  Their support, in return, is fantastic.  Those companies hire and hire, and for them the “shuffle” is over.  


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