and David Kafitz, Ed.D.
An expert and charismatic change-agent helping schools move forward with a well-reasoned strategy for digital content and curriculum, professional development and IT strategy. Former Superintendent, Director of Technology Services, Principal, and Teacher in North Carolina Public Schools. David leads from having done school transformation and a business degree background with project management skills.
It started with LeiLani Cauthen
An “everyday philosopher” well versed in the digital content universe, software development, the adoption process, school coverage models, and helping define this century’s real change to teaching and learning. She is an author and media personality with twenty years of research, news media publishing and market leadership in the high tech, education and government industries.
The BeginningNov 2013
LeiLani and David were asking “What if there were one place online where you could connect with others in Education? Where teachers and students found learning objects, owned their own data, wrote their own life-long learning stories, and excelled in the fields and subjects of their choosing? What if?”
the Learning Counsel was formed Dec 2013
In order to create awareness of the inevitable shift to an all-digital-based curriculum reality, David and LeiLani formed the Learning Counsel, mother-company of KnowStory. The Learning Counsel has been a way to pay for Knowstory’s development through media and events products so that Knowstory could remain free and without special interests. LeiLani first worked out of a home office converted out an extra bedroom closet in Sacramento, California.
Later she graduated to taking over the house’s man-cave and relegating her husband, Doug, to one small corner for evening TV watching. The rest of the room was filled with desks and staff arriving bright and early every morning to drink up all of Doug’s favorite coffee. David converted a room in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina to world headquarters for the roadshow tour of executive events and was joined by several cats prone to laying on his keyboard. LeiLani’s husband eventually was forced into being the Chief Operating Officer to keep the family peace, and to put down rules about the use of his ping-pong table and the over-feeding of his dog.
LeiLani plotted the idea of KnowStory out on the smallest dry-erase board that could be found. David skyped in via a laptop on a chair.
KnowStory Development BeginsFeb 2014
The massive undertaking of all-things-digital-learning web application gets underway. Art, branding, and key messages were developed during this time. Lots of field research had already been done and more continued throughout 2014.
1-Year Anniversary of Learning CounselMay 2014
From almost zero dollars and just the warm support of a few thousand personal connections, the Learning Counsel grew to nearly 50,000 in readers of our newsletter in the first year through producing the “Digital Curriculum Strategy Discussion” events in 14 cities. Sponsors and educators were delighted with the discussions and a new movement was born. We were just happy to have a few pennies to rub together at the end, and no debt.
KnowStory beta ReleaseJune 2015
The initial soft release of KnowStory to a closed group for testing and input. Much valuable feedback and input was gathered. We knew we were on the right track. Above all, what we learned was KnowStory was not just nifty, it was being demanded.
The beta featured digital product intake, making of schools, companies and groups. This included Discussion Groups for our original Committees addressing hot Learning Counsel topics found nowhere else – and imperative for real digital transition.
the Learning Counsel First OfficesDec 2015
Meetings by all the remote staff were stuffing the Cauthen’s living room, dining room, spare bedrooms and the entire man cave was wall-to-wall with people. Time to move.
KnowStory - Next Level Development – Dec. 2015
After all the feedback from the beta release, a new and stronger version started to go into development.
Michael Mauerer of Teamwork Retail partnered up to help take it to the next level and the development team grew and grew.
By the end of this second year, the Learning Counsel had also grown to over 170,000 readers.
KnowStory - MarketplaceFeb 2016
- Users now can add or search for products here. The marketplace is not biased and will not bottleneck so that only certain publishers are allowed. It is a true agnostic place for all companies or publishers, big or small. Upload your own digital learning objects or products, and find digital learning content from others. This is how the whole world will evolve knowledge.
- Robust Search Engine to find content.
- Ease of upload for product intake.
- Ability to add to your own library or wishlist and tracking.
KnowStory - Your ProfileFeb 2016
- Unique user types for educators, learners, agents of companies.
- Robust Search Engine to find the content you are looking for or need.
- Ease of upload for product intake.
- Ability to add to your own library or wishlist to track for later.
KnowStory - GroupsMarch 2016
- A way to organize your connections and stay informed with others of similar goals.
- Instant messenger to stay in touch with your contacts.
KnowStory - Inventstory & Gap AnlysisJune 2016
- Library feature for all users to track and display what they own.
- “Invenstory” roll-up feature that allows the libraries of educators to be rolled up to a school for the school to see across all affiliated teachers what inventory of digital objects is in use.
- Tiered “invenstory” roll-up of school lists to their districts for entire district-wide “invenstory”.
- “Gap analysis” feature to measure standards met from products within invenstories at school and district levels.
KnowStory - Gap-at-a-Glance & KnowMixOct/Nov 2016
- Gap-at-a-Glance: a quick review of personal libraries.
- Personal Gap Analysis feature.
- Knowmix – the ability to plan a learning course and aggregate content to achieve a desired learning goal.
- Gap analysis expanded to track and analyze a wide range of metrics.
- Customization of company, school, district and group pages.
- Improved Invenstory.
- “Class” function for educators, schools and districts.
Coming soon features:
- E-commerce for purchasing digital learning content.
- Knowcred – new credentialing hub.
- Metrics for product sales and marketing for agents of companies.
- School Recruiter customizations and reports.
- More stuff our users think up. They’re so adorable.
The long game:
- Helping teachers and schools achieve greatness unparalleled in history because now with Knowstory they are super-cool. With precision personalization for every student, a seamless interactivity between engaging courseware done anywhere, and riveting hands-on in-person activities flawlessly executed – Schools rule for another millennium. No pressure.
- Bringing freedom and mobility to the teaching and learning paradigm with freelance mentoring and ad-hoc learning journey travel planners…all conducting themselves with great liberty. Everybody learning anywhere in friendly small pods and groups and classes and crowds and simple one-to-ones. Lovely.
- Answering our fan mail from Poland, Ukraine, Columbia, Great Britain and dozens of other countries.