In the 1984 movie, Ghostbusters, Rick Moranis’ character, the Gatekeeper, was looking for the Keymaster. Cataclysmic events would occur once the Gatekeeper and Keymaster met and preventing such a catastrophe was the goal of the Ghostbusters. There are times when our online and blended world feels a little like that. Cataclysmic, catastrophic!
Over the course of my previous online experience, I have been a student, an instructor, a principal for a virtual high school, a district manager for all online learning, and a director of online instructional design. Strangely enough, my horror stories are not focused on the Chemistry students who did not receive their lab kits, or even the software that refused to download, although those were challenges. My horror stories are more about relationships and people. The instructor who failed to show up in an online course for two weeks because someone in central office neglected to tell him he was scheduled to teach. The group member who waited until the last minute (literally at midnight!) to submit her portion of a large project. The superintendent who thought we could have hundreds of students in one course because “how hard could it be to teach online.”
More horrifying yet, are the individuals who’s vision of online teaching and learning takes on a 1998 perspective. The attitude of “but we’ve always done it this way” rather than embracing the possibilities of a 2014 online classroom. Twenty-first century digital tools and thinking allow our teachers to focus on students as individuals and our students to learn in ways never before possible. Maximizing strengths, identifying and improving on weaknesses.
When you look at your vision of online, are you a Gatekeeper or a Keymaster? The cataclysmic event being a 1998 vision that results in a old-school perspective of online learning. Or are you a Ghostbuster banishing the old thoughts that prevent the expansion of new ideas and possibilities?
Aspire to be a Ghostbuster! There are a growing number of us!
Resources to check out: