The big challenge is not going from off-line to on-line. The big challenge comes later, when we have become digital. Suddenly, not only competition is one thumb-press away, all substitutes are. But if you just hold on to your old chalkboard, then at least you will make it. If lucky; even become bigger than ever.
In the late 90´s there was a TV-series called Ally McBeal. In one episode she was searching “her own theme song”. Her therapist, that suggested this idea, claimed it should be “just Ally”. The idea was that it would make Ally feel better about, well, everything. Finally, Ally found her own song.
It made a big difference.
The Internet guru Howard Reingold possibly uses his shoe-style, and hats, and shirts, and jackets, for a similar reason when he gives lectures. The marketing guru Seth Godin, and the musician Elton John, possibly uses their own glasses instead.
Sir Ken Robinson, well-known for his interesting TED-talks on why education seem to kill creativity, tend to act very ‘British’ instead. Works, for him.
At my own university there is a teacher that ends his traditional lectures with magic. Great. Another one does nothing fancy all. But he often becomes so dedicated about his own topic during his math-lectures that he tends to forget that students even are there. Also great, partly because. A third one takes students for a walk outside during his “lectures”. Just great.
I myself happen to like music. I prefer typing the title of the topic for the day right into the search field on Spotify. Keywords find me a new song, but with the same title as the lecture. I play it before class starts. Music can be useful for setting the agenda for a meeting. Students tend to smile on me doing it.
There is gazillion ways.
But the point is not only to make yourself feel better, and thereby also become even better than you already are. It is also a way to be remembered.
In the online-world, competition is gazillion times higher than in the offline-world. On the other hand; the market is also gazillion times bigger than before. Attention matter in such kind of world.
Could there be a reason why we remember rock-stars that look and act in a different way? David Bowie, Diljit Dosanjh, The Kizz, Teresa Teng, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Sex Pistols, Farenheit, Bob Dylan, Bruddah Iz.
Are we to be surprised that already several years ago we started to see pop-music-look-alike phenomenon evolving in the e-learning-business, not the least in South Korea? star-teachers seem to be able to make students go wild.
But who said that there is no room for a traditional teacher doing something similar, but in his/her own way? Have a look here. What du you think?
It is an old clip with the retired professor Walter Lewins, put on YouTube by some of his “drawing-line-fans”. 44 million views on YouTube so fat. By that, this also becomes a good example on how offline can lead to online and then back to off-line again. I bet my head off this video made a lot of students come to his physical class.
Now, you try to make what he did, but in the digital space. Good luck.
On the other hand; why should you even try? Find your own way instead.
And; who said that everyone has to act exactly like a young pop-star in order to get attention on the web?