August 8, 2019

Meet the GoGuardian Team: Dillon McKillop

GoGuardian Team
Dillon McKillop photo

Welcome to the GGHQ blog! We want to introduce you to some of the people behind the product and service that helps educators with their digital learning environments. Our blog will occasionally spotlight our incredible team members who help keep GoGuardian running at its best for you, our community.

Many of you have interacted with Dillon McKillop through tech support in the past few years, so we thought you should get to know him better. We recently spoke with Dillon to learn about his favorite teacher and his interesting take on ducks. Check out what he had to say!

GG: What's your name, and what do you do at GoGuardian?
DM: My name is Dillon McKillop, and I'm a Support Engineer at GoGuardian. I grew up battling with technology—taking my toys apart and eventually coercing my mom's computer to play games I didn't necessarily pay for. Well-rounded in K-12, I decided to pursue the subject I was most passionate about personally, English language and literature at UCLA. After a few years in the workforce at smaller tech startups working in roles from editing/layout and copywriting to testing and appraising consumer and enterprise electronic hardware, I landed in a support role for a development company specializing in automotive e-commerce. A few months later in August 2016, I started at GoGuardian and haven't looked back! In the office, I'm typically troubleshooting customer issues, attempting to break chromeOS and our extensions, running customized aggregate reports, or chugging vitamin waters.

GG: Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck? Why, and what would your strategy be?
DM: In my limited experience with ducks, they are typically mild-mannered and more sociable than horses, which tend to be more skittish and have significantly more muscle mass and higher bone density. Rather than exploiting these physical weaknesses and leaving myself open to pecks from a four-foot duckbill, my strategy would be to gain the duck's trust by aligning with its needs and feeding it bread. The duck would have no choice but to accept me into its shallow inner circle of trust (who else would a terrifying horse-sized duck relate to? Must be a lonely existence) and allow me to ride it to and from work at least twice a week in exchange for daily bread offerings, which would otherwise be difficult to obtain for animals without arms and hands.

GG: Who’s a teacher from your student days that made an impact on you, and why?
DM: I was fortunate to have many great teachers throughout my cultural brainwashing—specifically in fifth grade. Dan Christensen was one of the earlier teachers I was able to relate to and who gave me a lot of great 1:1 coaching and books to read. Mr. C was one of the few teachers I had previously been taught by that was fully invested and engaged in teaching. Mr. C had been a teacher for a long time, but still managed to give us enthusiasm and vigor for the subject matter he was teaching us, along with a charming Red Forman-style of dry wit and playful scorn. Most of my teachers had a positive impact on me growing up, but I have noticed less vigor, enthusiasm, and engagement in most others.

GG: Quick! What’s your top 5 music artists—of all time, and of right now?
DM: No particular order:
Led Zeppelin
The Black Dahlia Murder

GG: What was a memorable interaction that you had in this community?
DM: The most memorable interaction I've had within our community would probably be early days of 2018 when my team and I (Kirk, Stephanie, Luke, Hauss) were utterly swamped with back-to-school tickets and decided to hunker down in Zonko's back in the day when there was a couch in the room. Things are way different than they were back then, and we've all grown a lot as individuals and as a company. I'm proud of our scrappy team on an individual level and what we've accomplished, and I’m proud to work at a company where I can say that things do really change for the better and have continuously since I've started here.

GG: Tell us 2 truths and a lie.
DM: I've never lived outside of the US.
I've never broken a bone.
I was ranked in the top 50 in the world at Gears of War 2.

GG: What do you like about working in edtech and at GoGuardian?
DM: I touched on this before in my response about memorable interactions. I really like the continuous improvement and innovation our company has undergone since I started here three years ago. I also enjoy working for a company with a goal that aligns with the betterment of the future and people in general—as opposed to a specifically revenue-driven company with no social responsibility. It's also a pleasure to be working alongside the best and brightest coworkers.

GG: Is there anything you’d like to say to the educators in the GoGuardian community?DM: Thanks for letting us be a part of your personal journey to integrate and manage technology within the classroom. As people, we all know that change is difficult, but it's tough for most of us non-educators to fully understand the difficulty of adding and harnessing the power of pandora's box (the internet) to each student in almost every classroom in an ecosystem where instructional time and manpower is scarce and already fully accounted for.

Adding computers for every student to the mix will undoubtedly upset the balance of time and attention until the process is properly tuned, but pain is often an unavoidable side effect of growth. The positives of providing the next generation of adults the tools and information available on the internet will eventually outweigh the pitfalls, and we can work together to learn to harness and focus the firehose of information and distractions that the internet has to offer.

GG: Last, but not least…past or present, what 3 other people would be at your ideal dinner party?
DM: Tough call but I think the 3 folks below would be an entertaining group:
Conan O'Brien
Robert Anton Wilson
Patrice O'Neal

Let us know in the comments: Which of Dillon's "2 Truths and a Lie" is the lie?