21st century mentoring

I just completed an independent inquiry on the implications of Web 2.0 on mentoring and induction of new and novice teachers. The project spanned two semesters, and I learned a lot.

I am posting the final report in PDF. I also have a companion wiki, which is still in development. Stop by for a visit and tell me what you think!


2 Responses to “21st century mentoring”

  1. 1 Jeff Bailey 13 April, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I have been trying to get my district to adopt a blog format for connecting beginning teachers to other beginning teachers, their mentors, and our certification coordinator. I think the blogging format (especially tagging) can assist in reflection and in the culminating assessment– a standards-based portfolio presented at the end of the year.

    The only catch is that I have been asked how those teachers reflections (blog posts) could be viewed by ONLY the new teacher group and NOT the entire world.

    Any suggestions for blogging tools or settings that would accomplish this easily?

    Jeff Bailey

  2. 2 jlubke 14 April, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Hi, Jeff!

    I found a few online mentoring communities that were very serious about protecting the privacy of the online conversations between new and veteran teachers. So, your district’s concern is actually not that unusual. It is reasonable to want to create a virtual environment where mentors and novices can converse openly about classroom problems and strategies with a assurance of confidentiality; yet, at the same time, it is beneficial to preserve those conversations with tagging and archiving (as you suggest) so the entire learning community can benefit from the growing knowledgebase.

    It is possible to offer blogging capabilities to your mentors and novices in a closed, password-protected environment. I would suggest you investigate Ning or Moodle. (See pages 8-15 and 33-41 of my PDF report.) Both are free, offer privacy settings that you control, and include a blog tool as well as many other community-building features.

    Moodle is the open-source equivalent of the BlackBoard program that is prevalent in secondary and higher ed. It can be hosted remotely at the Moodle web site, or you can download it and run it on your school’s serve. A good place to learn about Moodle is Steve Hargadon’s recent implementation study that he wrote for CoSN.

    In addition to Ning and Moodle, you might investigate Tapped In. As far as I know, it doesn’t offer blogs, but it is an amazing online resource and one of the oldest virtual hubs for teachers in operation on the Internet. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future used Tapped In as a platform for a major study of district-university networked communities to support new teacher induction. It is called the TLINC project and has been heavily documented at the NCTAF web site.

    I have built resource pages for social networking/Ning and Tapped In at the eMentoring wiki. I am still working on a page for Moodle. I hope these links help you in your search. Stay in touch — I am eager to know how your system adapts to the new technology!

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Think on this:

"What if we just ignored the status of students in other countries? That wouldn’t be especially neighborly, but at least we wouldn’t be viewing the gains of children in other lands as a troubling development."

Alfie Kohn

"When I hear people say it's our job to create the 21st century workforce, it scares the hell out of me. Our job is to create 21st-century citizens. We need workers, yes, but we also need scholars, activists, parents -- compassionate, engaged people."

Chris Lehmann

Train of thought:

These are the communities where I network and cross-post. Come by for a visit!
Classroom 2.0
School Matters (East TN, USA)
Media Literacy

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