Lesson 5 Telementoring

What is Telementoring?
     "Mentoring" is not a new concept to educators. For many years, educators have extended their students' learning to a broader community through mentoring experiences. You may have even been part of a mentoring relationship yourself, either as the mentor, the mentee or the supervisor. "Telementoring", however, takes this tried and true educational technique to a slightly different dimension - mentoring through the use of telecommunications. With the onset of the Internet, access to the "more experienced" has been on a rapid increase.

     Read the following article ("Introduction" and "Background" only; you can stop at "Examples of Telementoring" as we will go through several examples in the next section) by Melanie Goldman for an overview on Telementoring:

Perspective on Telementoring and Mentor CenterTM , Melanie Goldman
(You may want to come back and read the entire article at a later time as Ms. Goldman presents a wealth of information.)

Examples of Telementoring Programs
     Take time to explore the following programs, as this will not only give you an idea of what telementoring is all about, but will also stimulate ideas of how you can use this teaching method with your students.

  • HP E-Mail Mentor Program
    The HP E-mail Program is a structured, project-based program where HP employees worldwide volunteer to telementor 5th - 12th grade students in unique one-to-one electronic relationships. The focus of the HP E-mail Mentor Program is to help students excel in math, science and to explore education and career opportunities beyond high school. The program also strives to help students develop professional communication skills.

  • Telementoring Young Women in Science, Engineering and Computing
    This is a project that draws on the strengths of telecommunications technology to build on-line communities of support among female high school students, professional women in technical fields, parents and teachers.

  • Electronic Emissary
    "The Emissary is a "matching service" that helps teachers with access to the Internet locate other Internet account-holders who are experts in different disciplines, for purposes of setting up facilitated curriculum-based, electronic exchanges among the teachers, their students, and the experts. In this way, the interaction that occurs among teachers and students face-to-face in the classroom is supplemented and extended by exchanges that occur among teachers, students, online facilitators and experts asynchronously via electronic mail."

  • Chemistry Telementoring
    "Chemistrytm is an international telementoring discussion group for students in high school and college, and their teachers, whose interests (avocation, course work or career) lie in the area of Chemistry. The group fosters the exchange of ideas and information on all topics related to chemistry."
Additional Articles and Resources
  • Telementoring Web
    The purpose of this project is to explore the concept of mentoring and ways in which Computer Mediated Communications can expand its application. We propose that Mentoring is pedagogically valuable, and that the Internet will be a valuable tool for increasing mentoring in schools.
  • Mentoring, the Local Community, and the Use of Telecommunications
    Philip Coates (1996) presents an in depth look at telementoring.
  • Mentoring and the Internet
    English teacher, Ted Nellen, discusses the use of telementoring in his classes.
  • Mentoring GuideBook
    This publication from the Pan-Educational Institute Testbed Project provides a framework for telementoring projects.
  • The Mentor's Mentor
    An interview with Howard Levin. Levin and his class of 15/16 year old Honors World History students are taking part in a "telementoring" project with thirteen UW graduate students.

Assignment Tele5 - Telementoring
     Respond to ONE of the following. Send your response to your site trainer. MAKE SURE to include the number and name of this assignment.
  1. After doing an overview of the above examples of telementoring projects, discuss how you think you could incorporate one of these specific projects into your classroom.
  2. Based on what you have learned about telementoring from the above lesson, discuss some of the obstacles to classroom telementoring projects and how schools (or teachers) might overcome some of these obstacles.
  3. Discuss some of the lessons you have learned from your participation in a mentoring project. How could "telementoring" (using technology to communicate) have played a role in this project?
  4. Discuss how some of the resources (be specific) in your community could be used for telementoring projects with students (or teachers).

Next: Lesson 6 - A Telementoring Tool
Previous: Lesson 4 - Finding and Calling for Participation in Projects
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