Technology Mentoring: A Timeless Idea

First, I'd like to thank Scott for hosting me as part of my virtual tour to support The Best of Learning & Leading with Technology. You can follow the entire tour at Ed Tech Jen. To thank you for taking the time to find out a little about me and about the book, I'll be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter.


Technology Mentoring

In pulling together this collection of the best articles from a five-year span of Learning & Leading with Technology, I looked for three things:

  1. Articles that were compelling to read.
  2. Articles that many of our readers responded to, nominated for the collection on The Best of L&L blog, or had included in course packets.
  3. Articles that contained ideas that transcended specific technologies or educational settings.
  4. One article that really stood out in the technology leadership area was "Teacher to Teacher Mentoring" by Kathleen Gora and Janice Hinson. (ISTE members can read this article here.)

    Gora and Hinson described a program in their school where the more-experienced technology users helped teach their fellow teachers to integrate specific technologies into their instruction. They found much better results from these mentorships than from other professional development methods they had tried in their school.

    One of the nice things about this program was that it had the deep support of the principal. This was really a key component of its success, and the main reason that the program is still in effect today.

    When I contacted many of the authors whose works are included in the book, they shared a different result. Some had retired, and some had moved into other educational settings where technology use was not as well supported. Those who were still teaching used many of the same pedagogical techniques, but were unable to include the technology component. Thus, the fact that the program described in this article is still active is notable.

    One of the compelling points for me was that this school had taken a solid teaching truth and applied it to itself. We know that students learn a topic really well when they have to teach it to their fellow students. So it makes sense that teachers who have to train other teachers in a technology integration technique or the use of an application would learn it better than if they were just using it personally.

    What about you. Have you used mentoring in your educational setting? If so, what sort of process have you used to group mentors and mentees and to assign topics of study? How do assess the effectiveness of the mentorship?

    Have you taken any other tenet of effective student learning and applied it to teacher professional development or to your own professional learning? How has it worked? Have you thought about sharing that idea with other technology leaders?

    About Jennifer Roland

    Jennifer is a writer living in the Portland, Oregon, area. She holds bachelor's degrees in magazine journalism and political science from the University of Oregon. Her education also focused on history, economics, linguistics, and educational policy and management. Before embarking on her freelance career, she was a staff member at ISTE. Follow Jennifer on her blog tour at http://edtechjen.com; each tour stop includes a chance to win a copy of The Best of Learning & Leading with Technology.

    About The Best of Learning & Leading with Technology

    ISTE's flagship magazine, Learning & Leading with Technology, is where the organization's members and industry experts share and discuss the latest and greatest in using technology to enhance education. This collection includes the very best articles from 2003-2008. Along with the articles as they originally appeared in the magazine, the book includes commentary and context introducing the articles as well as short essays from the original authors, who further discuss the issues and topics of their articles and how they've affected the ed tech world.

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