Mentorship between new and experienced education professionals is a laborious task. Senior educators assume the responsibility of teaching rules, codes of conduct, relevant information, content knowledge and skills, and so forth to newer colleagues as a way to help them transition into the new role of an educator. This form of mentorship can also exist between professionals and students who are learning about their fields of study. Finally, older students can mentor younger students to help them progress academically, personally, physically, and psychologically. Hence, mentoring is one of the more effective processes for supporting and improving professional development in education (McCampbell, 2002). Because mentorship can be arduous in terms of time and commitment, other mentoring alternatives are available such as using online communications. This overview discusses the importance of using online modes of communication as a form of mentorship between educators and students. When distance and time are factors impeding effective mentorship, online tools can help improve the teaching and learning processes.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Mentee: The novice or a person seeking professional development or content knowledge/skills from a more experienced person.
E-Mentoring: Another term used for online mentoring. It is an online community of networked individuals that consists of mentors and mentees.
Mentoring: A structured one-on-one relationship (or partnership) that concentrates on the needs of the mentored participant. A supportive relationship that is sustained over a period of time between a novice and expert.
Online Mentoring: Takes the aspect of mentoring to an online format generally via e-mail or bulletin boards. Mentors are paired with a novice online that would foster the relationship further.
Mentor: A person who agrees to help teach and guide another person. A mentor is someone who encourages, shares, interacts, supports, and communicates with a novice about certain matters.