Mentoring Students through Digital Learning Experiences

Mentoring Students through Digital Learning Experiences

Cassandra Sligh Conway (South Carolina State University, USA), Stanley Melton Harris (South Carolina State University, USA), Susan Smith (South Carolina State University, USA), Vivian Brackett (South Carolina State University, USA) and Gloria Hayes (Miles College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9948-9.ch012
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Abstract

The digital world has taken over the traditional ways of communicating. Because of the need to view information and relay the information in a quick yet simple way, communicating through digital technology is the wave of the future. Students are captivated by digital technology and it seems to be an active way to promote learning and or concepts that might have been difficult to relay without the influence of digital technology. Any information used on a computer or disseminated on a computer is known as digital technology. Digital technology can enhance the level of creativity and distribution of information (Digital Literacy, www.icliteracy.info). The purpose of this effort is as follows: 1) give a basic review of the literature on mentoring and digital technology; 2) provide mentoring experiences that relay effective mentoring styles; 3) promote a discussion on the uniqueness of each mentoring experience; and 4) discuss implications and recommendations to enhance learning.
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Background/Theoretical Perspective

Mentoring is an important part of the learning process, whether formal or informal. For the focus of this chapter, mentoring can be described as a process where a more experienced or knowledgeable individual assists one of lesser knowledge or experience toward higher achieving goals. There is a dearth of literature available on mentoring students through digital technology in the classroom. However, the literature does note the benefits of a digital world and its relevance in the contemporary classroom on the collegiate level. The article, Purposeful Technology-Constructing Meaning in the 21st Century Schools (http://purposefultechnology.weebly.com), a basic review is given of the benefits of technology in the schools. There are many articles, books, and worthwhile resources in the mentoring literature dating from the 1980’s until present day. To meet the needs of this effort, certain mentoring articles were chosen.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Perceptions: Perceptions are the manner in which a person understands or interprets information to add meaning ( www.Dictionary.com AU45: The URL www.Dictionary.com has been redirected to http://dictionary.reference.com/. Please verify the URL. ).

Historically Black Colleges/Universities: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions in the United States that were established to serve the educational needs of Black people. In the literature, it notes that the initial date that HBCUs were recognized was around 1964. Researchers and sources noted that HBCUS have tremendous challenges in comparison to PWIs ( www.wikipedia.com AU42: The URL www.wikipedia.com has been redirected to http://www.wikipedia.org/. Please verify the URL. ; Coleman, n.d.).

Digital Technology: Any information used on a computer or disseminated on a computer is known as digital technology. Digital technology can enhance the level of creativity and distribution of information... Some examples of digital technology are …“computer programs and software; web pages and websites, including social media; data and databases; digital audio such as mp3s; and books are examples of digital media” ( www.icliteracy.info AU41: URL Validation failed: www.icliteracy.info does not exist (connection error "HOST_NOT_FOUND"). ).

Mentoring Relationship: A professional relationship that is agreed upon by two individuals with a specific goal or objective outlined to affect the person in gaining knowledge and skills in the world of work or other areas. These authors noted that the mentoring relationship is supportive with modeling as a major aspect to learning. The primary aim or objective in a mentoring relationship is to promote growth in the mentee (Parslow & Wray, 2000).

Mentoring Styles: For purposes of this study, it is a professional relationship in which the mentor chooses a specific style to mentor an individual (i.e., formal mentoring, informal mentoring).

Active Learning: Active learning is an “approach to instruction in which students engage material they study through reading, talking, listening, and reflecting. Active learning stands in contrast to standard modes of instruction in which teachers do most of the talking and students are passive” (2006-2013, para 1, Center for Teaching/Learning, www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/what/ AU40: The URL www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/what/ has been redirected to http://cei.umn.edu/tutorials. Please verify the URL. .

Mentoring: Mentoring is an important part of the learning process, whether formal or informal. For the focus of this chapter, mentoring can be described as a process where a more experienced or knowledgeable individual assists one of lesser knowledge or experience toward higher achieving goals (Crisp & Cruz, 2009, McAdam & Simpson, 2003 AU43: The in-text citation "McAdam & Simpson, 2003" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Parlow &Wray, 2000 AU44: The in-text citation "Parlow &Wray, 2000" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

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