November 27, 2011

Looking for a few good mentors

From January to April I'll be teaching a course called ECMP 455. It's an advanced course on using technology in education. Whatever that means. 

Actually what it means is I want my students to dig deep into what teaching and learning looks like in 2012 as great teachers and great ideas come together to make learning better and richer and even transformative. I've taught this particular course 4-5 times now and am really looking forward to this term. I've got some interesting and new ideas planned and I'll share on that later. 

The class is made up of pre-service teachers who are usually in their 3rd or 4th year of teaching and have had some classroom experience. This course is totally optional so they take it because they have an interest in technology and usually have some skill set above the average pre-service teacher. That doesn't mean they are programmers, just that this class doesn't focus much on the "how to" stuff, but more the "why to" stuff. 

One idea that I began a few years back was the virtual mentorship. I connected my students with teachers and classrooms around the world and they did varying degrees of work with those classrooms ranging from commenting on blogs to teaching virtually via Skype. Here's one example from a few years back.

[youtube]C0J3nNuCFxY[/youtube]

I've not done that for a few terms now and want to resurrect that idea. Here's where I'm hoping you or someone you know would be willing to participate. This time however I'd like to offer 2 options for teachers. 

Mentorship: 

  • must have an open online classroom presence where students regularly blog or post work
  • must be willing to have your students interact online via comments or twitter or discussion areas
  • must be willing to have my students do at least one real time virtual teaching session via Skype or other online conferencing tool
  • explore the possibility of another project 
  • must be willing to provide feedback to my student (3-4 emails or contact via twitter)

Mentorship Lite:

  • must have an open online classroom presence where students regularly blog or post work
  • must be willing to have your students interact online via comments or twitter or discussion areas
  • occasionally contact student via twitter or email…no expectations

What I'm going to do is show my students the list of mentors and have them choose based on their interests and your offerings. Whether you are chosen for a full mentorship or not, everyone of you that requests will at least have my students commenting in some way on your students' work. 

Thanks so much for being willing to support future teachers. The partnerships you create here can be incredibly influential on these students.  If you're not a classroom teacher but think of someone that might be a great fit, please pass this along to them or Retweet this at the bottom of the post.

 I'll be in contact with you in late December or early January. If you have any questions either leave them in the comments or email me dean AT shareski DOT ca

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