by Nick Ferentinos
JEA Mentoring Committee
[Editor’s note: This is the second installment of Nick’s discussion of his experience attending the New Teacher Center Symposium. His first post about the Symposium was Feb. 14.]
The New Teacher Center’s Annual Symposium earlier in this month made it clear that mentoring is rapidly embracing technology as a way to assist novice teachers to move their practice forward. It was also clear that the Center itself has moved to the forefront in developing its eMSS (e-mentoring for Student Success) application, originally for science and math teachers and now for all K-12 new teachers. Here’s a link to the Center’s website explaining eMSS: http://newteachercenter.org/eMSS/menu.php?p=home
One of the most helpful sessions I attended was called, “Promoting Mentor Growth and Development Through Networking, Technology, and the Use of Online Tools,” presented by MaryElin Barnish, Statewide Co-Coordinator of Beginning Teacher Induction Programs for the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative, and Marilyn Williams, Professional Development Director for the Berwyn, Il., School District.
Their idea was to point to a large number of resources to promote both new teacher and mentor teacher growth through technology.
Addressing the necessity for educators to change to meet the challenges of today’s technology, the presenters used a powerful video of testimonials by business and education leaders. It’s called, “Learning to Change—Changing to Learn.” It’s a little over five minutes and packs a wallop. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tahTKdEUAPk
The video led to the presenters asking us to consider how our mentors and new teachers are changing to learn, which begs the question — How are we mentors changing to learn and learning to change?
The presenters provided a wide array of resources mentors could use in their practice divided into “Information Sources” and “Collaboration Sources.” Here are a few of them:
Among the Information Sources, they cited:
• For sharing images — http://jing.com. You can learn to use this site in 30 minutes to create a 5-minute video.
• For sharing audio, create audio or video podcasts. Search for Apple’s iTunes is only one of many sites. They also suggested using Audacity for podcasts: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/
• For video – http://www.youtube.com
• They also cited the Internet, Wikis and various print sources.
• Also check out Google Education Aps: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html
For “Collaboration Sources,” they cited:
• For document sharing — GoogleDocs
• For online meetings — dmdm.com
• For cloud computing — mobileme.com
The presenters also offered these online tools for blogging:
This is the blog the two presenters share: http://crosscountrycoteach.wordpress.com
This is only scratching the surface of the tools that are available, usually free, to assist us in our mentoring work.