ICT Mentor Scheme

This is an idea to harness the power of Twitter in a more structured way to provide support for training teachers by connecting them with a Twitter mentor. Basically the mentor would be someone who is willing to share ideas and resources as well as being a point of contact to answer questions, give feedback on ideas and generally provide support and encouragement. I know that when I started teaching I was wary of asking colleagues for support or getting their feedback on ideas because I didn’t want to seem like I didn’t know what I was doing. Twitter has helped me hugely by providing me with the opportunity to test out ideas and develop them. It has helped me build my confidence in my own ideas and as a result has helped me improve as a teacher. I envisage the ‘mentor’ scheme would work as a two-way support system as I know there are plenty of things I could learn from a training teacher, plenty of ideas to be shared as well as opportunities for collaboration.

I will explore this idea further and hope to talk about it at #RethinkingICT. If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions about this scheme – maybe you would like to be a ‘mentor’  – let me know.

5 thoughts on “ICT Mentor Scheme

  1. Agree – I have learned so much from blogs, tweets, etc etc. I would really like a way to bring some of the many threads of information and support together. I would be really interested in supporting and being supported further within a mentoring scheme.

  2. I have been learning so much from the Twitter teacher community already and getting so many ideas for classes, and I’m not even starting my PGCE for another 2.5 years! I think this year is going to be a huge turning point for ICT in schools and will help us to make huge strides in building a future as a digital nation.

    This Twitter Mentors idea is fantastic. When I get a post as an NQT, I won’t need to worry about looking inadequate in the staffroom when I ask my many many questions. I will be able to ask an experienced teacher online, who’s done what I’ve done, made the mistakes and learned from them already. I can ask ethical questions which I might feel awkward asking people I see every day. This can only make for better, more harmonised, more effective, more confident, and safer teaching! 🙂 I can’t wait!

  3. Hi Chris,

    I think the commitment to support and learn from and with trainee teachers is a good one, however I worry if it is missing the point slightly. I think the reason this stuff is so powerful is that is is chaotic, it is self organised. When people need some information, experience or advice they connect momentarily with the people that have that to give, when they have something to give people connect to them. It separates people from content, and allows people to come together just for that learning interaction to take place. See Illich’s concept of ‘Learning Webs’ in his book ‘Deschooling Society’ for an exposition of this idea.

    Once you over structure this by trying to tie someone to an individual you could end up creating dependence rather than independence, and despite your laudable assertion that you will learn from them too, issues of statues and hierarchy may come into play due to the sustained connection with people of different levels of experience. I want to support independence not dependence and hierarchy.

    I think we need to keep growing this stuff in new ways rather than trying to impose traditional structures on them.

  4. Hi Chris,

    This profoundly misunderstands what has happened on twitter. A group of resilient self starters began talking, other resilient people came on board.

    Once you systematise what has happened, the original group will leave, leaving those who need support to carry on alone and it will die.

    Twitter helped you because you discovered it and built it up for yourself. It is part of your journey not the outcome.

    People need mentoring in changing their attitudes and becoming self starters, not in how to use twitter.

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