Edclick

Edclicking

By Dr. Harry Tennant

Edclicking

by Harry Tennant
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Entries from March 2011
Posts 1 - 13 of 13

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Volunteers: Project Appleseed's Survey of Volunteer Interests

In yesterday's post I mentioned Project Appleseed (http://www.projectappleseed.org/). It's an organization whose goal is to improve parental involvement in schools.  One particularly useful contribution of Project Appleseed is their Survey of Volunteer Interests. It brings to mind a broad range of ways that volunteers may help the school. That's good for dealing with budget-induced staff reductions and for higher student achievement through parental involvement.

Survey of Volunteer Interests

Volunteering in the classroom

·         Tutor a student

·         Work with individual students.

·         Work with small groups of students.

·         Listen to students read

·         Translate for students. Language:

·         Help with teacher's clerical work.

·         Prepare materials

·         Attend field trips

·         Help students with dramatic performances, special events

·         Help out in class with art projects, science experiments, etc.

·         Appear as a guest speaker to share my professional experience, travels, culture, talent, skill or craft. Explain

Volunteering in other areas

·         Organize or help with school security (bus, school grounds, etc.)

·         Building maintenance

·         Carpentry

·         Gardening or yard work

·         Work in school library

·         Photograph school activities

·         Videotape school activities

·         Provide transportation to parents for: conferences, events, etc.

·         Type or do clerical work

·         Prepare newsletters

·         Prepare posters, displays, etc.

·         Do copying and laminating

·         I am interested in working with children on computers and supervising children while they surf the World Wide Web on the Internet.

Helping by working at home

·         Recruit parents, citizens and local businesses to participate in special reading programs for students.

·         Call parents, organize phone trees for attendance and special projects

·         Enter data on a computer

·         Gather resource materials

·         Sew

·         Provide snacks

·         Correct papers

·         Cut out letters

·         Prepare bulletin boards

·         Stuff envelopes

·         Distribute brochures door-to-door

·         Become a block home

·          I am interested in improving our schools by working with other parents on site-based councils, and projects and issues concerning our schools.

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Keywords: volunteers, cost savings, parental involvement

 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Volunteers: Expanding participation

Who volunteers? Often, it’s the same few parents who volunteer while the majority hang back or offer excuses about how their kids would rather that their parents not be seen around the school.

One solution for more satisfying volunteering (for teachers and parents) and more individuals volunteering is better information.  Project Appleseed (http://www.projectappleseed.org/) is an organization whose goal is to improve parental involvement in schools.  Part of what they advocate is more volunteering.  They recommend collecting information from parents on the kinds of volunteering that they are willing to do.  That way, teachers have a database of potential volunteers to call upon when they need particular skills, knowledge or experience.  Project Appleseed collects information about volunteering in the classroom, volunteering in other parts of the school and volunteering from home.  You might use their list of volunteer activities as a starting point and, with the help of your teachers, create your own.
Create a Web form on your website to collect potential volunteering activities and ask parents to enter their preferences.  This way parents get to volunteer for activities that they would enjoy doing.

Going the other way, many schools list specific volunteer opportunities on their website and allow parents to sign up.  The parents can be prompted at PTA meetings or through newsletters or just through the website.  The more thought teachers give to the volunteers they need, the better. Are you looking for people who can talk about how they use algebra or trigonometry in their lives? Ask for it. Would you like someone to speak about the culture of Mexico or Hong Kong? Ask for volunteers.
Encourage parents to ask how they can help. Attend a career day? Help in a classroom? Help prepare a special event? Some schools advocate volunteering goals: Encourage parents to decide to volunteer at least three hours per year, and then find ways to help. If they can't volunteer during school hours, ask what they can do from home or in an evening or on a weekend. Parents can find at least three hours. Volunteering helps parents get firsthand experience at the school and that can help them better understand their child and the school.

Volunteering is part of a larger idea: providing support for teachers and the school. Other forms of support include participating in the parent-teacher organization, attending school board meetings or getting involved in ideas for school improvement.

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Keywords: volunteers, cost savings, parental involvement

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Volunteers: Doing more with less

As education budgets fall and class sizes increase, educators need to innovate to do more with less. Parent volunteering is a great way to augment the available staff, for parents and teachers to get to know each other and to become more comfortable.  Volunteers who assist with field trips and extracurricular events provide valuable extra help. Volunteers in the classroom demonstrate to students that adults put a high value on education. Students may also benefit from exposure to adults of various ages, races, ethnicities and with a variety of experiences to share.

Volunteers helping teachers can free them for other tasks such as more individualized attention to students or more planning time. Or, the volunteer might provide individualized attention to students by listening to one read or reading stories to a small group.

One of the unique contributions that volunteers can make is to bring professional or life experience into the classroom, especially as it relates to lessons being taught. This can enrich the lesson and puts a human face on it. Many teachers are rushing to cover material specified by the curriculum and state standards so they have little time left to prepare enrichment material. Volunteers can provide enrichment while adding more variety to the classroom. Volunteer speakers also give a lot more adults an opportunity to volunteer but presents a logistical challenge to the teacher. If a teacher were to invite one visitor per week for a 15 minute talk, that’s 36 visitors a year, so keep the schedule simple. Collect your volunteer signups and then send a reminder email to the list regularly, say, every week or two. That keeps the commitment in their minds and reminds them that you’re counting on their participation. However, periodic emails require little more effort than sending the same message periodically. And, just as you depend on your volunteers to show up when scheduled, avoid rescheduling their visits.

Teachers sometimes resist having volunteers in the classroom. Teachers may view volunteers in the classroom as more of a problem than a benefit, largely due to potential conflicts. Volunteers may disagree with how a subject is taught or how the classroom is managed. Volunteers may overstep their bounds as classroom helpers and feel they must take over the classroom.

Problems are best averted with proper orientation of volunteers either by the school or by the teacher. Let them know the rules: what to call adults, confidentiality rules and discipline procedures. If volunteers are to work with students, let them know the objectives of the lesson and how they will be carried out.

Make sure that volunteers understand their commitment. Can volunteers be relied upon by the school?  Teachers can't expect to rely upon volunteers if the volunteers, in fact, don't show up.  It must be made clear to the volunteers that volunteering is not a “maybe” kind of thing.  Volunteering implies a commitment and the expectation that the volunteer can be relied upon to finish the job.

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Keywords: volunteers, cost savings, parental involvement

 

Monday, March 21, 2011

In-school entrepreneurs

Despite big business getting all the attention, our economy runs on small business. And small business comes from entrepreneurs.

If a student wants to be an entrepreneur, what should she do? First, there is no need to wait. There is no minimum age limit to start a business or even a corporation.

Just like you can't learn to program without doing some programming, if you really want to learn about starting a business, start a business! You've got the summer off, start a business. You've just taken a week off for spring break. You could have started a business. You have some free time in the evenings that you piddle away watching Dancing with the Stars. You could start a business. Not only will you learn about entrepreneurship, you can make some money!

Summer business: My son made a bundle in high school during the summer by mowing lawns. But it wasn't just regular lawn mowing. He went around to realtors and asked if they had unoccupied houses that needed their lawns mowed. By going to realtors, he minimized the number of people he had to sell to and could maximize his time cutting grass, or hiring others to cut the grass.

Spring break business: Hey, you don't want to start a business during spring break! You want to go skiing with your buddies, right? Well, you and your buddies have to get there and you have to stay somewhere and you have to eat something. Ron, a friend of mine in college, used to arrange all that stuff, get a gang to sign up and pay for his trip and then some. He went skiing and had a spring break business.

TV time business: Often the computers on the shelf have not exactly the right components for the buyer's needs. I don't need that expensive graphics board because I don't play games. You don't need that huge disk because all you do is play games. So, custom assembled computers let us both mix and match the components we want and get exactly the computers we need. Sticking components into a computer motherboard is something that can literally be done while watching Dancing with the Stars (best of both worlds?) And that's what Mike started doing in his spare time in college. It worked out pretty well for him. It became Dell Computer.

If you're interested in learning how to start a business from scratch, I recommend Mike Michalowicz' The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. It's full of good advice about how to start a business with next to nothing. It's also full of scatological humor as the title indicates which I don't find appealing, but if you're a kid in high school, you might love it.

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Keywords: entrepreneurship

 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is a business?

The way I see it: a business is an organization that applies limited resources to create customer value and sustainable profit.

Customer value
It starts with creating customer value...creating something that somebody wants. How do you know that you've created something that somebody wants? Traditionally, you know somebody wants something if they're willing to pay for it. In other words, if they're willing to become a customer. Why? Because it costs something to create the product, convince people to buy it and get it into their hands. So the customer is doing her part by paying for it.

But the economics have shifted. With certain online products, product distribution is so inexpensive that many are given away for free. Lots of software and online services work this way. Download software to use for free, and maybe send a contribution if you like it. Or use it for free for 30 days and then buy it if you like it. Or maybe use it for free forever but get ads displayed in the margins. Or use the basic system for free forever but pay for the premium version with a few more useful features.

This is great stuff for several reasons. Customers get a better idea of what they would eventually buy before they buy it. Yet it costs the software provider next to nothing to do. The software provider gets to learn a lot about the market, even if sales are disappointing. How many are downloading it? What do they like or not like? What kind of software would they love to see? Do you realize how expensive and uncertain it was to gather this kind of information in the old days?

Limited resources
Every business has limited resources and some small businesses do better because they have limited resources. Big corporations often create products that are the dream of some vice president. And because she's a vice president in a big corporation, she has the clout to throw a lot of advertising money at the product to make it successful. But the really successful products are the ones that don't need a lot of advertising to get started. A few people try it and can't wait to tell their friends, who try it, and the sales grow. This is because the product is just exactly what some customers have been needing. Are corporate vice presidents likely to identify this kind of need? Nope. They spend their days in financial meetings and quarterly reviews. It's the people deep in the corporation, or, better, the people with the needs, that identify and understand them. That's how limited resources can actually be better than buckets of money.

Sustainable profit
Whether profits are sustainable mainly depend upon how the market will change and how competitors will react. With baby boomers aging, the market for retirement homes and medical facilities will increase. If you're on the right side of market trends, sustainable profits can be a lot easier. If your product is going to clobber some rich, existing competitor, watch out. Even if your product is better, they may have the resources to crush you or at least delay you until your money runs out. So, for sustainable profit, look for markets where the big guys aren't. Look for markets where somebody who needs something just can't find it. Or look for markets where the only available products are big and high priced but where there are some customers who just want little and cheap. Then you may have the potential for profits well into the future.

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Keywords: entrepreneurship

 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mentoring: Getting to Issues

Mentoring in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters sense is different from mentoring a new researcher, engineer or software developer (where most of my mentoring experience has been).  Mentoring a software developer typically starts at the conceptual level, revolving around skills and knowledge related to the task of developing software. But it also provides a handy starting place for other conversations going beyond technology. Often mentoring conversations don't end with technical discussions. There are many more general issues that the developer may have in mind such as feelings of frustration with new technology, possibly issues of fitting into a new organization, dealing with a difficult boss or colleague and so on. These emotional issues are similar to the kinds of issues most prevalent in a less specific mentoring situation such as being a Big Brother to a kid in school.

While it's nice for the mentee to "have somebody there" it is much more useful to "have someone to talk to." And that means, of course, someone to talk to about emotional issues and feelings, not just about concepts like the proper syntax of a database query. How does the mentee get to that point?

Conversations where one opens up about feelings and vulnerabilities may not come easily. The mentee may be particularly reluctant to trust the mentor with inner thoughts if trust has been a mentee issue in the past. There tends to be tension and anxiety when revealing inner secrets but there are several techniques that can ease the tension.

Displacement activities can help relieve the tension in an anxious conversation. Displacement activities provide something else to attend to but which is not very demanding of attention. For example, if your goal is to have a conversation about feelings of fear or anxiety, shooting some baskets or playing a game of "horse" is a good displacement activity (if you both like basketball.) On the other hand, an intense game of basketball is unlikely to help much because it fully absorbs one's attention.  Other good displacement activities are going for a walk, having lunch together or playing a board game.

Particularly helpful displacement activities are those where the mentor helps the mentee with something. Say the mentee is a high school kid washing the car for a date. Help him or her wash the car. In the course of the car wash, the mentee might bring up questions or the mentor might ask some. Working together side by side, particularly on a task of value to the mentee, is a good way to relax and open up a conversation.

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Keywords: mentoring

 

Monday, March 14, 2011

What STEM professionals say about their careers: Steve Krueger

A lot of attention is currently being given to encourage more students into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses and careers. I have spent my career in the STEM domain and so have many of my best friends. I asked them, after decades working in STEM fields, what are the best and worst about it?

Steve Krueger
Education: SB, MIT, Electrical Engineering; SM, MIT, Computer Science
Steve is currently a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments

I like engineering because I like to build things.  I like engineering because I am fascinated by how things work and sometimes I know I can make them work better.

Building is helping make the world a better place.  It embraces the philosophy that you can change the world for the better.  It is about imagining and then making what you imagine into something real.  It can be about helping others, solving a need or just because.  And when you've built something, it is immensely satisfying to look at this new thing and think, "I did that!  I made the world a little bit better."

It is fascinating to figure out how something works.  I'm not really OK with using a tool or even watching a magic trick that I don't understand. I want to know how, or rather, I need to know how.   And, as you study how things work, you come to see that some things work much better than others, and maybe you'll begin to figure out why.

Then you are ready to move on to the next step, to improving the world around you.   You can start by improving something simple.  Maybe you have a rake that needs a special place to hang in the garage.  Maybe you are short and need a step stool to reach a high cabinet.  Maybe it would help your mother to find a bell she can ring to call the family to dinner.  These are the beginnings of a life of making the world a better place by building, designing, creating, engineer

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Keywords: STEM

 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Edclick values

Our work is a major part of our lives and we intend them to be lives well lived. We will be useful and be of service.

I was reading a book on entrepreneurship last night, and came across what I thought was a good suggestion. The author said to figure out the top two are three values that drive your business. What most excites you, gets you up in the morning and keeps you working late at night? And what makes you angry and makes you want to walk away from the whole thing? Express them as beliefs or values.

I knew it was a good idea because when I first started thinking about it, it was hard. Here are some items that didn't quite make the cut.

We will be useful. I deeply believe that but I think it sounds kind of boring. But it's a passionate belief around here. We don't want to just appear to be filling a requirement, we really want to be useful. That goes for products, our personal service, even things that aren't directly part of our business but where we can help others out. Many business people will say that the only purpose for a business is to make money. That's nonsense. Of course you need to make money to live, but being useful helps you lead lives well lived.

Yes we can service. I liked this at first because it really makes me happy when we can do something important for someone even if we didn't know it needed doing. On the other hand, this one has also been the source of my greatest frustation when a customer takes advantage, asks for the moon and wants it for free. Do we want to provide Yes we can service? You bet. Does that mean we'll say yes to everything that comes along? This one didn't make the cut.

Our best ideas come from our customers. Well, that's true. But it might give the impression that any idea from a customer is a good one. Well, not quite. And even some of the good ones take a while to make happen. I like it, but it didn't quite make the cut.

We're in business to live well. This is certainly true. If you're spending all day working, it's crazy to think otherwise. But this didn't make the cut because I thought "live well" could be misconstrued as "be wealthy." Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against being wealthy. But it is more important to lead a life well lived and that is independent of wealth.

Our work is a major part of our lives and we intend them to be lives well lived. We will be useful and be of service.

From these and other considerations, I settled on the statement above. I hope it communicates that we want our customers to be happy that they chose to use our products and we hope they enjoy dealing with us personally.

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Keywords: values

 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In praise of projects

I love doing projects. I always have. It is what attracted me first to engineering, then to software, then to research and then to entrepreneurship. It's all projects and I love it. That is also part of what I find so attractive about project-based learning (PBL). I would have loved to do project after project in school. Sure, I understand that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for projects. Maybe not everyone would revel in a PBL school like I imagine I would have. But some would. I think that those who are attracted to projects are people who just can't wait to start something. Let's not dither making a business case or overanalyzing. Start a project. Make a prototype. Make something real, even if it is simple. That way you have something tangible to work with to take your next step. And that's where the best ideas and insights come from: fiddling around with a thing, not just an idea of a thing.

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Keywords: PBL, projects

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

STEM professionals and their careers: Wealth

I have known a number of tech colleagues who have become wealthy. The ones who have become the wealthiest are those who started their own technology businesses which experienced fast growth and then either went public (sold stock) or were bought by an existing big business. This often results in a big payout for the founders, in the millions or tens of millions of dollars, even up to the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The founders and their early investors make the most money when a fast growth company goes public. However, other key tech people can also make a lot of money this way. I have known many programmers who were able to retire quite comfortably after working just a few years for a fast growth company that "cashed out". So, the financial benefits to a STEM career are not limited to the ease of getting a job fresh out of college. In high tech companies, the tech folks are critical to creating the new product, so are essential to the success of the startup company. As a result, they are often offered stock options to sign on with the startup and stay with it through the early years. While the stock options are worthless when the startup is formed, if the company does experience fast growth, those once-worthless stock options can become worth millions.

Fast growth startup companies are risky endeavors. The majority of attempts to build fast growth tech companies fail. One friend, for example, was a software developer who believed in the prospects for the startup. He chose to get paid nearly entirely in stock instead of salary. He lived very frugally in hope of getting a bigger payout later. It worked. When the startup went public, his stock was worth about $50 million. I've had other friends who went with startups which went out of business. They were left with no big payout, but typically they were able to go back to the kind of tech jobs they had before the startup. I have known colleages on both sides of that approach: some who were lucky and became very wealthy and some who spent years and have nothing to show for it.

So, is a STEM career a path to wealth? It can be. But if it's wealth you're after, you need to be ready to take some risks and be aware that in most cases, you will not become wealthy.

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Keywords: STEM

 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to be Great

After reading John Wooden's book on success, I read Richard St. John's, The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to be Great (remembering what George Herbert said, "Woe be to him who reads but one book.").

St. John interviewed about 500 successful people in diverse fields and collected interviews of additional successful people, compiling a big database on the keys to success. He identified about 300 traits and from those, he identfied eight major traits.

  1. Passion: Successful people love what they do
  2. Work: They work very hard
  3. Focus: They focus on one thing, not everything
  4. Push: They keep pushing themselves
  5. Ideas: They come up with good ideas
  6. Improve: They keep improving themselves and what they do
  7. Serve: They serve others something of value
  8. Persist: They persist through time, failure and adversity

Another interesting list. So, how does it compare with Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success?

Coach Wooden's
Pyramid of Success
Compared to
St. John's 8 to be Great

Competitive Greatness
Be at your best when your best is needed
   
Poise
Just being yourself
Confidence
Comes from being prepared and keeping proper perspective
     

Condition

Push

Skill

Ideas

Team Spirit

Serve

   

Self Control

Focus

Alertness

Improve

Initiative

Push, Persist

Intentness

Persist

 

Industriousness

Work

Friendship

Serve

Loyalty

Serve

Cooperation

Serve

Enthusiasm

Passion

With just a bit of tweeking we see a lot of overlap. (St. John's categories are in blue in the diagram above.) Wooden has a lot of characteristics that are specific to teamwork: team spirit, friendship, loyalty and cooperation. St. John notes that some people find success through teamwork while others work alone. However, St. John's list emphasizes the importance of other people by specifying that your work must serve others.

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Keywords: success

 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Online Money Saving Ideas for Schools and Districts

Lots of schools and districts are coming under financial stress. From our perspective of working online, we've pulled together some suggestions of money saving ideas and revenue generating ideas that might help.

Also, if you think of any web-based systems that might help schools and districts get through tough economic times, we're eager to see them. Please leave a comment or contact me directly.

  • Move online for cost savings
    • Use email newsletters. They're free. No copying cost and no postage cost. Send snail mail only to those without email addresses. Also consider that when funding is threatened, it is particularly important to keep the community informed of the great work you're doing.
    • Don't print what can be viewed online.
    • Use your website for posting employment opportunities.
    • Publish course materials and handouts online. Save copy expense.
    • Open an online school store for supplies, spirit items, event ticket sales, lunch money payments, etc.
    • Hold an online book sale of books donated by the community. Link to book descriptions by barcode.
    • Use online staff development and training courses to save travel costs.
    • Maintain alumni association for donations, volunteer support and project support. Enable alumni members to update their own information and to contact other alumni.
    • Consider virtual field trips to museums, the White House and other online destinations.
    • Use VoIP thru computer lab and email for alumni donation campaigns.
    • Ebooks for libraries with readers on computers and phones.
    • Use online payments and email billing to save mailing and processing costs.
  • Do more with less
    • The greatest share of school expense is the salaries and benefits for staff. Unfortunately this means that if states are going to impose large budget cuts, staff layoffs are inevitable. The school's challenge then becomes, how to do more with less?
    • Share resources more efficiently by sharing information about times of use and times of availability.
    • Encourage greater collaboration among teachers by sharing online lesson plans and materials.
    • Make the discipline process more effective by tracking discipline referrals, assigned consequences, detention rolls, discipline histories and notifications to parents.
    • Have easy-to-administer online discipline consequences for students who misbehave only rarely.
  • Share knowledge for efficiency 
    • Use wikis to build knowledge bases for tech support.
    • Use faqs, wiki knowledge bases and short online how to videos for self service solutions to technology questions. Link to YouTube videos when available.
    • Use the local media for publicity for opportunities to be found on the website.
  • Increase volunteer service by students and the community
    • Use tech-knowledgeable students for tech support.
    • Create a student community service requirement. Include school service among the opportunities.
    • Advertise on your website for volunteer help and part time help.
    • Use online signup sheets to make it easy for parents and others to sign up to help on everything from bringing potato salad to a picnic to enrolling in a parenting class.
    • Coordinate student projects with area businesses. Use website to match education needs with community needs.
    • Organize volunteer security for events thru the website.
    • Solicit donations of unused laptops for student use. 
    • Set up a nonprofit local education fund (LEF) for donations.
  • Find new revenue sources
    • Website ads and sponsorship.
    • Rent out building space for community events. Use online facilities reservation system for internal an community event reservations.
    • Offer online adult courses and email tutorials for revenue generation.
    • Sell surplus equipment on eBay.
    • Consider school branded credit cards which return a donation.
    • Negotiate multiyear contracts with vendors.
  • Share information to coordinate with other schools and districts for cost savings
    • Co-op buying with other schools for lower per-item cost.
    • Consider an asset management system for efficient use of equipment.
    • Block booking of speakers and events for lower per-school cost. Use shared calendar for coordination.
    • Enrich classroom experience by sharing Internet video connections with other classrooms across town or around the world.
  • Keep looking for ideas
    • Solicit money saving ideas from staff, students and the community. Offer an incentive such as 10% of the savings to the submitter.

Do you have some money saving or revenue generating ideas for schools and districts? Please leave a comment. We'd love to see them.

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Keywords: cost savings

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Online Mentoring

What does one do with all these buckets of wisdom (???) collected over a working lifetime? Mentoring can put it to use, and the way to do it today is primarily online.

I have mentored professionals in the past and continue to do so today. Decades ago, face to face meetings were the way to go. Either meet on an as-needed basis or on a more formal scheduled basis. Sometimes meetings were done in the office if convenient or perhaps at lunch meetings.

Today, you can be far more efficient and effective using online technology for mentoring. Email, video chat, phone calls and webinar-style connections allow mentors and mentees to connect when questions arise and address them immediately. In fact, I prefer online webinar-style meetings to face-to-face meetings when the topic of discussion is specific such as software development questions. Better than two people trying to crowd around the same keyboard, mouse and monitor, you can both be looking at a shared screen image, control of the mouse and keyboard can go from one to the other easily, and the discussion is concrete, not a bunch of abstractions and likely misunderstandings.

For more general discussions I like video chat links such as using Skype or ooVoo (my preference). The communication isn't quite as good as face to face meetings, but I find it better than a phone call yet just as spontaneous as a phone call. And if there's a need to quickly get more specific, you can switch over to a webinar connection.

K12 Mentoring

My experience with mentoring has been almost entirely limited to within a business environment. Why? Because that's where it could be done without considerable overhead of getting a mentee and myself at the same place to have a mentoring session. But online mentoring has changed all that. One of the things that the new technology enables is the ability for life-experienced and work-experienced people to work with students.

When the whole tribe sat around the campfire at night there was easy communication between the young and the old. Experience and novel challenges were easily passed in both directions. But today, kids rarely know exactly what their parents or other adults do at work all day or how they do it. And adults have only a vague understanding of what school life is really like. But that can change with online mentoring. The dinner table is probably still the best place to talk about life's challenges and solutions with your own kids, but to work with other kids, online mentoring is easy and convenient.

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Keywords: mentoring

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