Online peer mentoring with pre-service teachers : a learning experience
Hanewald, Ria and Kline, Jodie 2012, Online peer mentoring with pre-service teachers : a learning experience, in Effectively implementing communication technology in higher education in the Asia-Pacific region, Nova Science Publishers, New York, N.Y., pp.235-246.
In 2010, 34 pre-service teachers at Deakin University were invited to use Web 2.0 technologies to support practicum in rural and regional schools. Students in their final year of the Bachelor of Education Primary course were given access to an online forum, a ‗ning‘, to facilitate development of mentoring relationships within a community of peers. Access to the ning was presented as an optional extra available only to students undertaking their professional experience in rural and regional settings. Based on the work of Le Cornu (2005), mentoring was framed as a collaborative and collegial arrangement through which participants could hone the interpersonal and critical reflection skills crucial to practicum. A ning was selected as it: 1) allowed the creation of a closed, protected social network with customised options, and 2) requires little technological skills and investment of time from participants in terms of setting up a profile and participating in the online community. These features seemed to make it an ideal platform for pre-service teachers to analyse and reflect on professional experience. However, the small pre-service cohort did not choose to access the site. This unexpected outcome seems to challenge contemporary discourses about the current generation‘s attitudes to web based technology. It also highlights the importance of coupling use of template-based online tools, such as the ning, with awareness of Bourdieu‘s (1977) social capital to ensure uptake. In capturing the learnings from the project and systematically reviewing relevant literature, this paper provides a set of recommendations for conceptualising and engaging pre-service teachers in the use of online forums.
Field of Research
130101 Continuing and Community Education
Socio Economic Objective
939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category
BN Other book chapter, or book chapter not attributed to Deakin
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