Cybermentoring: Evolving High-End Video Conferencing Practices to Support Preservice Teacher Training
This article is a descriptive study of an evolving cybermentoring videoconferencing practice and tool developed to support preservice teacher training. Cybermentoring projects are synchronous distance learning collaborations using high-end video conferencing to foster interactive learning and tutoring among preservice teachers and K-12 students, all of whom are mentored by classroom teachers and university faculty. Cybermentoring for preservice teachers is situated within the theoretical frameworks of constructivism and "co-teaching." A list of projects and two streaming videos illustrating these projects facilitated by our state's cyberinfrastructure are provided. In addition, a case study of one cybermentoring project is presented in terms of its procedures, participants, and participant reflections. The benefits and challenges of cybermentoring are discussed before five suggestions [technology training, strengthening the assessment skills of the cybermentors, improved assessment of tutee learning, use of focus groups, and recommended use of high quality desktop videoconferencing] for improving cybermentoring projects are offered.