Real time video mentoring : investigating synchronous video technology as a mentoring tool for new music teachers in rural school districts
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The purpose of this study was to determine if computer based real-time video mentoring (RVM) is a viable tool for mentoring music teachers in rural school districts. Research has shown that mentoring is effective in reducing new teacher attrition. One characteristic of successful mentoring is the matching between mentor and mentee. The Internet has broadened the scope of the traditional mentor/mentee paradigm, thus permitting mentoring by a teacher with appropriate experiences but separated geographically. This case study examined the mentoring interactions of two mentoring pairs who were remotely located and communicated using the software program, Skype[copyright symbol]. Data were collected over a four-month period and comprised interviews and video recordings of online sessions. Analysis of coded RVM interactions revealed that discussions related to seven of twelve challenges faced by new teachers were present in the interactions of the participant pairs. The time spent on the specific issues varied between the two cases, with the most time and greatest number of interactions related to Emotional Support. The participants reacted positively to this type of mentoring paradigm. The findings indicate shows that RVM can be an effective tool for providing mentoring to new music teachers in rural school districts.