Impressions from the Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring

The fourth annual Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring at Portland State University lived up to its reputation of offering high-quality researchers as fellows, well-informed colleagues as participants, and, as always, yummy treats from Voodoo Donuts!

This year's theme, on technology in mentoring relationships and programs, became interactive, as participants documented their knowledge journeys online throughout the week using a special platform designed with AmericaLearns. Fellows presented their work on the intersections of youth mentoring and technology, leaving an overall impression that the kind of impact technology has had has actually been not much. As Kevin O'Neill stated, "'E' in e-mentoring does not stand for easy." When programs use technology in connecting mentors and mentees, most of what we already know about what works still applies - people want to meet face-to-face and relationships are enhanced with direct interaction.

However, there may be some interesting implications about how programs can use some technology to improve their services... look for more about this idea in another blog soon!


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