Did you know that mentoring is a concept of almost 3500 years? But not the digital one 🙂
Mentoring, which originated in Greek mythology, is described in the Odyssey Epic by the Greek blind poet Homer. Mentor in short; He is a faithful and trustworthy family friend whom Odysseus, King of Ithaca, entrusted to his son Telemachus on his way to the Trojan wars. Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, will take care of Mentor with his son’s education while in the Trojan War. The task given to Mentor is to educate and inform Telemachus and to train him as King of Ithaca. Years later, Mentor went beyond his guardian role, becoming a private teacher and a trusted mentor to Telemachus and teaching young Telemachus his kingdom skills.
This deep-rooted doctrine, dating back 3500 years, now has a rising trend in our world. In recent years, there has been an extraordinary increase in the efforts of organizations from all sectors in the USA to establish a mentoring system. It is not only happening in the private sector. It is predicted that the teacher-centered education system has become a learner-centered education system in the last 20 years and this paradigm will be transformed into a mentor-centered education system in the new period. (Inelmen, (2004, p.183)
But while mentoring plays such an important role for your personal development, would it still be right to continue it with the methods remaining from 3500 years ago?
Or is it possible to enrich mentoring in digital environments with interactive and innovative features by benefiting from the blessings of technology?
The answer is simple, of course possible, even sine qua non. While the world is changing rapidly, mentoring practices keep pace with this change and easily gain a place in the age of internet. Research on the subject has already started to make very positive findings about digital mentoring practices. Because online mentoring compared to offline mentoring:
- Easily accessible: any device with internet connection is sufficient. You don’t have to spend time on the road to set up a meeting, you can meet with just one click.
- Available at any time: you can reach your mentor / mentor at any time with features such as video calls, chat and email.
- Location independent: No matter where you are, you can connect to your partner. A mentor abroad can work with a university student at home and plan the future together.
Briefly, online mentoring applications are now possible to experience mentoring anytime, anywhere and easily. So your mentor / mentee is literally a “click” away: