Roundtable: Mentorship

Mentorship Roundtable Planning

Folks please suggest a guest, opt to contact them, or maybe help out with one of the to-dos?

Format Ideas

  • What’s working / what’s not? What sort of artifact should we be producing?
  • Should we include some key features on the invite so people know what we’re referring to?
  • Are we asking too many general questions?

Questions (please add/comment)

  • mentorship matching: how, why, what to prioritize (Terry’s issues of success)
  • sustaining mentorship: duration, spacing (Nathan brought up longitudinal issues, so did Terry)
  • challenges of mentorship: underserved populations, frustration, communication issues

Guest Ideas (please add/comment)

  • Brian Tobal from Thinkful
  • Jesse Farmer from
  • Adam Bush from College Unbound
  • Jackie Gerstein


October 14 or October 21 (please let us know which date works for you


  • Invite guests
  • Update website
  • Invitation blog post
  • Update

From Nathan:
Mentors are critically important but notoriously fickle. It’d be cool to hear from people who’s lives have been drastically altered by a mentor or those who feel like they missed out from not having anyone doing this with them. It’d also be interesting to think about how mentorship could serve those who typically don’t have access to social capital. I’ve mentored high school dropouts before and it is really hard, they’re flaky sometimes and it takes a lot of time and coordination. Just my two cents. I’m definitely excited about doing this topic.

From Terry Heick:
Agreed, but sometimes even the crude, seemingly ineffective mentoring can really make a difference down the road for some folks for whom the traditional academic system doesn’t work. Which could push us to consider how can we be smarter with mentoring with exactly this scenario in mind.

Mentorship is a tent of connectivity, which itself is a new currency in education–formal or informal. Reconceiving this idea of what a mentor is/looks like/does in a digital–>physical–>digital landscape may be useful. I’d argue this is becoming as important as knowledge.

That’s an interesting question–gets back at that idea of how to measure “success.” I know there is an app/platform of some sort that can connect adults with all kinds of extraordinarily successful business leaders, etc. This was a while back–hundreds of dollars per minutes in certain cases. Haven’t followed up to see how it’s doing. I remember thinking about the right-contact-at-right-time problem. How do we know what we actually need–being precise with that–being able to answer that question ourselves with some degree of precision.


  • TutorMate: connects professionals at large companies to children learning to read remotely over phone/video
  • UnderStudy: iPad app that connects you to someone learning the same thing as you but who’s further ahead (and vice versa)
  • 7 Cups of Tea: connects you to someone who’ll listen to your problems via live chat in under a minute, no charge
  • InstaEDU: also connects you to actual tutors in a few minutes, via chat and video
  • LearnToBe: connects you to a free tutor based on the topic you need help with (no one is ever available) and subject search sucks.
  • paid tutors for any subject connects you to a free tutor based on the subject you need help with (rarely available)
  • Subscription service for live chat with tutors 24/7 (uses a whiteboard too)
    Google Helpouts:

how do I edit this? and now I have to fill it for 20 characters…

Hey @nathanmaton this is our Discourse forum–so think about it as threaded comments.

The buckets require that many characters because we’re trying to elicit more thoughtful, long-form feedback.

So you can “@” me with direct responses. But the hackpads aren’t great at sustaining discussion around the planning. Feel me?