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The Electronic Emissary

The Electronic Emissary is "a Web-based telementoring service and resource center" where K-12 teachers and students can locate mentors who are experts in various disciplines in order to assist in "curriculum-based electronic exchanges among the teachers, their students, and the mentors." Interactions take place through electronic mail, web forum, chat, and teleconferencing exchanges and typically range in length from 6 weeks to a full academic year, depending on students' needs and interests. Although classroom teachers serve as the subject matter experts, this practice termed "telementoring" allows additional expertise to be made directly available to students and teachers in cases where "the issues being explored are multi-disciplinary, technically and conceptually sophisticated, or dependent upon current and highly specialized research and theory." Staff of the Electronic Emissary also conduct research by facilitating and investigating "the nature of online communication between adult subject matter expert volunteers and elementary, middle-level, and secondary students and their teachers." The website includes summaries of completed Electronic Emissary learning projects, and additional information on the project and how to get involved either as a mentor, student or teacher. The project is on a volunteer basis and there are no monetary costs associated with it as long as you have Internet access. Some parts of the website were still under construction at the time of this review.
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