November 16, 2020
Young Canadians to benefit from full-featured, free e-mentoring platform
At a time when many youth have limited connection because of COVID-19 and physical distancing, a new international collaboration between MENTOR Canada and the Mentortech Collective Foundation, India (MTC), is bringing the Mentor To Go e-mentoring platform to young people across Canada (full national roll-out during #MentorMonth in January 2021).
“Youth in Canada will use our new app to benefit from safe, secure, e-mentoring experiences. Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, we are able to adapt and co-create a solution that will take global principles in e-mentoring for youth and make them available to thousands of young people in Canada” said MENTOR Canada Managing Director Stacey Dakin. “Guided by the criteria set by mentoring service providers we evaluated a number of existing platforms both in Canada and internationally, the possibilities offered by adapting Mentor Together's superb foundation into a flexible, open-source model better met our needs. Especially for rural, remote, and northern youth with limited connectivity, we know this is a solution that works.”
MTC will be scaffolding and augmenting the Mentor To Go app, created by Mentor Together, India’s first and largest youth mentoring nonprofit. Mentor To Go has been downloaded by over 10,000 University students and mentor-professionals across India since its launch in December 2018. Through this partnership, the platform will be open sourced to align with the Canadian government's commitment to Open Government and Open Software.
“Our partnership with MENTOR Canada aligns strongly with our vision to scale mentoring programs worldwide through technology that puts the youth - their safety and empowerment - at the centre of innovation in the mentoring space. Thanks to funders that we have had in India like Cisco India’s CSR program, we were able to create an app that we truly believe represents the goals of mentoring nonprofit organisations worldwide. We’re proud to partner with MENTOR Canada to make this a collective product by mentoring organisations for mentoring organisations, globally.” - Arundhuti Gupta, Founder Trustee of Mentor Together, and Director, Mentortech Collective Foundation.
The app will be fully bilingual (English and French), secure, hosted in Canada, and prioritize privacy protections. Initially, the platform will be launched as a responsive web app, with Android and iOS apps following shortly thereafter. Features include the ability for organisations to set up a range of mentoring programs, invite their users to create their unique mentoring profiles, setup learning modules for mentor pre-match training, customise algorithmic, self-directed, or manual, 1:1 and group matching, provide structured match activities and curriculum, and communication via audio, video, and chat. A separate app for program admins will allow them to monitor match activities and progress, and to directly support mentoring relationships.
Early adopters will start testing the platform over November and December, with a full national roll-out during #MentorMonth in January 2021.
For more information on our journey to date:
- E-Mentoring Key Topic Overview -
The key topic overview is a helpful primer for mentoring service providers into the background on e-mentoring, its benefits and challenges, an overview of current research in the field and key principles and practices and guiding questions for e-mentoring programs.
- Since March 2020, we have convened an E-Mentoring working group that evaluated the suitability of platforms to the needs of small, medium and large mentoring service providers. Their feedback has informed our decisions.
- On April 8th, we did a deep-dive into Virtual Mentoring. We had 310 registrants join us to provide feedback into experiences, thoughts, hopes, and fears about alternative forms of mentoring. Click here to view the presentation and slide deck.