Can social networking sites provide global mentoring opportunities?

Dr. Cho's Information Sociology Class

Dr. Cho's Information Sociology Class

So, can social networking sites provide global mentoring opportunities?


Mark Puterbaugh, our Information Services Librarian, along with a group of international librarians and information specialists, is currently serving as a mentor for students enrolled in Dr. Myungdae Cho’s “Information Sociology” class at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea. Yup, you read that correctly- South Korea, half way around the world! How is this possible?!

Social networking sites.

The way it works is mentors, like Mark, interact with students professionally AND personally in a unique educational use of the social website Facebook. The students can utilize their mentors’ knowledge on casual information as well as  technical information needed for their professional training. In doing so, Dr. Cho’s students will experience how social networking sites can expand class resources beyond its physical border and aide students in their personal edification pursuits.

This course’s goals aim to provide students with opportunities to:

– actively participate in discussions, and share and argue on views
– investigate how social media could change society
– consider what do we have to do and how do we have to meet these changes in society (in general and in information related communities in particular)
– analyze and evaluate these new phenomena as socio-technological one
– enhance critical investigation ability towards internet-based business including information discovery

As a result, Dr. Cho created a Facebook group called Information Sociology.  Eleven mentors will help the students with this experiment-

  • Aaron Tray: National University of Singapore Librarian (Singapore) (Aaron was just named one of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” for 2011!)
  • Brian Kim: Private Business (Fremont, California)
  • Charles Kim: R W Computer Co., Inc CEO & President (Washington, District of Columbia)
  • Chul ho Kim: PRISM Properties CEO/President (Seoul)
  • Harriet Sun: Shandong University of Arts library (Jinan Shi, Shandong, China)
  • Ji Young Catharina Kim: Eye Clinic (Seoul)
  • Jiyun Kang: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Assistant Clerk (Jeju, Korea)
  • Mark Puterbaugh: Warner Memorial Library, Eastern University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania )
  • Min Jeong Son: Freelancer Writer (Seoul)
  • Randolf Mariano: University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Sudo Choe: Freelancer Writer (Seoul)

Want to learn more? Contact Mark at

Categories: Projects

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1 reply »

  1. This Social Media based Participatory Learning (SMPL) was initiated with the class called “Introduction to Information Sociology” in Hanyang University, Korea. In this course, professor Youngmin Yoon (Berkeley graduate) used 25 mentors in his course. Dr Myungdae Cho was one of the mentors there.

    Now Dr Myungdae Cho started this method in his English-taught class with some English speaking mentors.

    Hope many other classes adopt this SMPL method.

    One of my students, Maarit from Finland told us “This is the first time I’m using Facebook for studying. I think it’s very refreshing to have this kind of different approach and I feel very excited about this course as well as my other 3 courses in Library and Information Sciences. After these 3 days of school in SKKU I’ve started to think that my courses in Finland have been pretty boring. 🙂 I’m sure this semester is going to be great and I can take a lot of good ideas with me to Finland.”

    Hope some other courses go well also

    Myungdae Cho

    Dr. Myungdae Cho

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