In this article we discuss the development of four electronic mentoring programs as distributed communities of practice that support both pre-service and in-service teachers. A distributed community of practice implies that the majority of interactions take place in an online environment. In these projects, electronic conferences provided the infrastructure on which to build the programs and the research. Data were collected as part of an internal evaluation of each initiative developing electronic conferences to support teacher education in four institutional contexts. Our work investigates the nature of both novice Teachers' and mentors' participation within the electronic conferences, the roles they assumed, and their perceptions of the opportunities and constraints surrounding electronic mentoring through this medium. The findings are discussed in relation to the conditions that encouraged and discouraged interaction as well as the role Teachers' perceptions played in their participation.
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