Investigating the Influence of Technology as a Communication Tool for Parents and Early Childhood Educators

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Date

2019-01-22

Authors

Wilke, Ann

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Publisher

University of Guelph

Abstract

This study examined the impact of technology in supporting parent-educator communication within the early childhood education and care sector. Participants were recruited from the pool of parents accessing child care services using HiMama communication software within the province of Ontario. One hundred and forty parents completed an online survey assessing their perspectives of changes in parent-educator communication with the introduction of HiMama. The influence of the software was explored using a retrospective mixed method survey design. Data were analyzed using paired sample t-tests and thematic analysis. The results indicated that computer-mediated communication has promising potential for strengthening parent-educator communication practices, particularly when paired with face-to-face communication. Participants reported increased communication content on children’s daily experiences and its influence in both parent-educator and parent-child relationships. This thesis concludes with recommendations to ensure on-going training and articulated expectations for use are developed to support effective application of technology to parent-educator communication practices.

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Keywords

early childhood education, parent-child relationships, parent-educator relationships, parent-educator communication, parent-teacher communication, computer mediated communication, child care, early learning, communication technology

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