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Keeping connected: exploring the potential of social media as a new avenue for communication and collaboration in early childhood education

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Parent and family engagement has long been a significant element in early childhood (EC) education. Lack of family involvement can lead to a number of consequences in children’s physical and emotional development. However, attempts and strategies used by early learning centres and childcare centres to resolve this issue are often unsuccessful. Face-to-face interactions as the traditional way of communication are becoming inadequate due to parents and families’ busy schedules. Through interviews with 17 participants, including EC professionals and parents, from three childcare centres in Northern Tasmania, Australia, the project being reported in this paper explored the readiness of the two stakeholder groups to use social media tools to facilitate better communication, collaboration and family involvement. Findings of the research revealed an interest in adopting social media tools by both EC professionals and parents. Concerns were also expressed from a number of aspects, such as confidentiality and time constraints.
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Keywords: Social media; collaboration; communication; early childhood professional; family involvement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, Australia

Publication date: April 3, 2019

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