Advertisement

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 331–341 | Cite as

Extending Face-to-Face Interactions: Understanding and Developing an Online Teacher and Family Community

  • Chun Zhang
  • Jianxia Du
  • Li Sun
  • Yi Ding
Article

Abstract

Technology has been quickly changing human interactions, traditional practices, and almost every aspect of our lives. It is important to maintain effective face-to-face communication and interactions between teachers and families. Nonetheless, technology and its tools can also extend and enhance family–teacher relationships and partnerships. This paper reviews definitions for online teacher and family community in early childhood programs and closely examines the literature associated with several key elements that comprise the community as recognized by the authors. Key elements that emerged were common or shared goals, interactivity, collaboration, trusting relationships, and sense of belonging or connectedness for a working online community, especially among teachers working with families of children with disabilities. Additionally, practical suggestions for teachers and family members are provided for developing and collaborating on an online community.

Keywords

Community Interactivity Collaboration Trusting relationships Family–teacher communication and partnerships 

References

  1. American Psychological Association (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct: 2010 amendments. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/.
  2. Aronson, M. M. (1995). Building communication partnerships with parents. Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Materials, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Aubert, B., & Kelsey, B. (2003). Further understanding of trust and performance in virtual teams. Small Group Research, 34(5), 575–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bannan-Ritland, B. (2002). Computer-mediated communication, elearning, and interactivity: A review of the research. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(2), 161–179.Google Scholar
  5. Bassani, P. B. S. (2012). Interpersonal exchanges in discussion forums: A study of learning communities in distance learning settings. Computers & Education, 56, 931–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berge, Z. L. (2002). Active, interactive, and reflective elearning. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(2), 181–190.Google Scholar
  7. Booth, S. E. (2012). Cultivating knowledge sharing and trust in online communities for educators. Educational Computing Research, 47(1), 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chang, W. N. (2014). The effects of trust and constructive controversy on student achievement and attitude in online cooperative learning environments. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 237–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheng, X., & Macaulay, L. (2014). Exploring individual trust factors in computer mediated group collaboration: A case study approach. Group Decision and Negotiation, 23, 533–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng, X., Macaulay, L., & Zarifis, A. (2013). Modeling individual trust development in computer mediated collaboration: A comparison of approaches. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1733–1741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clevenson, R. (1999). Picture-perfect communication. Educational Leadership, 56(5), 66–68.Google Scholar
  12. Community (2013). Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/community.
  13. Conceicao, S. (2002). The sociocultural implications of learning and teaching in cyberspace. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 96, 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cutler, R. H. (1995). Distributed presence and community in cyberspace, interpersonal computing and technology. An Electronic Journal for the 21st Century, 3(2), 12–32.Google Scholar
  15. Davison, S. E. (2013). Yes, kindergartners can blog, and so can their teachers. Learning & Leading with Technology, 40(6), 26–27.Google Scholar
  16. Dolezalek, H. (2003). Collaborating in cyberspace. Training, 40(4), 32–37.Google Scholar
  17. Du, J., & Durrington, V. A. (2013). A collaborative design model: Learning tasks, peer interaction, and cognition process. International Journal of Information Communication and Technology Education, 10(4), 34–41.Google Scholar
  18. Du, J., Ge, X., & Zhang, K. (2012). Graduate students’ experiences of online collaborative learning in web-based learning environments. International Journal of Information Communication and Technology Education, 8(4), 62–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Du, J., Zhang, K., Olinzock, A., & Adams, J. (2008). Graduate students’ perspectives on the meaningful nature of online discussions. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(1), 21–36.Google Scholar
  20. Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.Google Scholar
  21. Fang, Y. H., & Chiu, C. M. (2010). In justice we trust: Exploring knowledge-sharing continuance intentions in online communities of practice. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 235–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fernback, J. (1997). The individual within the collective: Virtual ideology and the realization of collective principles. In S. G. Jones (Ed.), Virtual culture (pp. 36–54). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  23. Fisher, M., & Colman, B. (2001). Collaborative online learning in virtual discussions. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 30(1), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Graham-Clay, S. (2005). Communicating with parents: Strategies for teachers. School Community Journal, 15(1), 117.Google Scholar
  25. Hare, A. P., & Davies, M. F. (1994). Social interaction. In A. P. Hare, H. H. Blumberg, M. F. Davies & M. V. Kent (Eds.), Small group research: A handbook (pp. 169–193). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  26. Haythornthwaite, C., Kazmer, M. M., Robins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 6(1). doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2000.tb00114.x.
  27. Hirumi, A. (2002). A framework for analyzing, designing, and sequencing planned elearning interactions. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(2), 141–160.Google Scholar
  28. Hramiak, A. (2010). Online learning community development with teachers as a means of enhancing initial teacher training. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 19(1), 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hsu, Y. C., & Ching, Y. H. (2013). Mobile computer-supported collaborative learning: A review of experimental research. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(5), E111–E114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kasprowicz, T. (2002). Managing the classroom with technology. Technology Directions, 61(10), 26–28.Google Scholar
  31. Knopf, H. T., & Swick, K. J. (2008). Using our understanding of families to strengthen family involvement. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 419–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lea, M., Rogers, P., & Postmes, T. (2002). SIDE-VIEW: Evaluation of a system to develop team players and improve productivity in Internet collaborative learning groups. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 53–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lewin, C., & Luckin, R. (2010). Technology to support parental engagement in elementary education: Lessons learned from the UK. Computers & Education, 54, 749–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lock, J. V. (2002). Laying the groundwork for the development of learning communities within online courses. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3, 395–408.Google Scholar
  35. Looi, C.-K., & Ang, D. (2000). A multimedia-enhanced collaborative learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 16, 2–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. López-Bonilla, J. M., & López-Bonilla, L. M. (2013). Exploring the relationship between social networks and collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(5), E139–E142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Margalit, M., & Raskind, M. (2009). Mothers of children with LD and AD/HD: Empowerment through online communication. Journal of Special Education Technology, 24(1), 39–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Meneses, J., Fabregues, S., Rodriguez-Gomez, D., & Ion, G. (2012). Internet in teachers’ professional practice outside the classroom: Examining supportive and management uses in primary and secondary schools. Computers & Education, 59(3), 915–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mitchell, S., Foulger, T. S., & Wetzel, K. (2009). Ten tips for involving families through internet-based communication. Young Children, 64(5), 46–49.Google Scholar
  40. Peñarroja, V., Orengo, V., Zornoza, A., & Hernández, A. (2013). The effects of virtuality level on task-related collaborative behaviors: The mediating role of team trust. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 967–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Platt, L. (1999). Virtual teaming: Where is everyone? The Journal for Quality and Participation, 22(5), 41–43.Google Scholar
  42. Poole, D. M. (2000). Student participation in a discussion-oriented online course: A case study. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33, 162–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Powell, G., & McCauley, A. W. (2012). Blogging as a way to promote family-professional partnerships. Young Exceptional Children, 15, 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Preece, J. (2000). Online communities: Designing usability, support sociability. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  45. Prestridge, S. (2010). ICT professional development for teachers in online forums: Analyzing the role of discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(2), 252–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Raikes, H. H., & Edwards, C. P. (2009). Staying in step: Supporting relationships with families. Young Children, 64(5), 50–55.Google Scholar
  47. Ramage, M. (2010). Evaluating collaborative technologies: A simple method. In H. Donelan, K. Kear & M. Ramage (Eds.), Online communication and collaboration: A reader (pp. 73–77). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Ramirez, F. (2001). Technology and parent involvement. Clearing House, 75(1), 30–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rovai, A. P. (2001). Building classroom community at a distance: A case study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(4), 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rovai, A. P. (2002). Building sense of community at a distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 3(1), 1–16.Google Scholar
  51. Sheehey, P. H., & Sheehey, P. E. (2007). Elements for successful parent-professional collaboration: The fundamental things apply as time goes by. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 4(2), 1–12.Google Scholar
  52. Siegle, D. (2011). Facing Facebook: A guide for nonteens. Gifted Child Today, 34(2), 14–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stanley, T. L. (2005). Trust: A management essential. Super Vision, 66(2), 6–8.Google Scholar
  54. Stepich, D. A., & Ertmer, P. A. (2003). Building community as a critical element of online course design. Educational Technology, 43(5), 33–43.Google Scholar
  55. Tang, E., & Lam, C. (2014). Building an effective online learning community (OLC) in blog-based teaching portfolios. The Internet and Higher Education, 20(1), 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tseng, F., & Kuo, F. (2014). A study of social participation and knowledge sharing in the teachers’ online professional community of practice. Computers & Education, 72, 37–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tu, C., & Corry, M. (2002). eLearning communities. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3, 207–218.Google Scholar
  58. Wang, M., Poole, M., Harris, B., & Wangemann, P. (2001). Educational technology, promoting online collaborative learning experiences for teenagers. Educational Media International, 38(4), 203–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wang, M., Sierra, C., & Folger, T. (2003). Building a dynamic online learning community among adult learners. Education Media International, 40, 49–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wohn, D. Y., & Spottswood, E. L. (2016). Reactions to other-generated face threats on Facebook and their relational consequences. Computers in Human Behavior, 57, 187–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xu, J. & Du, J. (2013). Regulation of motivation: Students’ motivation management in online collaborative groupwork. Teachers College Record, 115(10), 1–27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Curriculum & Teaching, Graduate School of EducationFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of MacauMacauChina
  3. 3.Division of Psychological and Educational Service, Graduate School of EducationFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations