The Influence of Interaction Apps on Teacher-Parent Interaction Patterns in an Elementary-Level English Class

Julie Lin [], Sa-hui Fan [], National Taichung University of Education, Ray-I Chang [], National Taiwan University, Taiwan


Good teacher-parent communications are associated with better academic performance and reduced failure rates for lower-achieving students in American schools, and teacher-parent interactions are correlated with children’s language learning (Kraft & Rogers, 2015). Traditionally, paper homebooks (the booklets used to inform parents of their children’s daily homework), phone calls, and PTA meetings improve teacher-parent communications. However, how teacher-parent interactions are affected by e-homebooks or interaction apps is under-investigated. This study explores how teacher-parent interactions are influenced by interaction apps in an elementary-level English class in Taiwan. Nineteen students and their parents participated in this study for one semester. Three apps, AppleTree, ClassDojo, and ClassTing, were studied. Online observations and surveys were used to collect data. Findings show that employing teacher-parent interaction apps encourages parent engagement and changes parental involvement from the collaborative pattern (positive and direct) to the compromising pattern (positive but indirect). Although technology in teacher-parent teacher communications seems to have a positive effect on directing parents’ attention to students’ schoolwork, developing more constructive communication between English teachers and parents remains an issue. Furthermore, the culture of app designers might be unconsciously embedded in app design and might reshape users’ parental involvement.

Abstract in Chinese

美國的教育研究指出,良好的親師溝通能有效提升,低學業成就學生的學業成績與通過率。而親師互動也的確會影響學生的語言學習 (Kraft & Rogers, 2015) 傳統上,家庭聯絡簿、電話、以及親師座談會是親師溝通的主要管道。然而,在現代科技發達的社會,親師溝通的成效如何受到使用電子聯絡簿的影響,卻是少有研究。這個研究的研究主題,即是針對電子聯絡簿如何在台灣國小的英語課程,影響親師互動。19位國小學童以及他們的父母,被邀請來參加這個為期一學期的研究。三種電子聯絡簿應用軟體:AppleTree, ClassDojo, 和ClassTing,在這個研究當中使用。網路觀察以及問卷是主要的研究資料蒐集方法。研究結果顯示使用電子親師聯絡簿確能增進親師互動,但也使得親師互動類型從由合作(正向而直接)溝通類型居多,轉為妥協(正向而間接)得溝通類型居多,雖然使用科技應用軟體的確吸引了更多父母與國小英語教師的溝通互動,並花更多時間注意孩子的功課,但如何在英語教師與家長使用電子溝通應用程式的同時,發展出有效而具建設性的溝通內容,仍是待研究的課題。

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, learning management system, LMS, interaction,

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