Voices from the field: Integrating e-portfolios in early childhood education


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BEDEL E. F., İnce S., Başalev Acar S.

Education and Information Technologies, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10639-024-12563-9
  • Journal Name: Education and Information Technologies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), INSPEC
  • Keywords: Assessment, Digital documentation, E-portfolios, Early childhood education
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Digital technologies are increasingly integrated into early childhood education (ECE), prompting discussions regarding their potential benefits and drawbacks. Research has shown that technology designed for children’s developmental needs can enhance learning and development, while also improving communication between parents, teachers, and children. However, issues like access, equity, ethics, and teacher workload require careful consideration. This qualitative study explores the expected outcomes of integrating e-portfolios into ECE through one-on-one interviews with key stakeholder groups. After gathering general opinions, the participants were asked to provide detailed feedback on how the application affects children, teachers, and parents. In addition to revealing a diverse range of voices regarding the implementation of e-portfolios, this study aims to utilize the information gathered from participants for informed decision-making, offering valuable insights for the improved e-portfolio design and implementation. The study involved 34 Turkish participants from five stakeholder categories: ECE and primary school teachers, faculty members from ECE and primary school education departments, and parents. Results revealed that e-portfolios were viewed as highly beneficial, providing permanent and comprehensive documentation, facilitating data transfer to subsequent schooling levels, enabling multidimensional assessment, promoting child-centred practices, improving communication, enhancing reflective thinking and digital skills, and allowing resource utilization. However, participants raised concerns about workload, documentation gaps, and ethical issues. While e-portfolios hold promise for integrating digital technologies into ECE, current teacher education may lack sufficient training in key areas like digital literacy, documentation, assessment, and ethics. Further education in these areas can help ensure effective implementation and positive outcomes.