Raya Mihaylova, a member of the JustEdu project’s team presented an article at the XX Jubilee BCES Annual International Conference Towards the Next Epoch of Education held between the 20th and the 24th of June 2022 (bces-conference.org).
The article, titled Technology as an Actor in Communication between Teachers and Parents: the Case of Electronic Diaries, was published in the BCES Conference Book Towards the Next Epoch of Education, Volume 20, 2022. The BCES Conference Books are indexed in EBSCO, ERIC and DOAJ.
The conference was carried out for the third time virtually with nearly 70 presentations from all over the world. The XX edition of the BCES Conference in 2022 focuses on the next epoch of education with special attention to the aims, challenges and successes in an international perspective.
The paper focuses on the influence of technology on communication between teachers and parents through electronic diaries. Theoretically, the paper is based on action-network theory and its understanding that non-human and human actors build a network of relationships. By using a qualitative research approach, including interviews with principals, teachers, and creators of the e-diaries, as well as focus groups with parents and students in several Bulgarian schools, opinions of the different stakeholders are explored in depth. The results show that communication is lacking or is really rare through electronic diaries or it can be one-sided, without the parents’ possibility to reply to teachers. It is argued that the level of participation of parents in the educational process is low. Most parents and teachers do not really see the need to be more involved or to communicate through the diaries. If educational reforms and especially measures to increase parents’ level of involvement are to be undertaken, they should take into consideration parents’ understanding of the educational process and their views on how they could be more actively involved and how they could contribute to the overall change in the educational system and a more effective teaching and learning process.