Supporting registered early childhood educators through online collaborative professional practice discussions (CPPD project)

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This study examines the digital competence and technology use of a small sample of Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in an attempt to gauge their readiness for fully online professional learning. A multi-phase mixed-methods approach was used to gather data on RECE digital practices. Findings suggest that fully online collaborative discussions meet RECEs' professional learning needs despite identified gaps in their digital awareness. Participant experiences highlight the importance of considering emotional intelligence, social interaction, technological awareness, and personal adaptability when designing fully online professional learning experiences for RECEs. The study positions fully online learning communities (FOLCs) as a solution to the logistical challenges of professional learning due to their ability to offer RECEs flexibility and continuous support. However, it is recommended that future investigations explore how FOLCs can support RECEs in completing their CPL portfolios to close the training and compensation gap in the sector.