The importance of community learning in effecting social change towards ecological sustainability has been recognised for some time. More recently, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to promote socio-ecological sustainability has been shown to have potential in community education for sustainable development (ESD). The effective design and use of technology for community learning implies an understanding of a range of cross-dimensional factors including: socio-cultural characteristics and needs of the target audience; considerations of available and culturally responsive types of technology; and non-formal pedagogical ESD strategies for community empowerment. In addition, both technology itself and social communities are dynamically evolving and complex entities. This article presents a case study which evaluated the potential of ICT for promoting ecological literacy and action competence amongst community members in southern Chile. The case study addressed the ecological deterioration of a lake, which is having deep social, economic, recreational and cultural implications locally. The authors’ research involved developing a theoretical framework for the design, implementation and use of ICT for community learning for sustainability. The framework was based on key ideas from ESD, ICT and community education, and was underpinned by a systems thinking approach to account for the dynamism and complexity of such settings. Activity theory provided a frame to address overarching socio-cultural elements when using technology as a mediating tool for community learning. The authors’ findings suggest that the use of an ICT tool, such as a website, can enhance ecological literacy in relation to a local socio-ecological issue.
International Review of Education – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 22, 2017
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