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Conceptualizing digital literacies and digital ethics for sustainability education

Susan A. Brown (School of Education, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 7 July 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the need for integrating a focus on digital literacies and digital ethics into sustainability education, proposing a conceptualization of these for sustainability education.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on relevant literature in the field of sustainability education and in the field of digital literacies and digital ethics. It synthesizes perspectives in both fields to form a conceptualization of digital literacies and digital ethics for sustainability education.

Findings

The paper conceptualizes “digital literacies” as a capacity to reflect on the nature of digital space in relation to sustainability challenges and “digital ethics” as a capacity to reflexively engage with digital space in ways which build rich discourses around sustainability. Critically reflective and exploratory activities in digital space are a means of developing these capacities.

Originality/value

The conceptualization allows sustainability education to account for the increased role digital space plays in shaping views of sustainability challenges. It proposes a pedagogical approach to doing this.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author thanks her colleagues Dr Juup Stelma, Dr Richard Fay, Dr Gary Motteram and Dr Zeynep Onat-Stelma for their invaluable critique of this paper.

Citation

Brown, S.A. (2014), "Conceptualizing digital literacies and digital ethics for sustainability education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 280-290. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-08-2012-0078

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited