ICTs, Global Citizenship, and Education for Sustainable Development

Peterson and Warwick (2015) argue that global technologies represent a major form (and, by implication, force) of globalisation, so are indispensable to global learning. Because constructivist, student-centred notions of learning dominate global citizenship education, the learning environment has attracted scrutiny: alongside physical spaces, “specialist spaces” have been suggested (Rudd et al, 2009). These are digital technologies, typically social media resources that allow diffusely located students to interact.

Bennett (2003) describes the contemporary condition as “networked individualism”, which refers to the Internet interconnectedness available to people as result of new technologies. Such technological interconnectedness facilitates global learning due to the “ease of establishing personal links that enable people to join more diverse and more numerous political communities than they would ordinarily join in the material world” (p. 174). Also, education for sustainable development places strong emphasis on participation and processes, and encourages participants to be “critical creatives” (Peterson and Warwick, 2015, p. 128). It is difficult to conceive of global education without global technologies, and participation of global learners to be possible without interactive, collaborative, information-sharing platforms accessible to all with an Internet connection.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron (2007, p. 84) claimed that “without education, there can be no social justice”. The Arab Spring demonstrated that the arena of protest and the primary tool of message dissemination for digital natives is social media (Tufecki and Wilson, 2012). So, if Cameron’s logic is to be extended, without social media, there can be no voice for social justice, ergo education must incorporate literacies in the appropriate communication technologies.