JEE Special Issue Call for Papers: Digital Technologies & EE


JEE Special Issue Call for Papers: Digital Technologies & EE

The influence of digital technologies on environmental education (EE) research and practice has yet to be collectively explored, discussed, and debated. Despite the increased presence of digital technologies in EE and past efforts to introduce and invite critical perspectives, there is a persistent need for more fulsome consideration. This special issue (SI) of the Journal of Environmental Education (JEE) will foster a discussion of this nature.

Digital technologies have proved indispensable, at times, amidst the arguably ubiquitous online crisis teaching contexts that have formed around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also allowed us to reimagine conferences and other gatherings in online formats that result in lower ecological impacts than those held in person. However, challenges related to inequitable access to technology on individual, regional, national, and global scales along with excessive strain on and associated burnout of educators, learners, and parents—often with critical gender subtexts and implications—have illuminated the potential dangers of over-reliance upon digital platforms in efforts to maintain the status quo. In response, some have turned away from the digital world in varying degrees to creatively reconsider local and outdoor approaches to pedagogy and daily living.

Digital technologies have emerged more generally in EE through, for example, the availability of software such as the leafsnap plant identification app ( and simulacra in the form of virtual hiking programs (e.g., Digital technologies may also serve as powerful tools to collect, monitor, and share important ecological data and trends with students and the broader public through citizen science programs or similar. Such technologies may understandably appeal to some educators and learners who are reticent to leave the confines of a classroom for a variety of possible reasons ranging from lack of experience, knowledge, funds, or accessibility, to institutional risk management concerns. However, we must vigorously question what is lost when locally relevant ecological literacy and immersive experiential learning are replaced by virtual alternatives.

Digital technologies have also been adopted in the deeper interests of environmental justice. For example, land and environmental justice advocates and activists have employed digital cartography to facilitate and share counter- and communocentric mapping efforts that challenge colonial and corporate epistemologies, boundaries, and practices. Contemporary environmental activists also routinely utilize digital technologies and social media platforms to organize initiatives and share photos, videos, and other information that may counter or augment perspectives presented by mainstream media, government, or corporate interests. Environmental educators, scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists are also increasingly engaging with and bridging digital and non-digital traditions to create visual artefacts that represent, contest, and disrupt socioenvironmental challenges, injustices, and hierarchies.

While acknowledging the achievements and potential of such innovations we must continue to critically consider important caveats regarding both the “promise and perils” of digital technologies for EE. Although extensive consideration of digital technologies in EE research is relatively scarce, scholarship in related disciplines such as environmental studies, environmental humanities, environmental communication, and critical science education has provided important critiques of the socioecological impacts of digitalization that we may draw upon to further inform such discussions.

Given the dynamics and tensions described above, we invite submissions to this special issue of the JEE from supporters, critics, and theorists of digital technology in EE.

Possible themes include, among others:

  • Digital technologies and experiential EE
  • Digital/virtual EE as simulacra
  • Digital technology, citizen science, and EE
  • Digital communication, environmental activism, and EE
  • Digital technology, environmental communication, and EE
  • Digital EE and accessibility
  • Digital colonialism and environmental justice
  • EE and the (hidden) socioecological impacts of digital technology
  • Critical gender perspectives on digitalization in EE
  • Digital, counter-, and communocentric mapping and EE
  • Digital visualization technologies in EE
  • More-than-human interaction with and agency related to digital technologies and EE
  • Alternatives to/push back against digital technologies in EE

500-word Abstract Deadline: Nov. 1st, 2021
Full Manuscript Deadline: May 1st, 2022

For further information and full submission guidelines, please visit:

Inquiries? Contact:
Greg Lowan-Trudeau (Digital Technologies Special Issue Editor):;
Cae Rodrigues (Editor, Special Issues):;
or Alberto Arenas (Editor-in-Chief):