It is time to get write up Chapter 2 Ecologies of Learning. This is my theoretical approach to understanding the cognitive, cultural and technological dimensions of learning. In this case, I am applying my theory of ecologies of learning to educational situations: how new teachers are prepared to teach and learn with, and about information and communication technologies (ICT) in their professional practice.
The field of education is facing many challenges, not the least of which is educators’ individual perceptions of digital technologies and educational cultural practices associated with learning and technology. With the advent and proliferation of digital technologies in global human societies, and the consequent availability of information by tapping a keyboard, the role of teachers, and the purposes of formal education, are being forced to adapt to these changing conditions.These changes, coupled with democratic and economic systems being transformed by our uses of, and our relationships to, digital technologies, are putting pressure on archaic notions of human cognition, cultural formations, and our reliance on technology for our survival.
In this chapter, I argue for an ecological approach to learning, relationships, and evolving knowledge generation, as an integral characteristic of our social drive for connectivity. When we congregate in educational institutions, we have a unique opportunity to foster participatory learning cultures and contribute to finding solutions to the most perplexing problems facing our human societies today. Our access to ICT is not enough to ensure we are using it, or engaging with it, to our greatest benefit. We need learning relationships, and learning processes, that create evolving, knowledge-generative relationships, relationships that are inspired by the structure of educational organizations, but not limited by these structures.