The environmental and ecological effect in education is considered of utmost importance since it focuses on constructing new identities of environmentally active citizens with ecological responsibility. From this perspective, students are encouraged to gain a deeper and broader comprehension of the interconnectedness between humans and the environment, which may lead them to try and resolve significant problematic situations on our planet. This could be achieved through the application of digital theatrical performances of experiential nature, the use of digital tools and instruments, collaborative documents (e.g., Google docs), dramatization, and collaboratively written scenarios based on specific ecological themes such as sustainable development, climate change, management of poverty, power consumption, renewable energy resources, and inclusive education followed by performance role playing, and thus achieving the cultivation of students’ ecological awareness.
It must be pointed out that even though drama and its performing methods appear to be contradictory to all kinds of digital practices in many educational discussions, nowadays, due to the digital transition in educational systems, more and more digital tools and platforms are called to be applied in drama education. A case study in Australian educational contexts as part of a larger digital rolling role drama project called “The Water Reckoning Project” focused on sustainability issues, namely water shortage, and investigated any shifts deriving from the implementation of such a digital rolling role model 
. Students created characters, participated in sustained collaborative role play, and acted as experts and researchers. In this regard, knowledge was co-constructed as students were involved in the drama’s episodes, artefacts, and creative works. Students’ engagement in the drama process was heightened through drama strategies such as the mantle of the expert through improvisations, the teacher in role, devising processes, and collaborating role-based inquiry. The project enabled students to critically and creatively be engaged with significant issues of global sustainability relevance. Findings also reveal the students’ awareness of creating digital content for other students globally, which added value to their drama work.
Also, role playing is referred to as a didactic method to be used in teaching online drama. “Role-play is used here as an improvisational act of representing characters and behaviours of someone or something as an explorative and creative activity in a dramatic context” 
(p. 70). Through role play, students can interpret real-world situations with different perspectives and create a new understanding 
. The abovementioned researcher further explores how drama can play a significant role in science education and transdisciplinary learning related to sustainability issues. However, the paradox is to align drama with science education. Science education has a tradition of focusing on cognitive aspects, whereas drama also includes affective and performative qualities 
In addition, one of the methods applied in online drama education is digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is creating “short stories that allow students and educators to enhance their information-gathering and problem-solving skills and their ability to work on a collaborative team” 
(pp. 427–428). In a case study 
, the authors introduced digital storytelling utilization in preschool education to raise awareness of local cultural heritage and sustainability issues. More specifically, linear digital storytelling in a video format, representing a local cultural myth about watermills, revealed accepted positive attitudes of students and teachers in using digital storytelling as part of the educational process. The application of mobile technology and digital storytelling is considered a powerful and effective educational tool with various benefits for students. They promote the acquisition of new knowledge and could be characterized as drivers for developing cultural literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, and media literacy. Also, they enhance students’ motivation, interest, self-reflection, imagination, and creativity of young children and their engagement in the learning process 
In a theoretical, analytical, conceptual, and typological framework on the use of digital technologies in theatre, managed to determine the essence and peculiarities of the integration of methods of using digital technologies in the modern practice of performing art, as well as investigated the variations of innovations offered in this field. Results demonstrated that using innovative digital technologies, multimedia, robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence and their peculiarities is a novelty in education and has altered how drama is performed. Digital technologies are deemed powerful tools since they harmoniously combine visual and sound effects and graphics to create a unique, complex, and rich production, promoting interactivity and immersion in the educational drama process 
5. Creation of 21st-Century Skills through Digital Drama for Sustainability
Sustainability through the application of drama pedagogies and techniques successfully and directly engages students in comprehending their interrelations with the environment and its global challenges. Thus, in today’s complex world, engaging students and drama educators with deep thought is crucial to develop perceptions and awareness of sustainability in education. Also, digitalization and post-digitalization in the context of aesthetics and cultural education are explored in a research study , which investigated the impact drama may have on participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to sustainable development. Drama allows students to imagine alternative ways to a more optimistic view and adopt more sustainable practices regarding sustainability matters. In this way, many affective and cognitive skills are created and promoted among students. Notably, empathy is promoted through integrating different identities. Also, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as meta-thinking and meta-reflection skills, are stimulated, which are core ingredients of quality education, as a major parameter in sustainable education. The teamwork and sharing nature of drama involves interaction between students since it creates contact, communication and cooperation, negotiation and compromise skills, and participatory decision-making.
In a quantitative survey 
, the researchers searched teachers’ views and attitudes towards drama-based activities when conducting environmental education programs and the expected cognitive, socio-affective, and behavioral benefits for students involved in drama performances. According to the survey’s main findings, teachers’ positive attitudes towards the use of drama activities in environmental education are indicated since when environmental education is based on drama-based activities, it has a significant impact on students. In particular, it increases resourcefulness, creates greater understanding, empathy, and willingness to engage in social actions, and share responsibility, commitment, and sensitivity. Drama education is linked to the cognitive domain of improving the learning potential, promoting positive attitudes towards lifelong learning, collaboration, and responsibility, skills that are interrelated to the sustainable goals of education. These results comply with research in Finland about the promotion of the cognitive and affective domains in drama education 
. The researchers elaborated on the potential of drama as an art-based approach to sustainability, emphasizing climate change from a cognitive and affective point of view. The findings highlighted the significance of drama as a learning experience for students and their emotional engagement. Using drama as a research process provided a deeper comprehension of the challenges of climate change. Drama performance seems to have a positive impact on students’ behaviors and attitudes concerning the increase of social interactions and sustainability competencies, as well as the improvement of fruitful cognitive dialogues, critical thinking, and more importantly, emotional, cultural, and self-awareness of the interconnectedness regarding big sustainable issues.
Also, the affective domain of education is boosted by the use of drama-based activities, which is linked to the interaction developed between peers and between students and drama teachers, the invigoration of collaborative learners’ empathy, and the acceptance of diversity. In the affective domain, promoting emotional intelligence, creating a safe environment for expressing students’ feelings, and eliminating offending behaviors are promoted. These findings are in accordance with Moreno-Fernández’s research 
, in which the researcher investigated teachers’ opinions about motivation and values of applying drama as a didactic resource to favor the treatment of socio-environmental problems. Teachers perceive theatre as a pedagogical approach that ameliorates the dynamization of the classes, imagination, interactions between students, group socialization, teamwork, and most significantly, cultivation of emotional feelings towards tackling serious environmental problems.
UNESCO also describes the learning objectives that are interrelated to the U.N.’s sustainability goals that belong to the development of three main domains: cognitive, socio-emotional, and behavioral. According to the literature, many of these ESD characteristics have also been detected in drama education. To achieve all those salient features mentioned before, a transdisciplinary approach is proposed to achieve better learning outcomes, such as designing collaboration between drama pedagogists and sustainability/science teachers 
Though it may seem to be a paradox to align science education with drama education, using drama pedagogical elements as educational tools in sustainability issues imply a transdisciplinary approach, which is typical enough in science education for socio-scientific matters but still represents the main idea of drama education, this is translated to exploring and experiencing affective dimensions 
and leads to the creation of critical competencies. Based on Zourna and Papavassiliou-Alexiou’s storytelling 
, Ødegaard 
introduces a pedagogical drama framework for sustainability issues. Firstly, she suggests implementing little dramas of individuals to motivate students to explore their values and make their choices. This involves in-depth understanding and empathetic reflections on people’s norms and values in their negotiation of sustainability matters. Understanding the consequences of one’s choices also requires self-awareness and anticipatory competency. Then, middle stories that evolve at interpersonal and sociocultural levels with a focus on explaining power relationships and organizing the society, in which the participants experience, learn, and reflect, individually and as a group, cultivating strategic and problem-solving competencies and anticipatory thinking, since the participants reflect on the societal outcomes of everyday decisions. Finally, she presents big, symbolic stories of sustainability that raise essential questions and shape imagination about what can and cannot be achieved in the world. Participants primarily deeply understand their sustainability values and then extensively collaborate and exchange critical views in making a common play for solving significant sustainable problems.
However, although digital drama performance and the importance of digital technologies in the arts sector and drama education have been investigated in the recent literature, there needs to be more content relating to digital aesthetic identity. This means that there is little specific detail concerning soft “baseline” (transferable), namely working with computers and communicating via emails and the Internet, and “specific” (technical) digital skills, such as competency in the use of specific technologies in the use of technologies in performing art sector 
. For this reason, the latter two researchers proposed a three-layered digital skills framework for drama education, including: (a) specific “technical skills” related to the application of digital technologies, devices, systems, software, and internet media solutions for performance; (b) baseline “transferable” digital skills, referring to collaborative work; and (c) digital aesthetic identity, related to digital construction of self.
It should also be noted that by using environmental and art-based pedagogies, students are connected with the local environment and start to build their sustainability consciousness and deep knowledge about it. Davis 
, engaged children in a primary school setting in learning about their local environment to reinforce their cognitive and affective responses and learning. She designed an art-based project, named “Tree Mappa”. The project concentrated on celebrating significant local trees, which could be significant because of their endemic nature and their historical and cultural role in an ecosystem.
But the participation of students in drama performances for the treatment of socio-environmental problems is sometimes constrained due to potential difficulties, especially in primary education. Moreno-Fernández 
, presents as challenges the time available, finding adapted works for a primary school related to socio-environmental contents, the reluctance of some pupils to participate due to shyness or embarrassment, the large number of students in the classrooms, and the lack of adapted works to address specific socio-environmental problems especially at primary school level. Similarly, Özgen and Erbay 
mention the difficulties experienced by drama leaders arising from educational institutions, parents, and children, respectively, as issues concerning the lack of sufficient knowledge, education, and experience in drama. Finally, drama educators have to face and solve problems arising from technology or internet infrastructure and they have to deal with difficulties concerning how to make games or physical activities suitable for digital platforms 
Several digital technologies can be used in performing drama performances in educational contexts. Video- and audio-recording equipment are introduced to capture performances and rehearsals for later review and analysis, virtual and augmented reality to create immersive experiences for students to explore different theatrical environments and scenarios 
, and online collaboration tools to enable students to work in groups remotely and collaborate on scripts, rehearsals, and performances. Additionally, technological systems such as digital sound and lighting systems are used to enhance the audio and visual aspects of theatrical performances. Digital projection and visual effects are applied to create stunning visual effects and projections that can help bring performances to life. Social media platforms are used to promote performances and connect with school audiences. Digital theatre and experiential actions, as well as the use of digital tools and instruments, for example, Google Docs, collaboratively written scenarios based on specific themes, such as sustainable development, climate change, poverty reduction, sustainable consumption, and many others, and then directing and performing scenes could empower students to work collaboratively and interact each other, and as a result discover new knowledge. There seems to be a positive effect in the learning outcomes and by engaging students in the learning process in drama performance they become protagonists of the learning experience by collaborating with their peers 
and improving their social skills 
. In this way, they are involved in a diversity of activities, such as script writing, scenery making, directing, and acting, and thus reflect critically about the major environmental problems of our world, trying to propose feasible solutions and practicing higher level thinking skills.
Also, digital scriptwriting and editing software are incorporated to create, edit, and share scripts with other students and teachers. Using digital drama-based activities in education can have a significant impact on increasing sustainability competencies and have a multitude of potential effects. First of all, digital educational drama can increase awareness among students about the importance of environmental sustainability practices and the impact of human activities on the environment, help them realize the effects of their actions on the environment, and motivate them to positive changes. Students are educated about the consequences of unsustainable practices and are encouraged to take action to protect the environment. Thus, students can actively participate in creating and sharing messages about environmental sustainability. They can work collaboratively and communicate effectively with classmates while promoting their sense of responsibility towards the environment. Also, they can develop helpful social and communication skills and teamwork among learners, such as active listening and clear expression of ideas that are essential for dealing with sustainability issues. Digital drama techniques can make learning more engaging and interactive, leading to better information retention and greater interest in sustainability issues. Through applying digital drama-based activities, students are provided with an interactive and immersive learning experience that assists them to stay stimulated and focused on sustainability topics, which can lead to better learning outcomes.
Additionally, through the use of digital media and technological tools that offer interaction, communication, interactivity, interconnection, and collaboration experiences in alignment with the experiential nature of theatrical actions or events, students are invited to collaboratively write theatrical scenarios or scripts, act out roles, think critically, etc., about solving sustainability issues not only within the real-time education in the classroom but also online by creating online learning communities. Taking into consideration that globalization and digital transformation is a reality nowadays and several virtual communities have arisen in the educational environments, drama teachers and students could implement new digital tools to create drama content, exhibit, and distribute it if their intention is to remain functional and follow the imperatives of modern society 
Also, digital drama-based activities can be personalized and customized to meet learners’ individual needs and interests, making the learning experience more relevant and meaningful. They can also provide students with opportunities to be involved in creative real-world problem solving and improvisation concerning sustainability challenges, such as climate change, resource depletion, etc. In this way, students can think critically about all these issues, develop their analytical skills and understand the complexity of environmental problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to address them and explore new perspectives and ideas related to future welfare. As a result, they lead to developing decision-making skills as they analyze these significant matters and consider potential solutions. Creativity and innovation are increasingly promoted among students, encouraging them to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Digital drama enhances cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and imagination, independent thinking and decision making, awareness and clear expression of emotions, and merely social skills, such as communication, cooperation, and group work, as highlighted in recent studies 
More importantly, digital drama activities enable students to develop empathy and be emotionally engaged toward the environment and other living beings. Thus, they are encouraged and motivated to become more sentimental and be involved in voluntary environmental actions. By exploring different perspectives and experiences, learners can develop a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainability and its impact on people and the whole planet. All these are supposed to lead to students’ changed attitudes and behaviors, leading to more sustainability-friendly citizens. The complex nature of contemporary environmental issues can be a motivator for students to adopt environmentally friendly attitudes and practices in their everyday lives through acting in a collaborative and sustainable way. Engagement with ESD would be a result of developing a positive attitude towards sustainability through the education of future teachers as well 
Overall, the drama educational performance with the application of digital technologies is the pathway to foster students’ awareness and deep understanding of sustainability matters while also developing the skills and competencies needed to address these issues for a prosperous future environmental citizenship. In order to be harmonized with the technology boom and the pedagogical shift to a more student centered and engaged pedagogical scheme, there is an urgency for drama educators to adopt interdisciplinary collaboration with other disciplines, such as games, virtual/mixed reality, and artificial intelligence aiming to provide immersive opportunities and prepare students and drama teachers for similar future crisis or disruptions of the learning process. Among the most critical skills gained in drama performance is the establishing empathy for others’ feelings, ideas, and behaviors while recognizing both themselves and other group members