Critical thinking with web 2.0 tools

There are numerous definitions of critical thinking.  The one that I have chosen appeared to be the optimum statement in terms of being thorough but concise.

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze facts, generate and organize ideas, defend opinions, make comparisons, draw inferences, evaluate arguments and solve problems (Chance,1986, p. 6)

I made this mind map with webspiration to show the link between these attributes and the web 2.0 tools that foster them.  Along the top are the attributes and below are examples of the tools that can be used.  The list of tools is by no means exhaustive, but they are tools that came to mind or were given on recent readings.

An article by Pam Berger in the School Library Monthly talked a great deal about the interactivity of these resources, the opportunities for collaboration, dialogue and giving feedback, and the great opportunity for harnessing collective intelligence.  Wikis, blogs, social networks, social bookmarking and others all can be used in this way.

The key is to use these tools to best foster the critical thinking attributes in our students.

Bibliography

Berger, Pam. “Student Inquiry and Web 2.0.” School Library Monthly. Libraries Unlimited, Jan. 2010. Web. 14 May 2011. <http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com/articles/Berger2010-v26n5p14.html&gt;.

Huitt, William G. “Critical Thinking.” Educational Psychology Interactive. 1998. Web. 14 May 2011. <http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/critthnk.html&gt;.

Chance, P. (1986). Thinking in the classroom: A survey of programs. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.

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About eadurkin

Originally a HS Mathematics teacher from New Zealand, currently working as Associate Principal in the Secondary School at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe, Japan. Married with two children.
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3 Responses to Critical thinking with web 2.0 tools

  1. jason finley says:

    “The key is to use these tools to best foster the critical thinking attributes in our students.”
    “… interactivity…opportunities for collaboration, dialogue and giving feedback, and the great opportunity for harnessing collective intelligence.”

    Liz,

    I think that you have hit the nail on the head here. Critical thinking does not happen in isolation. Critical thinking is our internal response to the need to formulate ideas which can withstand the critical thinking of others.

    An idea that is not tested is inherently weak. But, when we formulate an idea that can be challenged by external stimuli it forces us to consider the implications of that idea on the world…and the world on that idea.

    This can only happen when we collaborate, have dialog, give feedback, and harness that “collective intelligence.”

    Nice read to start my Sunday morning…sipping a cup of my favorite tulsi tea and thinking about thinking.

    Jason

  2. Hi Liz,
    I agree that critical thinking like other skills can be taught and learnt. Thinking is just the routine flow or interaction of ideas, whereas critical thinking is like holding the idea, opening it and examining it closely from all angles and deciding on whether it is worth further consideration before one can adopt it.
    Another phrase that has caught my attention while reading several articles is “collective intelligence”. For me, it is just so powerful a concept, which it can not be built without developing these valuable critical thinking skills in our students. As you have very elaborately illustrated in the concept diagram, web 2.0 tools offer students opportunities to develop these skills for collaboration, creativity, connection and enterprise.

  3. Amy Sunke says:

    I agree with you that choosing the right tool is the challenge. There are so many resources available but selecting the one that is going to foster inquiry and the scientific method is my focus. I am really enjoying learning so many new tools for my tool box next school year!
    Amy

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