Encouraging critical thinking with the help of technology
Critical thinking skills are an essential tool that students require for the rest of their lives and future careers. Children possess a natural curiosity from a young age. This helps us, as teachers, to begin developing their critical thinking skills. When students think in a critical manner they engage in communication, analysis, synthesis, problem-solving, evaluation and reflection. To help students engage in such learning it’s important that teachers ask questions, embrace diverse opinions and present them with hands on learning activities that encourage them to be hands on and involved in their learning.
Technology can play an important role in helping our students to think critically. It helps us to keep our students engaged in the learning as we can cater to their individual needs. It also gives us the opportunity to provide a more personalized learning experience by offering videos and graphics for our visual learners and hands on tasks for those who think by doing. Other resources such as VR offer a range of immersive experiences to our students presenting them with problems which they have to solve in a critical manner. VR is a great way to work on individual students skills, as they are working in an immersive world independently it drives students to solve problems on their own. VR can also be used in a cooperative manner, with students in groups working towards the same goal it encourages them to communicate in an effective way to reach their goal.
Collaboration is an important aspect of critical thinking as it allows students to learn from one and other. It shows our students that there are multiple solutions to problems, when they work together they get to experience alternative works and approaches to problems which in turn shows them that challenges can be approached from a number of different viewpoints. Message boards are also a great way to help students to display and view each other’s work. This will also help to spark discussion and debate.
Feedback during the learning process helps our students to improve their learning outcomes. In an ideal world this would always be immediate, with the help of google forms this is now more realistic. Provide up to date feedback using this for projects/assignments/quizzes etc. to help students stay on task and direct their learning.
We are lucky to live in a time where we can avail of all these wonderful resources to further benefit our student’s education. We would love to hear about how you use technology in your classroom, not just for the promotion of critical thinking. The more we share the more we can all learn.
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