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Gone are the days when people had to wait for newspapers or news bulletins to access information. In today’s digital era, anybody with an internet connection can do it and that too without much hassle. However, the real challenge is to demarcate authentic ones from fake, especially when there is surplus data for everything.
In order to better understand the context of this article, let’s nosedive into its nitty-gritty. For instance, if someone wants information pertaining to a particular technology and stumbles upon articles or videos that do not provide him/her the necessary information or worse feds him/her with false ones, his/her opinions are definitely going to be falsified.
To elucidate further, allow me to share a personal anecdote. My neighbor’s eight-year-old son is a charming and bright kid with a zest for knowledge. One day while I was speaking to him he told me that the earth is flat and that all the claims made by NASA and other organizations are fake. Believe me, I was shocked and upon further interrogation, I found that he accessed this information while researching about the earth on Google for his school project and came across articles about the earth being flat.
This is where critical thinking can come in handy and assist us in isolating authentic information from the deluge prevalent on the internet. But the real question is how can we develop critical thinking. Well, our education system should have imbibed this in us, however, it is pretty clear, it has failed to do so.
Nevertheless, since technology is driving every human endeavor in today’s time, it is imperative to utilize technology for developing the critical thinking faculty. And it must be done at a granular level, implying that school kids must be wired with such technological framework that enhances critical thinking abilities.
Through this article, we are going to figure out how technology and critical thinking can be weaved. So, let’s venture.
What is Critical Thinking?
In recent times, especially with the political upheavals, critical thinking has entered everyone’s lingo. However, very few have a basic understanding of this very simple yet complicated terminology. Essentially, critical thinking is an amalgamation of six cognitive skills namely interpretation, analysis, evaluation, explanation, inference, and self-regulation.
Interpretation is described as a skill that enables an individual to understand and express the meaning of different knowledge; including the sub-skills of categorization, decoding significance, and clarifying meaning.
Analysis refers to identifying the intended meaning of any form of communication and is an important skill for understanding indirect statements.
Evaluation is similar to analysis and is an important parameter of comprehension.
Explanation implies a comprehensive representation or interpretation of the knowledge that is acquired. This is required to know if knowledge was properly understood as intended.
Inference means aggregating all the information to form a conclusion. It is necessary to form an accurate explanation.
Self-regulation is consciously being aware of what one is doing during the entire process.
Moreover, critical thinking is also defined as an art of dissecting evidence via observation, using context skills demarcate issues from a presented context and add theoretical and logical arguments to conclusively reach a judgment.
Now that we have an overview of what critical thinking essentially refers to, we can delve further to understand how technology can be used to enhance critical thinking.
Technology as an Enabler of Critical Thinking
New researches have shown that critical thinking can be developed in a technology-rich environment, especially to improve motivation, guidance, scaffolding, and feedback. If technology-based learning is employed at a school level, it can enable students to develop arguments supported by evidence, explain opinions by making thinking processes ‘visible’, and eventually foster enhanced critical thinking skills.
Blended learning, which is a unique mix of face-to-face and online learning, is also a useful tool in developing critical thinking faculty in kids.
Furthermore, an inquiry-driven educational framework, backed by turnkey technologies, that encourages students to engage at a granular level through series of gamified learning solutions, videos, and others can help them gain a better perspective, thereby improving critical thinking.
The role of technology in building a logically sound army that can think critically is immense. By leveraging technology in education, we can motivate students to learn instead of memorizing. This will not only add value to the human race, overall, but will create a pool of talent that is at its peak of innovation.