Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

8 Ways To Improve Your Critical Thinking With Technology

8 Ways To Improve Your Critical Thinking With Technology

By Sammy Ekaran, SelfCad

Critical thinking is the capability of one to think rationally and scrutinize facts to form an evidence-based judgment. Critical thinking is necessary for today’s economy. You can gain innumerable benefits from mastering critical thinking skills, such as good control of your own learning as well as develop empathy for others’ perspectives.

There are several ways of using technology to inspire critical thinking in the day to day life. Below are some cutting edge technologies to help develop critical thinking in yourself and for your students.

#1: Classroom Response Systems

You can use various tools to poll students and get their immediate responses. This technology provides instructors with the chance to determine their students’ understanding of the material that has been presented by polling them. It is believed that polling tools help students develop self-awareness of their learning, which is critical for developing critical thinking.

#2: Online Discussion Forums

Online discussion forums promote instructor and student interaction. Online discussion forums compel students to evaluate evidence and make strong arguments. More importantly, they push students to try to understand their classmates’ perspectives and evaluate points of view different than their own. This inspires critical thinking in students.

#3: 3D Designing 

3D printing is used in several schools to make learning pleasurable and help students think creatively. By using 3-Dimensional visuals, instructors are capable of creating visual learning aids that assist in describing hard concepts which are not easily understood only theoretically. 3D printing allows the teachers to bring any subject matter to life.

3D modeling software like SelfCad can make 3D designing and printing easy and fun for everyone.

Some subjects in school like history are believed to be not as interesting because it only relies on past events through texts and images.  But 3D printing can make these texts and images seem more realistic. Science and mathematics concepts can also become more simplified when 3D printing is introduced. 3D Printing has a great impact on critical thinking in students.

#4: MindMeister

MindMeister is a mind mapping application done online that permits its users to conceptualize, share and submit their thoughts through the cloud. It really helps with brainstorming. It gives you the authority to arrange visually and re-organize your ideas and mind visually. The MindMeister program encourages students to think about a certain topic, lesson, problem, or even a topic from every angle. This exercise helps students zoom out and see the whole picture with a critical lens.

#5: Whooo’s Reading

Whooo’s Reading helps students develop critical thinking skills by asking them open-ended questions about any text they choose to read. Whooo’s Reading questions are aligned with various critical thinking skills, such as inferencing, summarizing, comparing, etc. Since the questions are not multiple choice based, students need to think for themselves and they get to hone their communication skills.

Whooo’s Reading’s research-backed algorithm analyzes everything students write and gives them immediate feedback, which provides them with an opportunity to further refine their critical thinking skills. The algorithm also measures each students’ greatest critical thinking related strengths and weaknesses. For example, it might find that Joey is struggling the most with making inferences and it shares this data with Joey and his teacher, and then provides him with exercises to turn his learning gap into a strength.

#6: Flow Chart Games

You can use Flow chart games to inspire critical thinking. They can be used in a variety of subjects. For example, students can use a flow charts game to examine photosynthesis. They can do this by dragging and dropping stages in the suitable cycles and giving the description for the appropriate stage.

#7: ProcessOn Tool

ProcessOn tool can be used to inspire critical thinking. Students can use it to map out the visual depiction of a process. They can add notes and adjust different colors to show their comprehension of a topic. Students can easily access the diagram since all are saved to the online diagram library. This new technology is very effective at engaging students.

#8: Socrative App

Socrative is an interactive app that you can use to poll students and to create questions on the fly. Teachers add questions and then assign them to students. Then the teachers use those answers to engage the students in a discussion concerning what they have learned. This Socrative app since it is free to use.

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