Is Technology Killing Thinking Skills

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<ul><li><p>7/31/2019 Is Technology Killing Thinking Skills</p><p> 1/2</p><p>6 Lag &amp; Ladg wth Thlgy | Agst 2010</p><p>Yes</p><p>echnology is one o the most pow-erul tools in our schools today or developingcritical-thinking skills.</p><p>Stop to think or a minute what critical thinkingactually reers to. Critical thinking is the ability tocareully evaluate and think about the inormationpresented to us. echnologyspecically the Inter-netallows students to look beyond the our wallso the classroom. Tis means that they no longersee the teacher as the sole source o inormation.Students are learning to be highly critical o theinormation they consume, and they even analyze,act-check, and challenge the inormation the class-room teacher provides, which is a signicant shi</p><p>toward critical thinking.In addition to becoming</p><p>better consumers o inorma-tion, students are now ableto use new technologies tobecome the producers andeditors o inormation aswell. Just letting them knowthat their work will be postedon the Internet can producesignicantly dierent results</p><p>No</p><p>echnology has tremendous poten-tial to make students smarter, but in most schoolswe are crippling the technology in ways that holdstudents back. Is moving rom blackboard towhiteboard to interactive whiteboard really prog-</p><p>ress i nothing changes but the writing surace?Probably not. Is a word processor dierent romwriting by hand, or just easier? echnology is atool, not a solution.</p><p>In many schools, we avoid the teachable mo-ment in technology. We institute lters and walledgardens around the Internet and pretend to keepstudents sae, although all we are protecting them</p><p>rom is thinking and learninghow to evaluate sources. Welock out Nings, wikis, blogs,and discussion orums, and</p><p>end up preventing studentsrom being presented withnew ideas and taking partin wider discussions in theprocess. And no instant mes-saging or e-mail in schools,because they might get dis-Alred Thompson</p><p>Helen Crompton</p><p>Is TechnologyKilling Critical-Thinking Skills?</p><p>Copyright 2010, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. &amp; Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Intl), iste@iste.org, www.iste.org. All rights reserved.</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 Is Technology Killing Thinking Skills</p><p> 2/2</p><p>Agst 2010 | Lag &amp; Ladg wth Thlgy 7</p><p>evaluate inormation as active con-sumers o knowledge.</p><p>echnology provides the tools andthe power to actively enhance critical-thinking skills. But or this to be e-ective, we educators must not justsit back and expect the technology todo it all or us. We must integrate thetechnologies into the curriculum ap-propriately and teach our students tobe critical thinkers through their use.</p><p>Helen Crompton is pursuing her PhD in educa-</p><p>tion at the University o North Carolina at Cha-</p><p>pel Hill. For 17 years, she has been involved in</p><p>education while working in schools in her home</p><p>country o England and in the United States.</p><p>than i they are just developing thatwork or the teacher. Tey suddenlysee their work as much more impor-</p><p>tant and will analyze it to a ar higherlevel as they prepare or a highly criti-cal global audience. Teir work hasmeaning because they are contribut-ing to the large community o inor-mation on the Web.</p><p>echnology also provides oppor-tunities or students to critique theirown work and that o others usingvarious orms o wikis. Tey can re-fect on their own learning throughblogging and connect globally to gainnew perspectives and learn more thana textbook could ever oer.</p><p>Te problem is that technology isnot always used this way in schools.echnology itsel will not developcritical-thinking skills in our students.Tat is the teachers role, and although21st-century technologies are powerultools, it is the way the teacher choosesto use those technologies that will</p><p>determine whether they help orhinder the development o studentscritical thinking skills. Tereore,teachers must plan well to ensure thatstudents use these tools to their ullpotential.</p><p>eachers who empower studentsto take an active part in a wiki, blog,or other Web 2.0 tools are on theright track, as these toolsencourage24/7 critical thinking. In act, someo these tools demand that level othought, because editing, revising,critiquing, and commenting are anintegral part o their use. As studentsdo not have to wait until they comeback into the classroom to use thesethinking skills, they become ullyimmersed in their learning and even-tually become lielong learners who</p><p>tracted! Never mind the opportunitiesor collaboration that we are quashing.And so we close the doors to discus-sions with each other and beyondthe walls o the school. Better to risk</p><p>inbreeding o thought than to teachstudents how to think or themselves.</p><p>What do we allow them to do withtechnology? We let them cut and pastein new and aster ways. We let themcopy inormation rom sae and ap-proved places on the Internet or cap-tive databases. Tey can type muchlonger papers without having to thinkas much about editing, as the com-puter will catch the spelling and mosto the grammar mistakes or them.</p><p>We could use the built-in review toolsand let them do peer editing, but thatsa lot o work, and its not on the stan-dardized tests anyway.</p><p>We teach them how to use spread-sheets but not how to use them aspowerul evaluative tools. It would</p><p>take a single class to show ourth</p><p>graders how to look at the same datain dierent graph ormats using aspreadsheet, but we dont do it. Wetreat the data in social studies or sci-ence classes as i it had no relevanceto the tools we (sort o) teach themto use in computer class. We teachthem just enough o PowerPoint tocreate exactly the same thing that theyused to create on poster board, butnot how to use it as part o a power-ul centerpiece or discussion or real</p><p>interactivity. At least they can makethings pretty without having artisticability. Its not the same as a criticallythought-out presentation, but it tswith the curriculum.</p><p>We could teach computer science!Tats all about critical thinking. But</p><p>most schools dont teach real com-</p><p>puter science at all, and ewer thanone in eight high schools have an APComputer Science course. O course,its not on the SA, is it?</p><p>For most schools and students,technology has become all aboutmaking work easier and aster, whichincludes avoiding thinking as muchas possible. o realize the potential otechnology in education, we need tomake some systemic changes to howwe teach rather than regard technol-</p><p>ogy as a magic bullet.</p><p>Alred Tompson is the K12 computer</p><p>science academic relations manager or</p><p>Microsof. Prior to joining Microsof, he was</p><p>a K12 computer teacher and a schoolwide</p><p>technology coordinator.</p><p>Students are learning to be highly critical o the inormation they consume,</p><p>and they even analyze, act-check, and challenge the inormation the</p><p>classroom teacher provides, which is a signifcant</p><p>shit toward critical thinking skills.</p><p>We institute flters and walled gardens around the Internet andpretend to</p><p>keep students sae, although all we are protecting them rom is thinking</p><p>and learning how to evaluate sources.</p><p>PoinT/counTerPoinT |</p><p>To contribute to uture discussions, go to</p><p>L&amp;Ls group page on the ISTE Community Ning</p><p>at www.iste-community.org/groups/landl.</p><p>Copyright 2010, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. &amp; Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Intl), iste@iste.org, www.iste.org. All rights reserved.</p></li></ul>

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