February 8 2013

Web2.0 Tools support Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Mind MapBP – Web2.0 Collaborative instruction. Week 3 – Critical Thinking & Mind42

This week’s task: “ illustrate your understanding of how Web 2.0 tools can support critical thinking, systems thinking and problem solving skills.“  My thoughts were inspired by Pam Berger‘s article Student Inquiry And Web 2.0”, where the author identifies the many advantages in utilizing various Web2.0 tools to actively engage learners. According to Pam Berger and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) it is commonly believed that “Inquiry provides a framework for learning”.  To effectively support this framework “educators should develop interactive, inquiry-based, technology-rich curriculum.” And so my mind map began with the relationship of inquiry based leaning to the fundamental development of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving.  These correlations were further supported by the Maine Learning Technology Initiative in the article “Making meaning-Critiquing reality using web2.0 to Foster Critical Thinking”.  This author identifies a lack of “Higher reasoning skills” and suggests “Socratic questioning is a way of helping students face the issue of critical thinking.”

In addition illustrating  the direct correlation of technology-rich  inquiry  to the many Web2.0 tools available, I also mapped out a project currently taught in my Computer Literacy class.  In this thread,  I identified how the various elements can be modified using Web2.0 tools. Again, I included links to pertinent sources of  information and notes to explain and define the bullet.


Mrs C.

February 8 2013

Are you up for the challenge?

What does it mean to be literate in the 21st century?  A nicely presented video from a teacher’s perspective, identifying the various multidimensional interpretations of literacy for the 21st century learner.  Literacy today encompasses so much more than the simple reading, writing and arithmetic of the previous era.  Literacy in the 21st century involves being well versed in many areas in addition to the basics. These areas include, at a bare minimum, computer literacy &/ or technology literacy, information literacy and media literacy.   As one gentleman in the video, so eloquently put it; “Literacy means, to me, being able to understand and read the world”.  There is no doubt that today’s world is online and the classroom needs be connected.

With this new definition of literacy comes a new role for our educators. As the video states, technology is now a part of our everyday lifestyle and this element needs to be incorporated into our schools. Students are often overwhelmed with the volumes of information available. They need time and guidance to identify and absorb what’s vital and toss away the unnecessary. Teachers are embracing a mentorship role and are often part of an active “partnership in learning”.  This new methodology is the key element needed to enable our 21st century leaner to reach the critical thinking stage of their education.

The challenge of the 21st century educator is to provide today’s young people with the knowledge necessary to be a skilled, responsible digital citizen and lifelong learner. Are you up for the challenge?