The More Google Knows the Less I Have to Remember

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Researchers at The Cambridge International Examinations surveyed more than 1,000 teachers from across the globe. The teachers were asked to rank the skills needed for success in higher education. 92% said that critical thinking is one of the most important. 85% said their students had not learned to think critically during their school years. 56% said that students entering university are lacking the ability to think critically. (read more)

Back in the day, my teachers told us to use the dictionary and encyclopedia to look up words and ideas we didn’t understand. They encouraged us to find out what others had to say on a subject. This habit promotes critical thinking. Did I follow their advice? No. I was lazy. Sad, but true.

I’m different now. I don’t think it’s because I’ve grown more mature in my old age. I follow my teacher’s advice now because it’s convenient. Anything I want or need to know is virtually at my fingertips. I love Google. Maybe that means I’m still lazy. If so, I’m a smarter lazy person. {{LOL}}

Why are our critical thinking skills dropping? Could it be that too much reliance upon technology causes our brains to dry up? I remember a Star Trek episode where the more advanced the society became the happier they were on the outside. However, they were like infants intellectually. It is true that technology can distract us so totally that we develop Jell-o brains, but doesn’t have to be that way.

Technology is either a tool under my control or it rules me. I have a choice in the matter. I don’t want to give up Google, nor do I think I have to in order to grow my critical thinking skills.

There are at least 6 ways to improve critical thinking and still enjoy technology

1. Go to Google to learn the meaning of words; for synonyms and antonyms.
2. Assimilate current knowledge with new facts.
3. Form an opinion.
4. Search out the meaning of new ideas. Take that a step further and ask youself:
* Do I agree? How? Why? * Do I disagree? Why?
* How does this idea affect my world?
* What evidence do I already know about this fact? * What do others have to say on this topic? On what points do I agree with them? DIsagree with them?
5. Share your opinion. Formulate 3-5 sentences to explain the idea without degrading it. Then add your opinion.
6. Be open-minded. Instead of immediately arguing for your opinion, listen to opposing ideas. Maybe there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

The ability to think critically may be on the decline. However, we don’t have to go down without a fight. Technology is awesome! Use it to your advantage. I was a lazy thinker in high school. Thanks to Google and other technological tools I am different now.

What do you do to improve your critical thinking? Your children’s critical thinking?

 

Literature Club is an amazing tool for building strong thinkers and the kids don’t even know that’s what you’re up to. Give it a try.

If you liked this post you can sign up to receive future posts in your email. You’ll also receive a free eBook, The LITClub, Transforming The Hunger Games into an Experience, a quick start guide to forming your own literature club where your kids will build critical thinking skills in a fun and interactive way.

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

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