Critical Thinking, Education and Kit

With the growing fixation on technology and measurement in the classroom, it's important to remember how these new tools fit with those at the centre of teaching and learning: people

It isn't that technology and measurement are unnecessary. Using smartphones as tools in the class, or LMSs to deliver blended learning, can be powerful ways to engage students when done properly. Measuring results in some form (though perhaps not via standardized test scores) can also shed light on what's working and what's not inside the classroom. In many ways those who reject the role of technology and measurement are just as big a problem as those who think it is the solution to everything. Indeed, the Ontario Elementary Teachers' Federation's recent decision to advocate for a ban on cell phones in the classroom is ill-conceived and reactionary nonsense. It avoids the tougher question of how to effectively integrate technology into your lesson when many students now have a mini-computer in their pocket.

Critical thinking isn't dependent on technology. It's taught and developed by professional educators - by people. It's a skill that can be tought just as easily with a pen and paper as with a computer. However, kids and adults today still need to learn how to think critically about and with technology. This means they need to be familiar with it, engage with it and even use it to produce products like websites, blogs and other materials.

If you are looking for a more thoughtful take on what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to critical thinking, people and technology in education, have a look at this short video interview with the Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World.

Check out the Interview Here: http://econ.st/12mXypu

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© Braden Hutchinson 2014