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Let’s Get Critical

by Ian Jamison

eSchool News

Article excerpt

How to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills online

In an age when students get the majority of their information from the internet, how can we make sure they know that not everything they find online is reputable? How can we help students become critical thinkers and smart consumers of information who also have empathy for others?

Our take

Helping Students Become Critical Consumers of Digital Information

More access to information means both more access to great information and more access to questionable information. But today’s young learners don’t necessarily know that intuitively—they need to be taught how to discern what’s credible and what’s not. What role should teachers play in helping students be critical consumers of information?

Today’s students, particularly in the K-12 realm, have always lived in a world where information was available, at their fingertips, in online form. They’re less familiar—and more prone to risks related to—plagiarism, spreading false information, being led astray by non-credible sources, or entering relationships with online predators. From an early age students should begin receiving instruction about both the potential and perils of online information, from both an information seeking and sharing, and security/safety standpoint. Teachers can benefit from these same lessons when, for instance, they are weighing the relevancy of an increasing array of open educational resources (OER).