Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think"
There are many ways people learn. In his presentation to the Leadership Baltimore County Class of 2017, S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, and his team, discussed the use and prevalence of technology in Baltimore County Public Schools. The use of computers in all grades is widespread and growing in the United States and abroad. According to Education Week, public schools in the United States now provide at least one computer for every five students and spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. For the first time during the 2015-2016 school year, more state standardized tests for elementary and middle school grades were administered via technology than by paper and pencil.
Whether you agree or disagree with the increasing use of technology in our children's school, teachers must continue teaching students to train their minds to think critically, with and without the assistance of computers and other electronic devices. Critical thinking is as easy as one, two, three. Here are three steps to remember when teaching or learning how to think critically:
Analyze: Pay attention to details and ask questions. Identify cause and effect, the sequence of events and/or steps within a process. Assess similarities, differences and/or trends; associations and relationships between things; and examples of what is happening.
Evaluate: Assess evidence for various viewpoints and determine which points you are in agreement with, and which ones you disagree with. Make sure you consider all sides of the argument. Determine connections between various sources and ideas and compare what you’ve found with your initial thinking about the topic. Do you still think the same way or have your views changed?
Synthesize: Putting all the information together, is there more than one response? What works best in this situation? When you reach a logical conclusion be aware of your own biases.