Re-Imagining Critical Thinking in the Digital Age

Re-Imagining Critical
Thinking in the Digital
Narrowing the Gulf Conference
March 30, 2012
Presenters: Matthew Bodie, M.A.
Cher N. Gauweiler, Ph.D.
The Bottom Line…
• We live in an ecosystem of
interruption technologies (Carr,
The Shallows
Defining our terms
•What is text?
•What is media?
•What is message?
Analyze this!
What is the message?
Who is the messenger?
An Experiment
Points to Ponder #1
• How can someone critically think quickly?
• Has skimming become our dominant form of reading?
The Same? Or Different?
(Best, 2004)
Strategies to try…
• Give a purpose for reading.
• Slow down when reading.
• Teach students how to
determine importance.
• Other ideas?
Points to Ponder #2
• What has happened to the role of author
and reader?
• Are we “all authors”?
• Question
It is time to elect the world leader, and yours is the deciding
vote. Here are the facts about the three leading candidates:
• Candidate A: He associates with crooked politicians, and
consults with astrologers. He's had two mistresses. He also
chain smokes and drinks up to ten Martinis a day.
• Candidate B: He was ejected from office twice, sleeps until
noon, used opium in college and drinks a large amounts of
whisky every evening.
• Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian,
doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had
any extra-marital affairs.
Strategies to try…
• Question authority!
• Cross-check references
Point to Ponder #3
•What is relevance?
Strategy #3
• Ask questions, such as:
• Which stories are trending?
• Which point of view is being privileged?
• Which points of view are being emphasized?
• Learn how redefine issues.
• Access alternative sources.
• Put events in historical perspectives.
• Best, J. (2004). Confusing numbers. In More damned lies and
statistics: How numbers confuse public issues (pp. 44-46).
Berkeley, CA: Berkeley University of California
• Carr, N. (2011). What the Internet is doing to our brains: The
shallows. W. W. Norton and Company: New York.
• Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2006). How to detect media bias &
propaganda in national and world news, 3rd ed. Foundation
for Critical Thinking.

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