Time to think

18 Apr

Do you think instant retrieval of information has impacted students’ willingness to take time to think?

Kids are naturally impatient. That’s fine. Patience is learned and many adults don’t have it. But I wonder if students expect themselves to retrieve and process information as quickly as a computer does. In my math class students are often impatient with other when time is required to process a problem. Sometimes the student doing the thinking is pretty quick to say s/he does not know. I don’t think this is a new problem but maybe it’s being compounded.

We should remind our students that taking time to think is actually preferred to being reactive and providing instant answers.


Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Insights


2 responses to “Time to think

  1. Stephen Davis

    April 18, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Time to think is crucial in the classroom. Though very difficult, I try my hardest at the beginning of the year to allow for those uncomfortable silences, both with students and myself.

    I think it is vital for students to feel comfortable in the silence of thinking, and noise of thinking.

  2. Brad Ovenell-Carter

    August 2, 2011 at 7:47 am

    In pointing a finger at Google etc., or even the students we’re misplacing accountability. I think we need to ask. “Think about what?” If we are asking students to think about answers they can look up quickly online, then we’re not asking them to think about much. It’s frustrating and counter-productive to be asked to think about trivial knowledge–it’s not usually something that can be thought about.

    If Education 1.0 was a problem-solving (information retrieval) model, and Education 2.0 is a problem-based learning model, then I call Education 3.0 problem-finding. In that model I want my kids to quickly look up the trivial knowledge (using something like Wolfram Alpha,a computation engine that gets rid of the drudgery of trivial calculating) in order to find knew knowledge. See Splendor as a good example of mashing up two trivial data sets to create knew knowledge. It’s this sort of thing I think we should be moving our students towards.


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