Savvy Web 2.0 Teens Forge Critical Thinking Skills

By Lauren Barack Jun 15, 2010 06:36AM on SLJ online

Teens are crafting new ways to connect online, says a Toronto, Canada-based researcher, who's studying how students use Web 2.0 social media tools to make friends-and are inadvertently transferring these skills to the classroom. Natalia Sinitskaya Ronda, a PhD candidate with Toronto-based York University, discovered that a handful of 14-year-old girls in a pilot study used critical thinking skills independently online.

"How teenagers use Web 2.0 tools has huge implications for teaching critical thinking skills," says Ronda, citing Wikipedia as one example. "While adolescents are using tools like Wikipedia in their social lives (one of my participants actually admitted she read Wikipedia for fun), they are frequently discouraged from using Wikipedia in the school.

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