5 Tips to Move Students from ‘Googling’ to ‘Thinking’ in the Age of Distance Learning

In the age of distance learning, where information is always a click away, it’s crucial to ensure students are genuinely engaging with material and utilizing critical thinking skills. The ease of finding answers online can sometimes hinder the learning process as students may choose to ‘Google’ instead of actively pondering questions and issues. So, how can we move students from ‘Googling’ to ‘Thinking’? Here are five tips that can help.

1. Encourage Open-Ended Questions

To foster genuine critical thinking skills, educators should focus on developing open-ended questions that require more discussion and exploration than just providing a single ‘correct’ answer. This will push students to engage with different perspectives, evaluate potential solutions, and actively learn while understanding real-world challenges.

2. Provide Contextual Material

By offering students contextual resources such as relevant articles, videos, podcasts, or other supplementary materials, educators can make it more difficult for them to get quick answers from search engines. Contextual material encourages learners to think critically and evaluate the sources for accuracy and relevance while formulating an informed understanding.

3. Implement Collaborative Projects

Collaborative projects promote teamwork and active learning by requiring students to work together on solving problems. Group work tasks that demand thorough thought processes can help push them towards critical thinking instead of solely relying on search engines for answers. Collaboration helps the exchange of ideas and perspectives between students and fosters a deeper understanding of subjects.

4. Foster an Environment Focused on Learning instead of Memorization

Promote a learning approach based on understanding rather than memorizing facts and figures by implementing assessments that test students’ analytical skills rather than their ability simply to recall specific information. This will encourage them to genuinely understand the subject matter rather than just memorizing data or finding answers online.

5. Use Technology in the Right Direction

While there’s a risk of students finding answers by simply ‘Googling,’ educators can harness technology for good. Interactive and gamified learning platforms, virtual simulations, webinars, and discussion boards can engage students with course content and encourage them to think critically and apply concepts to real-life situations.

In conclusion, by creating an engaging learning environment focused on understanding, collaboration, and critical thinking rather than just memorizing answers, educators can effectively move students from merely ‘Googling’ to genuinely ‘Thinking.’ Embracing these five tips will help educators achieve enriching educational experiences for their students during distance learning.