Unit 3: Fostering critical thinking in digital environments

As the PLACEDU project’s initial research has shown, in order to address distance learning challenges, such fields as competence development and digital environments have to be taken into account and addressed with adequate solutions that could help narrow down the digital divide, strengthen teachers and students’ digital skills, as well as contribute to their overall physical and mental well-being.

Critical thinking (CT) is one of important competencies, which could be fostered through two main approaches: the general skills approach, in which educators design special courses for instructing critical thinking skills, and the infusion approach (Swartz, 1987), in which educators develop these skills by embedding them in the teaching of the set learning material (Aizikovitsh-Udi & Amit, 2011). As the Internet occupies a vital role in everyday life of recent years, it is important to encourage educators to use the advantages of online learning to develop not only their own skills, but also their students’ critical thinking.