We use critical thinking skills every day of our lives. At the most basic level, critical thinking is “thinking on purpose”. It is the skill of looking carefully at information and considering whether it is valid or not.
When critical thinking takes place, the individual actively engages in the following processes: communication, analysis, synthesis, problem-solving, evaluation and reflection. The cognitive skills at the heart of critical thinking can therefore be summarized as analysis, interpretation, evaluation, explanation, inference and self-regulation.
Develop Critical Thinking Skills through Video Creation
Creating explainer videos is a great way to develop critical thinking skills. For example, students may be put in groups and given the task of creating a video on a specific topic that summarizes an article that they have read and raises questions about the article. Small group activities like this allow students to communicate, hear different perspectives, and engage in problem solving. Apart from getting students to collaborate, the task also requires students to analyze and synthesize information as they create a script for the video.
Another way to develop critical thinking may be to ask students to tell a story using mysimpleshow (myss). It may be a personal narrative, a story that documents events or a story that informs and instructs. By creating a story the student evaluates, reflects on, and analyzes information.
How to Develop Core Critical Thinking Skills using mysimpleshow
Think of 7 emotions and write a short story script to portray each emotion. Then use the script to make a short myss video that shows each of the 7 emotions.
Take a proverb or motivational saying and identify the intended meaning behind the statement. Then create a short myss video on the proverb / saying.
Read a crime story (real life or fictional) and gather clues as to who was responsible for the crime. Reveal your findings in the form of a myss video.
Create a factual video on a specific topic. In order to write the script, do online research. You need to identify whether the information you find is reliable and valid. Consider what additional information may be needed to complete the task.
Decide on a process or a function to explain by means of video. Then create two different videos, explaining the same process to two different age groups. Thus, the explanation will be different for different target groups. mysimpleshow is the perfect tool to develop this skill! After all, the tool was designed to create explainer videos 😉
Make a myss video in which you promote yourself as a potential candidate for a prestigious position in a company. Then watch the video and try to identify potential biases. Afterward, edit the video, with special attention to fixing biased opinions.
Interacting with Videos in the Classroom
Also consider these options to help students develop critical thinking skills:
1) Show the students a short video. Then initiate a discussion by merely posing questions like “Why was the video made?” and “How does the video make you feel?”
2) Show a video, then have a debate about it by providing students with a motion and instruct some to be against and others for the motion.
Critical thinking skills can effectively be developed using video to engage in activities that indirectly require critical thinking skills. Good critical thinking skills make individuals better problem solvers and also more articulate, but it goes beyond the academics. Critical thinking skills are invaluable in peoples’ personal and professional lives!