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Randolph Bautista
Professor Ogbara
English 101
16 September 2015
Technology vs. Critical Thinking
Bell Hooks once wrote, The heartbeat of critical thinking is the longing
to know to understand how life works. Critical thinking is when a person
uses his or her own knowledge and experience to solve a problem. Before
this generation, if a person comes across a problem like not knowing where
his or her destination is, then he or she would most likely use a map. The
person will, then, memorize the directions or he or she will get lost. Today,
people are using technology to solve problems for them. If a person from the
latest generation were to get lost, then he or she would use a global
positioning system, or GPS, to track and route their destination. The growth
of technology has evidently been exponential in the past few generations,
and the smart phones, the tablets, and the wireless Internet are opening
doors to a different kind of thinking. Todays technology brings up different
problems from past generations, opens more opportunities for newer
generations, and breeds a different, maybe even better, mind for critical
thinking.
Most answers to problems come from the understanding the
information. By understanding, a person knows why it is, or how it is. Past
generations had problems that would stress a persons mind because they

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had to mentally look for information. If the person did not know how to solve
it, then the problem would be unsolved. The brain may be known to consist
of endless storage, but the act of retrieving those memories does have a
limit. Carl Sagan wrote about the balance between skepticism and openmindedness. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to
you. From personal experience, the older generation is skeptic to his or her
own information. The older generation did not have the social connection
that is a part of everyday lives today. This led to the mentality of believing
in, only, personal experience. The newer generation has access to a vast
amount of information. With answers in the palm of their hands, people are
allowed to store data into their minds that mostly affect their own lives. The
social connection, also, shares other peoples experiences, allowing a person
to learn from their success or mistakes. However, this can lead to openmindedness, in which Sagan states, On the other hand, if you are open to
the point of gullibility and have not an once of skeptical sense in you, then
you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones. The social
media does prove this point, but there are people that excel in balancing
between skepticism and open-mindedness. These people may not be
acknowledged, however the success is for their own life, and not for others.
Does todays technology contribute to the erosion of critical thinking?
Everyday, a new application, or program, is made to specialize in certain
areas. If a person wanted to be a computer engineer, they would need to
take years of education. Today, there are step-by-step videos to help build a

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personal computer. New technology opens more opportunities for people
than before. If a child dreams to be a musician, programs are available to
play different instruments, teach how to read music, and produce music.
People need to be more open-minded towards new technology. It does not
only make lives easier to deal with, it can create new lives. Bell Hooks
states, Children are predisposed to be critical thinkers. Young minds
should explore the information provided through technology, and teachers
should be open-minded to the idea. Stereotypically, a teachers job is to
teach and provide information to his or her students. Teachers are there to
lead and guide students toward the right path. That does not mean the
teacher is there to tell the student what to do, nor does it mean to allow
students to work alone. The teacher must be open-minded to the new
privileges provided for students, like online programs and educational
applications, while being skeptic to the information he or she, as a teacher,
knows is right. If a student gets lost, it is the teachers job to lead him or her
back onto the right path.
Sadly, childrens passion for thinking often ends when they encounter
a world that seeks to educate them for conformity and obedience only. Bell
Hooks believes that the educational system is skeptic on how to educate
students. The Internet, and the latest technology, leads younger minds
toward open-mindedness. It provides information that a person can deem
relative to his or her life. With this new information, students could rebel
against the educational system, because they are allowed different

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information that is not educationally correct, or that is approved by a
government. Due to this assumption, students are presumed not to be able
to critically think. However, the rebelling, the arguing, and the debating
bring up questions that can help understand the given information. Hooks
says, The most exciting aspect of critical thinking in the classroom is that it
calls for initiative from everyone, actively inviting all students to think
passionately, and to share ideas in a passionate, open manner. Even if a
student has a debate with a teacher about a topic, it does not mean he or
she is not critically thinking about it. To critically think, one must understand
the what and why of the information. Debates, arguments, and
questions will lead to more understanding of the topic. Every mind is
different, whether it is cooperative, or rebellious, embracing the difference
and learning how to teach past it will produce more critical thinkers.
A quote by Bell Hooks states, Students do not become critical thinkers
overnight. It may not happen overnight, but with newer technology, the
process becomes quicker. Todays technology brings along different
problems, but provides solutions, as well. Along with those solutions, comes
an opportunity that a person can take into their own hands. This person can
teach themselves in careers that would usually need years of education. The
education system can, also, adopt the privileges technology provides. There
are programs that help teach the subject in ways the teacher may not have
thought of. So, does technology contribute to the erosion of critical thinking?
No, it does not. It breeds new lives and new problems that use a different

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way of critical thinking. Critical thinking should not be conformed into such a
narrow-minded idea of what it was. It should evolve to a more generalized
ideal of different processes of what it is.