May 3, 2012 - National Day of Reason

This is sometimes called the Information Age, and it is true that we are almost constantly surrounded by an ocean of information. With the internet as close to hand as a telephone, up-to-the-minute information on the weather, world news, our friend's thoughts and activities, and even our own location (help! I'm lost!) is easy to access.

People of the past would be bewildered about how easy it is to sit comfortably in one's p.j.s and find out, say, how to make a basket out of pine needles or what the most popular names are from year to year. (Wait, in 2010, more girl babies were named Isabella than any other name? I don't know ANY Isabellas!) 

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that we all have a LOT of information at our fingertips. Literally.
But what good does this information do? We know that there is also a lot of MISinformation on the internet; how do we know what to believe? How can we best use information in our decision making or goal setting?

We have to use reason—critical thinking skills like synthesizing and analyzing—in order to use information well.

And today is the day to celebrate reason!

Here are some activities to practice critical thinking skills:

  • Brain Metrix has a variety of brain-training games.
  • Cyberchase does, too! 
  • Critical Thinking Web has lessons and exercises, puzzles and even philosophical questions to think about. 
  • Learn4Good has some shooting games that help develop problem solving!
  • TeachNet features some folding-paper problems to figure out.

Also on this date:

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