Hypertext and Critical Thinking
In our world today learning is an active process in which students construct their knowledge on experiences both past and present. Knowledge is not obtained from another person but from what we create ourselves. The skills and knowledge that we need today have changed significantly since the early days of print. What and how we learn is no longer associated with one type of thinking. Much like an electronic information system, “there is no single, linear order of …[experiences] to determine how the reader should move through the pages [learning]”(Bolter, 2001, p.98).
The World Wide Web and the use of hypertext have enabled our students to reach beyond the rigid limitations of the printed books and offer a greater chance to contextualize their learning. The learning environment of electronic devices offers flexibility and a faster pace to learning. This new type of thinking has created digital learners today that are use to accessing information easily and readily thus altering the learning process while developing critical thinkers.
Critical thinking is now developed not only within school environments but also through the World Wide Web. It offers the ability to recognize multiple viewpoints through hypertext and gain insight into how concepts are interconnected. Our ability to find connections extends are learning into ‘deeper thinking’ through hypertextual links and offers students a new way of learning. Learning is no longer stagnant but continuous for both the teacher and the student.
Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing Space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates