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The Treasure Hunt Club No. 87 (2012年11月09日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 87
November 2012 Treasure Hunt
Promoting Better Thinking
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and
Culture Studies

This month I'd like to talk a little about
thinking and give you a few suggestions for sites
you could use to promote better thinking. Language
teachers often focus on language learning, but
promoting better thinking and more autonomous
learners should also be among our goals. Of course,
this requires more than just a few new tools. It
takes a concerted effort. If you are really
interested in this topic, you may want to visit
the website for Visible Thinking. It's part of a
long-running project at Harvard University. They
have been investigating techniques for promoting
better thinking for many years and the website has
a lot of interesting ideas and information.

I still think VoiceThread is a great way to engage
learners and share ideas around different kinds of
media. I introduced it several years ago, but I
think it is worth mentioning again this month.

Tricider is a site you can make use of to ask and
discuss questions. It's free to use and does not
require registration. That makes it easy to use.
But you will have to think carefully about the
questions you set for learners and how you arrange
the activity if you really want to get them
thinking. Take a look at some of the questions
others have posted at the site for some ideas.

If you have more serious questions and would like
to hear what other people have to say, you might
want to try Quora. You will also need time and a
bit of luck, but if your question is good there is
a good chance that experts in the field will
answer it. I’ve read some pretty amazing answers
to interesting questions here over the last few
years. It works best for very specific, thought-
provoking questions.

And finally, thinking better is not just about
thinking more deeply. It is about setting goals,
making effort, and reflecting on performance and
strategies. Goalbook is a site where you can
monitor your students' goals and achievements in
groups or individually. You can sign up for a free
trial account you can use with one group of
learners, but you will need to pay if you want to
use it throughout your school. The idea is very
interesting, however, and is worth exploring.