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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Introduction to the online thinking skills tool, Seeing Reason

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion of how the online tool, Seeing Reason, can be used to promote skillful, creative and critical thinking in the Judaic Studies classroom.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although the Seeing Reason cognitive tool can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: The Seeing Reason cognitive tool can be used in a face to face and virtual classroom.

In previous blog posts we have defined thinking skills and processes, creative thinking, critical thinking and Benjamin Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives. We have also shared creative and critical thinking tools developed by Dr. Donald J. Treffinger

What is the Seeing Reason online thinking tool?

According to the  Intel website, the Seeing Reason thinking skills tool is one that empowers students to “create visual maps of the factors and relationships in a cause-and-effect investigation. These maps make thinking visible and promote collaboration as students work together to refine their understanding. “

How does Seeing Reason empower students to investigate the causal relationship among ideas being investigated?

Kindly click on the two links below to learn how the Seeing Reason thinking web tool enables students to see cause and effect relationships among ideas:

For additional resources on Seeing Reason refer to the sources listed below:

Below please find an example of the web-based Seeing Reason tool on the topic of what causes traffic accidents[1]

[1] Taken from this website:

On the next post we will discuss how the web-based thinking tool, Seeing Reason,  can be used to promote instruction in the blended learning classroom.

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