VoiceThread for HOTS: Using Technology to Analyze, Evaluate, and Create
Dr. Tara Kingsley
The need to equip students with higher order thinking skills (HOTS) is at the heart of educational reform. New standards for college and career readiness represent both the advancement of critical thinking and digital literacy skills in K-12 classrooms. Literacy, once solely dependent on print, now requires proficiencies with the skills and strategies necessary for new technologies (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, & Henry, 2013). Blogs, podcasts, wikis, and social networking sites, are becoming increasingly social and user centric with Internet users are no longer being sole consumers of information but rather producers of information (Richardson, 2010; Simões, Redondo, & Vilas, 2013). Digital literacy often necessitates higher levels of thinking, increased problem solving skills, and advanced self-regulation strategies when compared to print-based texts (Afflerbach & Cho, 2009; Coiro & Dobler, 2007; Kuiper, Volman, & Terwel, 2008). Our digital world is driven by new technologies and constant connectivity, and today’s learners must become active participants of content knowledge to meet the demands for 21st Century learning (McLoughlin & Lee, 2007).
The revised Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson, Krathwohl, & Bloom, 2001) lays out a framework for learning by distinguishing different levels of cognition. Bloom’s is no stranger in education as educators have been using Bloom’s to guide curriculum since its first introduction in 1956. A revised model was developed to better represent contemporary research and align to 21st Century Learning. In the revised Bloom’s taxonomy, levels are listed as verbs to better focus on what the learner is able to do rather than learn. Categories within this paradigm are arranged hierarchically, include different types cognitive knowledge domains, and proceed from simple to more complex thinking (see: Figure 1). Generally speaking, the lower three levels lay the foundation for HOTS.
Figure 1: Revised Bloom's Taxonomy Framework
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