Quick Guide to Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is about distinguishing what’s risky and what’s not when online. Kids need to be able to evaluate and analyse information, content, and contacts they encounter online. Doing this isn’t easy for grown-ups and can be a real challenge for kids. Kids consume media in many forms. Text messages, memes, viral videos, ads, and so on. So knowing how to spot what’s good or bad is an important skill to master. Stay in the loop of what your kids are checking out online. Keep them talking to you so you can always guide them if they are unsure of what they see.
Encourage kids to question what they come across online.
- Could this information be true or false?
- Could this content be risky?
- Can you trust the person sharing the information?
Besides just questioning what they see, show kids how to take action and search for facts online. What is a credible, reputable or reliable source can be tricky for kids to understand, so let them know you’re there to help them figure it out. Show them how to investigate what they encounter by asking:
- Is this information a fact or opinion?
- What do other reliable sources say? Do the sources agree or disagree?
- Who is the author? Is this person credible?
Show kids how to avoid passively consuming digital content. Instead, think critically about the game, music or videos they enjoy.
- Are these age-appropriate?
- What do the ratings and descriptions say about the content?
- If still unsure, let your kids know you’re there to help them figure out if what they’re seeing is age-appropriate or if they can trust whoever is sharing it
- If they come across something that doesn’t seem real, let them know they can report it on the platform or tell a trusted grown-up
Play a round of two truths and a lie with your child. Make the lie sound as believable as possible and ask your child to guess the truths from the lie. Then ask them to look it up online. This helps kids understand how easy it is for content to be deceiving. Example: the sun is a star, there are many suns in outer space, the sun revolves around the earth.