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Thread: Thinking tools

  1. #1
    Phillip M. Perry is offline Registered User
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    Lightbulb Thinking tools

    Books. Web sites. Software programs. “Thinking tools” come in many forms.

    How about a thread that lists the resources we find most useful?

    I’ll start things off with the entry below, and will return from time to time with others I’ve recently discovered.

    Got a favorite or two of your own? Please post.

    Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online. (Oxford English Dictionary: The definitive record of the English language)

    The OED lists the senses of words in chronological order from earliest times to the present day. Even senses that become obsolete remain in place with appropriate tags.

    I probably click to this web site more often than any other as I pursue my studies. Because modern terminology seems to build upon prior sense foundations, OED’s semantic threads help me achieve a more complete understanding of critical terms. That, in turn, facilitates insightful thinking and productive writing.

    On the downside, I have found the OED’s pronunciation symbols confusing and often turn to other sources for the spoken equivalents of difficult names and terms.

    It all comes with a cost: Subscriptions run $29.95 a month or $295 a year.

  2. #2
    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Phillip. Good to see you on. How are your studies?
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

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    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    Since 1996 the Study Guides and Strategies web site has been researched, authored, maintained and supported by Joe Landsberger as an international, learner-centric, educational public service. Permission is granted to freely copy, adapt, and distribute individual Study Guides in print format in non-commercial educational settings that benefit learners. Please be aware that the Guides welcome, and are under, continuous review and revision. For that reason, digitization and reproduction of all content on the Internet can only be with permission through a licensed agreement. Linking to the Guides is encouraged!

    Study Guides and Strategies
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

  4. #4
    Phillip M. Perry is offline Registered User
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    Smile

    Hi Cravenco. Very well, thank you. About halfway through the Harrison Middleton program, deep into War and Peace. Have you outlined your program yet? Send me an IM with details and any questions.

    And post your favorite thinking tool here! :)

    Edit: Just saw your study guides post. Impressive! Will add a bookmark to my browser.
    Last edited by Phillip M. Perry; 09-27-2010 at 08:39 AM.
    D.A. Harrison Middleton University
    M.A. Humanities California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
    B.A. English University of Notre Dame

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    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    cravenco is offline Registered User
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  7. #7
    Phillip M. Perry is offline Registered User
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    Inspiration. Inspiration - Comprehend. Create. Communicate. Achieve More. | inspiration.com

    Inspiration is one of a number of popular software programs for creating concept maps and mind maps. I have been using both these tools in my studies. They seem to enhance understanding and assist memory by rendering complex ideas in graphic forms that can reinforce written texts.


    Here is my understanding of each. I am fairly new to this topic so feel free to post corrections.

    Concept maps are visualizations of relationships. Concept maps can be particularly useful to illustrate forces in play among entities.

    Here is a concept map I created with Inspiration. It attempts to show some influences on Plato’s thought:

    http://www.adiatha.com/photos/plato_influ.jpg

    More information: Concept map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Mind maps are visual outlines. They can be useful to diagram hierarchies of ideas, or conceptual links around a central idea.

    Here is a mind map, also created with Inspiration, that attempts to show synonyms for and manifestations of Plato’s ideal forms:

    http://www.adiatha.com/photos/ideal_forms.jpg

    More information: Mind map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Inspiration price: $69.00. Google "mind maps" for alternative free programs.
    D.A. Harrison Middleton University
    M.A. Humanities California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
    B.A. English University of Notre Dame

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  9. #8
    Phillip M. Perry is offline Registered User
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    Free online Dictionary of English Pronunciation - How to Pronounce English words [ howjsay.com ]

    What is the correct pronunciation of viscount? VIS-count? Or VIE-count? Or how about palatomaxillary? Is the accent on the MAX or ILL? Questions such as those can be difficult to answer quickly and authoritatively. Very often, though, we need a quick answer before an oral presentation. Or maybe we just want to enhance our understanding as we read challenging texts.

    That’s why I keep a shortcut to howjsay.com on my browser bar. Its vocalizations of words are far less ambiguous than dictionary entries, at least for me.

    There aren’t too many proper names in that site, although Hippolyte is there. An alternative for names is
    Pronounce Names - Dictionary of Name Pronunciation, How to pronounce names, How to say a name, Name pronunciation, Name pronunciations, How to pronounce a name

    Still not too sure of Helene, the name of the nobleman’s daughter in War and Peace. That name has an accent over the first e and a grave over the second. Is it HEL-en? Hell-ENE? Helen-a? When, as in this example, the above sources don’t help I turn to Dr. Google with something like “pronounce Helene.” Here is one result:
    How do you pronounce the name "Helene" Helen-ee, or "hel-een" or what. Its a Victorian name? - Yahoo! Answers
    D.A. Harrison Middleton University
    M.A. Humanities California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
    B.A. English University of Notre Dame

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    MISin08 is offline Registered User
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    Kizmet is online now Moderator
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    Sometimes I think that the average college student would be better off having to take a handful of courses in the area of Critical Thanking rather than English Lit, History , etc. In the long run it might be more valuable to learn how to think analytically than to have read a bunch of novels (did I REALLY just say that?). Anyway, here's a cert program that helps with critical thinking.

    Critical and Creative Thinking Certificate - UMassOnline.net

  12. #11
    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    I have and still use mind maps. It helps bring things into focus. Thanks Phillip.
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

  13. #12
    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    Foundation for Critical Thinking

    Critical Thinking dot org
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

  14. #13
    Kizmet is online now Moderator
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    I would also highly recommend the book "How To Think Straight" by Anthony Flew (a famous British Philosopher)

  15. #14
    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    I would also highly recommend the book "How To Think Straight" by Anthony Flew (a famous British Philosopher)
    Practical reasoning and clear thinking are essential for everyone if we are to make sense of the information we receive each day. Being able to quickly know the difference between valid and invalid arguments, the contradictory versus the contrary, vagueness and ambiguity, contradiction and self-contradiction, the truthful and the fallacious, separates clear thinkers from the crowd. "How to Think Straight" lays the foundation for critical reasoning by showing many ways in which our thinking goes awry. Celebrated philosopher Antony Flew entertainingly instructs on the many and varied faults that occur in argument, the power of reason, how to challenge assertions and find evidence, and how not to be persuaded by half-truths. Flew also examines poor reasoning, and why we should be concerned with finding the truth. Lucid, terse, and sensible, with study questions and exercises to help along the way, this enlightening second edition will help you develop the skills necessary to argue and reason effectively by following a few simple, easy-to-remember directions.

    Amazon.com: How to Think Straight: An Introduction to Critical Reasoning (9781573922395): Antony Flew: Books
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

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    Ian Anderson is offline Registered User
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    Conceptual Blockbusting by James Adams
    Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide To Better Ideas, Third Edition

    Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos
    "This admirable little book is only 135 pages long. You can read it in 2 hours. Chances are that they could be among the most enlightening and even profitable 120 minutes you ever spent. - Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times." (John Allen Paulos - Reviews of Innumeracy, A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, and His Other Books)

  18. #16
    cravenco is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    Sometimes I think that the average college student would be better off having to take a handful of courses in the area of Critical Thanking rather than English Lit, History , etc. In the long run it might be more valuable to learn how to think analytically than to have read a bunch of novels (did I REALLY just say that?). Anyway, here's a cert program that helps with critical thinking.

    Critical and Creative Thinking Certificate - UMassOnline.net
    I think and know that critical thinking skills are the foundational aspect of not only higher education , but higher education within the online environment.
    Harrison Middleton University, DA Student

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