Week #10 Post


Michael DeSchryver. Higher Order Thinking in an Online World: Toward a Theory of Web-Mediated knowledge Synthesis.Teachers College Record, 2015,Volume (14) 1-44

In his 2015 journal article Dr. DeSchryver presents his proto-theory for synthesis  and effective high-leveling processing of information retrieved from information sources on the internet.  Dr. DeSchryver undertakes this project by first selectively and sequentially reviewing and stepping through scholarly literature from educational psychology, reading comprehension, hypertext and web-based reading, cognitive flexibility, and creativity. Based on the gathered information, he develops his own theory of web mediated information synthesis. Then, finally the author applies a 3 part synthesis paradigm to the work and methods used by learners with demonstrated advanced skill, technique and understanding of advanced information retrieval system available for information retrieval from the internet which results in a further expansion and refinement of the core theories underpinning his own.

The author identifies the intended audience for this work early and clearly in this journal article. The audience is the collective of anyone and everyone who uses the internet for any kind of research. The author cites scholars who report, “We live in an “age of complexity” (Schwab), for which new ways of thinking about thinking  are required. These  trends  have  far-reaching  implications.  Web  users  can  take  advantage of the ubiquity of the Internet, the well directedness of search,  and  the  “ambient  findability”  (Morville, 2005)  of  a  seemingly  unlimited  scope  of  information  to  harness  an  unprecedented  adjunct  to  human memory.”

The journal article has significant value directly and immediately for students and instructors affiliated with the academy of educational technology and equally significance for the broader, rapidly expanding global population of individuals who use the internet for either personal or professional purposes. The author cites a range of applications including, “nutritional choices (Gunther, 2011), to healthcare options (Thaler  &  Sunstein,  2008),  to  retirement  savings  decision  making  (Blaufus  & Ortlieb,  2009),  to  prescription  drug  plan  choices  (Hanoch,  Wood, Barnes, Liu, & Rice, 2011), individuals need to know how to harness the power of web-based content to make informed decisions in their lives.” A purpose built proto-theory for synthesizing information which is ubiquitously available and has stable underpinnings built upon and above existing theories of information synthesis has significant apparent value for furthering the acquisition of applicable knowledge in the domain of new literacy research inside the educational technology field.


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