Flexible thinking, or cognitive flexibility, is the ability to switch between thinking about different concepts and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Flexible thinking enables a person to handle a wide range of information in a healthy and constructive manner that ultimately stimulates imaginative, original and non-linear thinking. Metaliteracy utilises flexible thinking (as well as critical thinking) by allowing digital citizens to reflect on their own behavioural, cognitive, affective and metacognitive literacy in a globally networked culture.

Building a strong proficiency in flexible thinking was a key goal of my MTA Portfolio because this is precisely the non-rigid thinking that is required in a fast changing and increasingly complex environment like the 21st-century. 

My MTA Portfolio as a whole is a very much a “thinking outside of the box” endeavour and, through the process of constructing it, I wanted to become as nimble as a freerunner when thinking flexibly. I think I have achieved that, but I will let others judge how well I have succeeded. 

Through the process of building my MTA Portfolio and learning about flexible thinking, I also came across the concept of digital citizenship and of thinking about our actions in the physical and digital world in a metaliterary way. This is to say from a range of perspectives on the active roles we play as producers of original and repurposed information.

Ultimately, metaliteracy was drawn into my studies because it further sharpens the effectiveness of flexible thinking, because its metacognitive qualities allow you to be a conscious, discerning, ethical and effective purveyor of information in an digital age that is increasingly saturated with fake, exploitative and misleading information.  

3 Courses

Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World

Platform: Coursera

Institution: The State University of New York

Started: 06/01/2018

Finished: 04/02/2018

Go to course on Class Central


Information Literacy

Platform: LinkedIn

Institution: LinkedIn Learning

Started: 21/01/2018

Finished: 26/01/2018

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An Introduction to Recreational Math: Fun, Games and Puzzles

Platform: FutureLearn

Institution: Weizman Institute of Science

Started: 15/06/2018

Finished: 23/06/2018

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5 Books

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change

Author: Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group

Published: 2018

Started: 23/03/2018

Finished: 15/04/2018

Go to book on Goodreads


Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently

Author: Beau Lotto

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Published: 2017

Started: 10/02/2019

Finished: 27/02/2019

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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Author: Daniel J. Levitin

Publisher: Penguin Books

Published: 2015 (first published August 2014)

Started: 22/03/2018

Finished: 06/05/2018

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The Use of Lateral Thinking

Author: Edward de Bono

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Pelican

Published: 1971 (first published 1967)

Started: 29/01/2016

Finished: 08/03/2016

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Lateral Logic: Puzzle Your Way to Smart Thinking

Author: Gareth Moore

Publisher: Michael O’Mara

Published: 2016

Started: 22/07/2016


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The failure of businesses to adapt has led to the quick demise of countless companies, and major power shifts in industries from taxis to hospitality. But we must adapt to thrive in our personal lives, too. We have to be willing to rise above conventional mindsets, to reframe the questions we ask, to be open to new paradigms. We have to rely as much on our imagination as on logic, and have the ability to generate and integrate a wide variety of ideas, to welcome experiment, and be tolerant of failure.

Leonard Mlodinow, The Power of Flexible Thinking, scientificamerica.com, 21/03/2018