Writing School Notes? Take Them Down with Good Ole Pen and Paper


As the technology is more available and also convenient, more and more students are now relying on their keyboards when taking down notes rather than good old fashioned pen and paper. The days of personalised notebooks and beautiful handwriting are gone and replaced with laptops and iPads. In a way it is faster and more convenient because students can capture information verbatim and never have to experience cramping their hands as they try to keep up with what the professor is saying.

There is however a downside: typing down notes doesn't help you recall as much of what was said.

Associate professor Anne Mangen from the University of Stavanger's Reading Centre explains that the human body is designed to interact with its surroundings and leans toward using physical objects to get things done - just like reading a book or writing. The professor further explained that reading and writing uses our senses and when we're writing by hand our brain receives feedback from our actions which is different from the feedback we get when we are typing on keyboards.

Psychologist Stanislas Dehaene from Collège de France in Paris also said that writing makes learning easier. A unique neural network is activated when we write that helps recognition and mental simulation in the brain.

This is supported by the statement of Dr. Helen Macpherson from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University. Dr. Macpherson said that since the hand cannot keep up and write everything being said, the brain have to create summaries and concepts to help the students understand and capture the information.

Since the hand cannot capture every word being said in the classroom, students are engaged in a deeper level of thinking. They process and understand the information then summarizing these concepts and ideas to take notes of a few keywords that best describes the information that they have understood and somehow committed to memory.

Most students who take notes using their laptops cannot process,organize and interpret information the way students writing by hand does. Research by Mueller and Oppenheimer supports this claim. Their study concluded that the verbal transcription of lectures is detrimental to learning because students don't get to process the information and frame them in their own words.

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics