Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Paper vs Digital Notetaking for Students

I'm 99% paperless (the other 1% is out of my control) and take my notes digitally, for the most part, on my Chromebook or Smartphone. I do use a Livescribe pen and notebook sometimes too and I know a lot of people prefer paper notes and planners.

I just saw an article, "Is the pen mightier than the keyboard for students?" that makes a case that students retain more when they take notes on paper and that digital devices, as reported by students themselves, allow for more distractions.
US educational psychologists Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer published a study last year which found college students who wrote their notes on paper actually learn more. Their study showed those used tablets always took more notes, but it was pen and paper students who scored better on conceptual understanding of the material – and in how to apply and integrate it in exam conditions.

I agree with a lot of this because I see too many students just copy right from digital resources for their "notes" and don't put them in their own words. This means that their brain isn't processing the information, It's the same with clipping things to Evernote. Whenever I clip something, I make some of my own notes on it too. Students also have lots of ways to be distracted with a digital device (as do adults). In the old days, we could doodle or daydream, now you can go online and do anything instead of paying attention.

It's an interesting article that all educators should read and take notice of.


Great Tips, Resources and Ideas for Going Paperless
Lots of Resources to Help You Go Paperless

10 Great, Free Apps for Students for Notetaking and Class Planning


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