Using technology may feel like second nature, but when it comes to influencing learning and memory, it just doesn’t stack up against the old-fashioned method of putting pen to paper.
We know, there are a lot of perks that come with taking notes on the keyboard. For one thing, it is a lot easier to share notes, and it is much harder to lose notes if you’re typing them in a document. Typing is also typically a faster process than handwriting, which means that you have a better chance of noting down every word, rather than having to process and paraphrase important parts of the lesson.
But it is this last part that has a lot of experts questioning whether or not taking notes on a computer is actually as effective as handwriting notes, and after several studies had a look at this same topic, the consensus is that the result is just not the same.
Taking notes is great in any capacity if you hope to recall information and learn, but when you compare typing notes to handwriting notes, the difference in learning potential is clear: taking the time to process information, paraphrase major points, and actually write it out is significantly more beneficial than just typing what your professor or lesson says word for word. The subject was studied by researchers at UCLA most recently, who found that students who put aside their technological devices and opted for pen and paper were significantly more likely to remember information discussed when tested immediately following the lecture, as well as a full week after the class.
Phones and computers provide a lot of advantages for learning, but when it comes to retaining information, using pen and paper is really the best way to go.
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