Don’t lose the longhand

| November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

EdWeek.org journalist Sarah D. Sparks reports that whilst laptops and tablets are being used in more and more of the world’s classrooms, students may be better off taking notes longhand. Sparks cites studies published in the June 2014 edition of Psychological Science conducted at Princeton University and the University of California Los Angeles.

Researchers quizzed groups of students after varying lengths of time who had taken notes whilst watching a speaker on video. The most immediate finding was that laptop users wrote more, whilst those using pen and paper scored better in the quizzes. Researchers found that the former group was writing chunks of the speaker’s talk verbatim, whilst those writing longhand were summarising key points and refashioning what they had heard into their own concepts for study purposes.

The experiments reinforced a recent study published in the journal Scientific American, which reinforced the theory that the internet is not a kind of external mental hard drive, meaning that it does not aid the development of memory retention skills. Scientists are finding evidence aplenty that the physical act of gripping a pen and deciding what and how to write in your own personal style promotes efficient concentration and recall, whilst typing allows one to ‘zone out’ (the act known as ‘shallow cognitive processing’) as well as become distracted by other material online.

Category: e-Education, Summer 2014

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