Taking Notes? Bring a Pen, Skip the Computer

The Boston Globe:

Just about every professor has complained about students with screens in front of them flitting over to Facebook or Tumblr instead of listening to a lecture. But, those distractions aside, it’s hard to blame the kids for wanting to type their notes instead of write them out longhand. Think of how much quicker you can type an e-mail than write a letter: Digital note-taking is simply easier.

A paper published online in the journal Psychological Science last month, however, suggests that longhand may actually hold an advantage when it comes to the most important reason we take notes—that is, to help us remember what we’ve heard. The researchers—Pam Mueller, a graduate student at Princeton University, and Daniel Oppenheimer, a psychology professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management—had students take notes on a lecture, and then quizzed them on it later. In the end, longhand note-takers performed better on quizzes than their laptop-wielding peers, even though the Internet was disabled.

Read the whole story: The Boston Globe

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