Students learn more by taking notes with pen and paper than they do on a laptop, according to research done on campuses at UCLA and Princeton. To many, this is a surprising finding because typing notes allows students to record more of their professors’ lectures, sometimes verbatim, while taking notes longhand is slower and more laborious. In the study, however, laptop note taking was associated with lower retention rates. Researchers hypothesize that certain cognitive skills–listening, digesting, and summarizing–are more actively engaged when notes are being taken the slow, laborious way.
What’s the Big Idea?
Technology in the classroom has become its own sub-discipline for educators, technologists, and entrepreneurs. And while electronic learning does give students more access to a broader array of resources, computers in the classroom have been shown to be a huge source of distraction. “In most typical college settings…internet access is available, and evidence suggests that when college students use laptops, they spend 40% of class time using applications unrelated to coursework, are more likely to fall off task, and are less satisfied with their education.”