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Education: learning advantages of longhand over laptop note taking

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  • Education: learning advantages of longhand over laptop note taking

A study conducted by Pam A. Muller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California has led to the conclusion that, when it comes to learning,  notes taken by hand are much more effective than those generated via electronic devices.

This does not mean that tablets and keyboards should be discarded in advance, since electronic devices are fundamental tools for tasks such as data collection and a great help to those who have learning disabilities. Unfortunately, however, they are not as effective in the processing of information.

Students who take notes with their PC or tablet tend to report their information in a canned, emulative manner – a literal transcription of sentences and dialogues. In practice, they implement the infamous “copy / paste” technique. The generation of handwritten notes, on the other hand is a more conceptual and profound approach to the creation and mental maps.

As of now, there seems to be a tendency to take sides for or against the pen or keyboard, when an integration between technology and classic pen-and-paper note taking can be an optimal learning strategy. The former is ideal for the exploration and research phase, whereas the latter is most effective for the processing phase.

Source: Sage Journals

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