Studies show pen and paper beats laptop for retaining info in class

Even though technology allows us to do more in less time, it does not always foster learning.

That’s why some college professors are saying “no more laptops or tablets” and going old-school, forcing note taking on paper only. But, students who grew up more familiar with keyboards than cursive are struggling to adjust to this device-free stance.

University of Kansas associate professor of journalism Carol Holstead is one of many across the country who initially noticed how distracted students became while taking notes on their laptops.

One day, she even observed two rows of students gawking at one student’s computer, clearly watching a funny YouTube video. After that, she declared her classrooms device-free zones.

But, as you can imagine, that’s a hard rule to swallow for a generation of students who grew up in high schools that demanded technology use, even issuing Macintosh notebooks to make sure everyone learned how to take digital notes.

Many students complain the pen and paper is just too cumbersome because their hands cramp and they find their notes difficult to decipher later.

Studies have proven that the old-school pen-to-paper method works. Academic studies have shown students who take computer notes retain less than those who hand-write saying multi-tasking makes students less effective. Longhand helps make students become better learners and not merely transcribers in autopilot.

Other studies have shown, that when students use laptops, they spend 40 percent of the class time using applications unrelated to coursework and are more likely to fall off task and less satisfied with their education.

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Written by Carolyn Long and published by FOX Carolina ~ May 21, 2018

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