I called this article from Vox because I was wondering why anyone would ever want to take notes typing on a laptop. But then you. Ever know. Here is below or scroll down to follow the link to the main article.
Walk into a college lecture these days and you’ll see legions of students sitting behind glowing screens, pecking away at keyboards.
Presumably, they’re using the computers to take notes, so they better remember the course material. But new research shows that if learning is their goal, using a laptop during class is a terrible idea.
TAKING NOTES BY HAND FORCES YOU TO ACTIVELY LISTEN AND DECIDE WHAT’S IMPORTANT
It’s not just because internet-connected laptops are so distracting. It’s because even if students aren’t distracted, the act of taking notes on a computer actually seems to interfere with their ability to remember information.
Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer, the psychologists who conducted the new research, believe it’s because students on laptops usually just mindlessly type everything a professor says. Those taking notes by hand, though, have to actively listen and decide what’s important — because they generally can’t write fast enough to get everything down — which ultimately helps them learn.
Laptop users remember less information later on
The psychologists’ new paper involved three different studies comparing students’ recall after taking notes on a (non-internet connected) laptop versus by hand, with 327 undergraduates from UCLA and Princeton in total.
For the first study, the students watched a 15-minute TED talk and took notes on it, then took a test on it half an hour afterward. Some of the test questions were straightforward, asking for a particular figure or fact, while others were conceptual, and asked students to compare or analyze ideas.
The two groups of students — laptop users and hand-writers — did pretty similarly on the factual questions. But the laptop users did significantly worse on the conceptual ones:
The researchers also noticed that the laptop users took down many more words, and were more likely to take down speech from the video verbatim.
To see if this rote note-taking was part of the problem, for the second study, they explicitly instructed some of the laptop users to do otherwise: “Take notes in your own words and don’t just write down word-for-word what the speaker is saying,” they said.
The overachieving college students, though, were a heedlessly diligent bunch. Even in this study, the laptop users were once again much more likely to take down notes from the videos verbatim, and once again performed more poorly on the conceptual questions — whether they’d gotten the instructions to avoid word-for-word notes or not.