At the core of every blog post or article I have read about note-taking, it’s often a persuasive pitch for using paper or technology. What should be discussed is where and how students are being taught to take notes effectively, regardless of the tool they choose. For example, if students are writing down everything they hear, instead of summarizing key points, it doesn’t matter if they’re doing it digitally or on paper; they shouldn’t be doing it period. Programs such as AVID that teach students how to properly take notes are a great place to start for great guidance.
Having said that, when notes are taken digitally, there are distinct advantages that paper can’t compete with. Digital notes can easily be shared with classmates and teachers if done within a platform such as Google docs, they can be searched to quickly access information, and they can easily be refined as students begin to learn more about whatever they are studying. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter had to re-do all of her notes because she wanted to reorganize and refine them; this was a highly debated subject in our household 🙂 I always told her it would be so much easier had she not used paper.
I also hear about research that says writing notes on paper makes the information stick better in our brains, but I am skeptical about the research I have seen to date; it’s certainly biased in my opinion. I’d love to get some feedback on this topic, as I’ll admit, I am also biased in this area because I can’t stand paper clutter. If anyone has any research that seems reasonably objective about note taking, I’d love to hear about it.
If anyone has any research that seems reasonably objective about note taking, I’d love to hear about it.