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Opening Arguments

Duly noted


Here is a story from HuffPost about two studies by UCLA psychologists concluding that students who take notes by hand learn better than those who take notes by computer, both in short-term and longer-term learning. They found that computer users tend to engage in "mindless transcription," which gives them lots of notes, but did not learn as much, especially when testing focused on concepts rather than facts. In addition, at one point they specifically told laptop users not to simply transcribe what they were hearing, but it didn't work--the computer users were unable to stop themselves from trying to get verbatim notes.

I have found this to be true for me as well. My notes don't have a very long shelf life -- I can have trouble deciphering them in a mere few hours if I don't go through them and rewrite the most salient points into something more legible. But the mere act of taking the notes makes it more likely I will grasp the overall significance of what I'm hearing. I've also discovered that entering meeting reminders in my electronic devices doesn't help me remember them. If I forget to set the notification beep, I ain't gonna make that meeting. But if I jot the meeting down on the calendar hanging on my office wall, that somehow makes it more real to me, and I'm more likely to remember it.

Posted in: All about me