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In an age where your phone can scan your face and buttons are becoming obsolete,
who thinks of writing anything by hand anymore?
I know it feels archaic to pick up a pencil made of wood and use, ugh, lead, but writing down your
notes could help you pass your classes.
Note-taking is very difficult.
You have to listen, understand, and transcribe concepts all at the same time.
As technology integrates more and more into our classrooms, computers, for some, have become the new notebooks.
So we're not writing things down as much, we're not summarizing, we've completely changed how we encode information.
Somewhere down the line the emphasis for perfect cursive faded, and kids were taught to type;
as fast, and as accurately as they could.
A lot of college students now note-take on laptops.
However, typing leads to copying a lecture verbatim, and one study found that when students
do that they perform worse on tests involving conceptual thinking.
So, to understand the best way to take notes, you kinda have to get what note-taking is all about in the brain.
There are two ways researchers think note-taking affects your learning: “the encoding hypothesis”
and the “external storage hypothesis.”
Encoding is when, during the note-taking process, you listen and understand what's
being said, then write it down in the time allotted before the speaker moves on to a new topic.
It's tough.
External storage is your brain storing information outside of itself, so it can retrieve it later.
Ok, ok, I know we all thought typing verbatim could help us study better.
It's better “external storage” than my really slow scribble handwriting,
You may not be paying super close attention DURING the lecture, but you can review
it later and it's word for word and that's great? Right?
Sort of.
When you're writing out notes, although you're writing fewer words than when your typing verbatim,
your brain is actively summarizing the lecture material.
You're encoding messages onto paper.
Then when you re-read the handwritten material, that's called“enhanced encoding,” means you're
both encoding and storing the knowledge externally.
This is considered a “superior” method for concepts.
We don't really know.
What we do know is, reviewing typed notes within 24 hours does helps you retain information.
Because 19th-century memory theories from Hermann Ebbinghaus showed, over time, if we
don't make an effort to RETAIN information, we LOSE the data on an exponential basis;
this is called Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve.
Unless you constantly review material, your ability to remember new material will
continue to decline over time.
It's like a muscle, to learn requires practice!
In the end, physical handwriting works well for concepts because your brain is forced
to summarize your lesson before you jot it down.
However, laptop note-taking for straight factual information does have equal retention according to this study.
So it's sort of up to you, to know what you need to remember in what class and when, and THEN
to go back and actually read it to secure that information.
The thing is, handwriting isn't GONE.
Now technology has gotten good enough that tablets have handwriting recognition, and
styluses that work with them… so maybe we'll see a resurgence of writing!
Or maybe we'll see voice recording take over everything…
More research is going to be needed to figure out what's better for future students.
What do you think?
If you liked this video don't forget to subscribe and why is learning hard anyway?!
Crystal explains it in this video here. Having the internet at your fingertips at a laptop,
that's also a distraction, but did you know that you're not only distracting yourself,
but everyone around you is taking a peek and getting distracted too! It's evolutionary theory.
Stay focused you guys and thanks for watching Seeker!
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Typing vs. Handwriting: Which Is Better for Your Memory?

4144 Folder Collection
Emily published on November 22, 2018    Emily translated    Evangeline reviewed
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