As technology advances, it becomes more and more integrated with our daily lives. Manual processes get pushed to the wayside for faster, easier solutions. Students have become more computer savvy, and many schools are shifting to one-to-one technology, providing Chromebooks, iPads, or other devices for each student. It only makes sense then, that students might want to use their devices to type their notes during class instead of write them.

Typing can be more efficient, but there is still a great deal of value and benefit in writing notes by hand. Studies have shown that students retain more information and perform better when writing notes rather than typing them, but there can still be some advantages to typing. We’re taking a closer look at these two approaches to note taking:

Typing Notes

Benefits of Typing

  • Faster: Students can record information more quickly, allowing them to note more details.
  • Legibility: It can be easier to read typed information than handwritten notes.
  • Organization: It is easy to save, rearrange, highlight, and share information digitally.

Cons of Typing

  • Understanding: The more proficient a student is at typing, the more of an automatic process it becomes. They are able to type information without paying as much attention to what they are writing.
  • Formulas: It can take longer to find and use special characters when typing up formulas or other non-traditional text, interrupting the flow of information.
  • Distractions: All of the features and functions of a computer or word processing program can be distracting.

Typing notes can be an effective way for students to quickly record a large amount of information. If they have poor handwriting, it can make reading what they have written much easier, and it’s possible to search for specific words or phrases. Students also don’t have to worry about their pencil breaking or pen not working, or running out of paper to write on. They can create as many documents as they want, make them as long as they want, and incorporate color, highlighting, bolding, and other features easily.

Writing Notes

Benefits of Writing

  • Understanding: Because it takes longer to handwrite notes, students are more likely to listen, process, and summarize information focusing on the most important points, rather than writing lectures verbatim.
  • Speed with formulas and symbols: Students can write down formulas and symbols more easily, and they can create shorthand to make writing notes faster.
  • Fewer distractions: With just a pencil and paper, there are fewer distractions, allowing students to focus on listening and writing.

Cons of Writing

  • Slower: It can take longer to write larger amounts of information by hand, and students might miss important facts.
  • Legibility: Sloppy writing can lead to errors and more difficulty reviewing what was written.

The act of physically writing down notes can improve learning and retention. Studies have shown that students are better able to recall facts or concepts when they wrote them by hand, as opposed to typing them out. Students are more engaged with the information because it requires more cognitive effort to plan, organize, summarize, and synthesize what they are learning.

It is important for students to figure out what works best for them when it comes to recording and studying information. Some students may find that it is beneficial to type their initial notes and then go back and write them by hand later. It also depends on what the teacher permits.

Knowing how to effectively take notes during class, organize information, and then use these resources for studying is essential. Crafting Scholars offers a study skills organization program to support students with these processes. As students return to the classroom and spend more time offline, note taking is critical. Contact us today to sign up and be more prepared for the new school year.