Why Picking Up A Pen Will Improve Your LearningPosted: 28th of January 2015 by
If you want to improve your learning you need to pick up a pen and get writing notes. There it is, it’s as simple as that – put down the laptop in lectures or class and don’t use a tablet – pick up a pen and grab some paper. It will help your ability to learn in class.
Want some proof?
Of course you do, after all, typing notes onto a laptop is convenient, fast, and often neater than hand-writing. You can cut and paste information and, if you are skilled at typing, pretty much note down everything that is said. However, here is exactly where the problem lies.
You are not a stenographer, you are not there to transcribe everything that is being said, and the very act of making notes by hand, rather than typing everything out, will improve your learning.
Putting it simply, because hand-writing takes time, your brain has to engage with the information.
Rather than just letting the words flow through you to your fingertips as they tap the keyboard, writing makes you concentrate.
Because writing is slower you won’t be able to physically write down everything that is said in class, which forces you to summarise when you take your own notes. By summarising you are made to engage with the material – taking down just the important information, noting short quotes, and other ideas and questions.
Because of the engagement with the subject, this, in turn, tells your brain that the information is important and worth remembering. You also use more neural pathways when you take notes in this way, anchoring the information in your brain.
Research psychologists, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, studied the effects of using laptops to take notes as opposed to using a pen and paper. They found that “transcrib[ing] lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”
But don’t just take their word for it. French psychologist Stanislas Dehaene said the same during an interview with the New York Times, where he explained, “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated. There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain, it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize.” As a result, he added, “Learning is made easier.”
So, if you want to get ahead and take more in, put the laptop away, pick up a pen and start taking notes the old-fashioned way.
You might also like –
Fear Or Love? Machiavelli & the Modern Workplace:
Living Life Through Your Phone?:
When you are looking for an apprenticeship, or your first job, it’s probable that most of your attention will be focused on landing the role. ...
Applying for an apprenticeship can be a very competitive process and many organisations use video interviews as an initial screening process. Most...