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The Future of Taking Notes: Longhand or Digital

Yuna Baek

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With the rise of technology, students currently have the option of writing either longhand or digitally. Longhand writing is the technique of writing by hand, while digital writing is through typing on an a electronic device such as a laptop or tablet.

As more and more schools are providing students with and allowing students to use electronic devices in school, the question of which style of taking notes is more beneficial remains unanswered.

Writing longhand benefits our brain, improves penmanship, and helps with our long term memory.

In the article, “The Lowdown on Longhand,” Ainissa Ramirez says, “recent studies have shown that students taking notes with laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than the students taking notes by longhand.” The fact that handwriting benefits our memory tells us that we can better comprehend what we physically write.

Sophomore Camille Hansen said, “I typically tend to write faster by paper than through typing. I think writing [by hand] is better because it is a good study method for memorization.”

On the other hand, there have been many studies and articles proving that writing electronically is more beneficial.

In the article, “Why Digital Writing Matters in Education”, Jeff Grabill says, “we can use more modes and resources [digitally], such as image, sound and video.” Using various types of “modes and resources” allows us to learn in different ways that are the most effective for us.

Furthermore, many students prefer writing digitally. Sophomore Stephanie Yang said, “taking notes digitally is much faster and neater, which also minimizes the amount of paper I need to carry.” Admittedly, writing digitally is faster, making it easier to turn in assignments quickly.

Typing notes and homework also helps correct spelling and grammar errors. Some people don’t necessarily prefer one style over the other — it all comes down to the task at hand.

“I [take] notes both ways. I know many people believe taking notes by hand help you retain information better,” said sophomore Shreya Chitoori. “What I like to do is take notes on my computer as the teacher talks so I can be more active in class. Then once I go home, I review them and write them out with my hand. This way, the information goes through my head twice and sticks!”

The issue of which style of writing is better will constantly be debated, but it is clear that each style has its own benefits and drawbacks.

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The Future of Taking Notes: Longhand or Digital