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The Pen is Mightier Than The Keyboard

August 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Technology is good for so many things — connecting with people around the world and quick access to information. But according to new research, an old-school tool has some advantages when it comes to learning.

Ever wonder why some students can process and retain information better than others? The answer might be at their fingertips. Studies done at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles found that students who took notes longhand did better on tests than those who took notes on their laptops. They learned that even though students on laptops were typing more words from the lecture, they were doing so verbatim and were not processing the information. Students who took notes longhand were able to synthesize, generalize and summarize in their own words, helping them better understand.

So parents get your kids to put away the laptop and start handwriting their notes. Have them carry a notebook for daily note taking. It may help your child write his way to a better grade.

Another disadvantage to taking notes on a laptop was that students tended to be more distracted doing other tasks instead of taking notes. A study found that college students spend 40 percent of their class time using other applications, like email, instant messaging and browsing the web while using their laptops.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.