What’s the best method for taking notes in class – notebooks or computers?

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Computers have revolutionized the way we do a number of things in the world, including taking notes. The old fashioned way of taking notes using notebooks or a pen and paper is slowly vanishing among our colleges and even high schools, a change which begs the question: is it for the best? We are going to look at the impact both computers and notebooks have on the way we take notes by analyzing their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of computers

-Computers provide a more efficient organization of notes. Having your notes on your computer saves you the time you would spend going through a pile of books just to find that notebook you last took notes in five months or even a year ago.

-They take up less space. Most computers are light and small enough to perfectly fit in your backpack, while several notebooks take up way more space.

-Easy formatting. Computers make doing corrections very easy. All you have to do is go back and delete the phrase or sentence you typed incorrectly and then key in the correct one.

-You are able to take notes faster. People used to typing are able to type every word said in a lecture very quickly and thereby record every detail that is said in class.

-You can backup your notes and access them anywhere. Backing up your notes on a reliable drive or cloud enables you to access your notes anywhere through any device as long as there is an internet connection.

-Notes can be easily shared. You can easily share your notes with friends who could not make it to class through your email.

Disadvantages of computers

-Your computer may experience technical problems. The dreaded blue screen is a common phenomenon and may lead to the loss of any work in progress.

-People taking notes through their laptops give the brain very little time to analyze the notes and understand them. This is because they type very fast.

-There are lots of distractions when you use a computer. The most common ones are Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

Advantages of notebooks

-Writing notes in a notebook makes information easily understandable and applicable. It allows you to filter information, understand them and then write the most important points on paper, thereby creating a long lasting memory.

-A notebook is highly customizable. You can easily sketch out items you need for better understanding of a topic on your notebook.

Disadvantages of notebooks

-Notebooks take up a lot of space on one’s backpack. This may cause back back pain and fatigue.

-In case you lose your notebook, all your notes may be lost for good. You do not have the luxury of backing your notes up on Google drive or Evernote.

-Bad handwriting can make notes difficult to read. Badly written notes may lead to distortion of information.

-It is slower than typing, so you may miss out on some important information from a lecture or class.

Research has shown that students who take notes using notebooks understand information better. This has, however, been discounted by some due to the fact that the ability to understand a topic is based on a student’s note taking skills. Whether you use a notebook or a laptop your note taking skills come into play, and that is what makes the biggest difference.

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