Hi Henneke! It was a terrible week, I’m sorry I’m late on this. It’s not as researched as I would like for a real post, but as an exercise, I just wrote and then specifically tried to cut my flabby phrases. I was most guilty of the “It” and “there” sentences, less of sticking in too many adjectives.
I will be back on track next week! Now, for better or worse, here is my post:
How Technology Is Making Our Students Fail
Tell your students to drop those iPads. (Well, not literally, of course.)
A new study says that students who take notes on paper retain more information and perform better on tests.
Yup. Curmudgeonly professors have been griping about it all along. Except, now, rather than just shaking a wagging finger, they can turn to science when reprimanding their students.
In the study, researchers gave students laptops or pen and paper (whichever they were used to) to take notes during a lecture. Students on laptops took a whopping twice as many notes on average as their pen-and-paper classmates.
30 minutes later, all students were given a test. And, gasp! The students taking notes longhand did better.
The researchers say this is because the laptop users were taking notes “mindlessly”. They were just typing what they heard, without spending time processing it.
When you take notes by hand, you have no choice but to filter what you hear. Writing verbatim is out of the question. You have to be selective.
Very interesting. Let’s take a minute to think about what this means for students in college.
Fact: technology is stupendous. It’s cool. We all have it and we all use it. We use it to keep us organized, to keep us connected, to keep us busy and distracted. We use it at home, in our cars, in the bathroom.
And we think it makes our lives better.
But it seems our beloved technology is not serving us well in the classroom. (And for better reasons than that we can’t say no to sneaky Facebooking).
Would a ban of technology in the classroom go over well? Maybe for high schools. They probably already have one.
But in college? It would be tough. A room full of adults paying for their education deserve to make their own choices.
But what if, with all this technology, we’re actually losing out on some really valuable skills? Don’t students deserve to know?
Learning is a skill. It takes discipline and attention to excel. Excuse us for being curmudgeonly for a minute, but we used to take pride in it. We used to treasure it. Now, we’re cutting corners by letting our technology make the work easier.
Profs – you don’t have to ban technology. It probably wouldn’t go over well and it would probably make you “uncool”. But what if you kicked off every semester with a link to this study and one simple point:
Your brain needs to work in order to learn. Pick up your pen and get down to business.