Wednesday, April 20, 2016

taking notes longhand helps retention

It would appear that taking notes longhand aids in long-term recollection. This seemed like a no-brainer to me in high school decades ago but there weren't exactly easily available laptops for high school and college students back in the Clinton years, were there? I got in the habit of taking long-hand notes in class that I would then transcribe and elaborate on when I got back from class to my room with my personal computer.  For essays and related projects I found long-hand writing a valuable form of "pre-writing" so that by the time I'd start typing stuff at a computer it would be formulating the preferred phrasing and language for a set of arguments I'd worked out in long-hand writing earlier or in free-writing at the computer ... toggling back and forth as I went before arriving at a final draft.

Anyway, the idea that any students would have forsaken longhand note-taking is kind of impossible for me to imagine really being a thing.  When I was a teenager I got used to taking notes during sermons.  Yes, I was that sort of teen, taking notes on the sermons and considering whether what the pastor said lined up with what seemed to be a reasonable interpretation of the relevant text.

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