Teacher to Students: Take Notes, On Paper

writingnotesWhat one nationally recognized educator has to say about students and how they learn best.

The 2012 National Teacher of the Year has something to say to students about effective learning.

“Take notes. On paper,” writes Rebecca Mieliwocki in Paper & Packaging.

She explains that students often go astray trying to type every word verbatim as it comes from the teacher. She notes that the research is pretty clear that this isn’t the path to true understanding and learning.

“Students who attempt to copy everything have a difficult time after the fact putting that information in order. Even worse, studies show students who copy lectures verbatim have worse test scores on the same content as students who craft less wordy but more contextually organized notes,” she explains. “The act of manipulating what you hear into bits of information that make sense to you is the key to deeper learning and true understanding.”

Mieliwocki is among a growing number of educators who preach about the importance of paper note taking.

“Paper is the natural habitat of important ideas,” wrote Dr. Naomi Baron last fall. “In a classroom – where information retention is crucial – paper remains irreplaceable.”

Research shows us time and again that printed materials foster better recall, and there’s a growing movement among college professors to ban electronics in the lecture hall.

Print still matters for learning, in spite of some of the marvelous advances technology has brought to the classroom. Print matters. So make sure you send your student off with everything they need…including some nice, fresh notebooks and good pens.