Drake Baer discusses recent research on handwriting notes versus taking notes on a computer during a lecture. It turns out that taking handwritten notes accelerates learning while taking notes on a computer adds little gto our learning processes. “[A] skilled typist… will be able write down almost every word that the lecturer utters. … that transcription process doesn’t require any critical thinking. So while you’re putting the words down on the page, your brain doesn’t have to engage with the material. As learning science has discovered, if you’re not signaling that the material is important to your brain, it will discard the lecture from memory for the sake of efficiency. But if you are taking notes by hand … you’ll have to look for representative quotes, summarize concepts, and ask questions about what you don’t understand. This requires more effort than just typing every word out — and the effort is what helps cement the material in your memory. The more effort you put into understanding something, the stronger signal you’re giving your brain that it’s worth remembering.”

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