As I sit in a classroom full of students, all I can hear is the tapping of laptop keys, not the clicking of pens or the rustling of pages being turned.
What’s truly sad is that technology, including laptops and cell phones, take dominance over printed or hard copied books in the classroom.
Often students will use note-taking as an excuse to have their phones or laptops out and, once the instructor isn’t paying attention, students will resume the latest Netflix show or shopping binge on Amazon.
What students need to realize is that ultimately, these advantages in technology will interfere with their studies when it comes to remembering class material.
When students write, instead of typing what they need to remember, it becomes significantly easier to recall information that they’ve learned in class.
I bought a stack of colorful flash cards so I could write reminders for myself. I found that the act of writing something down helped me to retain necessary information.
The great part about buying colorful flash cards is that the color also helped to bring my eyes towards the card so that I wouldn’t inadvertently glance over it.
Sometimes when I would write something down as a note on my laptop, I found that more often than not, I would barely glance at it.
With textbooks or even notebooks, the layout helps you remember what’s on the page. It also helps that a textbook doesn’t need to be recharged every few hours, so one doesn’t have to worry about an uncharged battery or poor connectivity with the university’s touchy Wi-Fi system.
A closer relationship with the material forms when students use hard copies. With hard copies, students can write in the margins, highlight certain key words or phrases and put sticky note tabs on pages they want to flip back to.
For me, simply feeling the pages allows for a much more enriched learning experience.
However, when trying to study material off of a computer or laptop, studying becomes a chore for me and it takes ten times longer than absolutely necessary.
Reading a textbook online can make learning and absorbing information tricky, since the motion of a hand taking notes on paper aids in a student’s recall of information because of muscle memory.
Distractions and procrastination can be the downfall of students who use technology when they’re trying to read material in class or remember scientific equations for an upcoming exam.
I’ll turn off my laptop and hide my phone from myself and ignore it until after I’ve read material for a class and taken sufficient notes.
I know for a fact that if I don’t ignore the technology in front of me, I’ll end up watching “The Mentalist” or listening to music in between doing homework or studying for a class.
Looking forward, students should consider ways that they can learn what will aid in minimizing their use of technology.