If you use a laptop or tablet to take notes with you at lectures in college, then science says you’re doing it wrong. The evidence is mounting which says that if one uses technology over good old pen and paper, your grades are suffering.

The New York Times reports on a study done by researchers at Princeton and Cal which asked one group of students to take notes at a lecture using pen and paper, and the other used laptops. Results of the study showed that those who used a laptop didn’t understand the lecture quite as well as those who used pen and paper, so says the scientists.

Why? Scientists believe it may because those who hand wrote notes had to process what the professor was saying and summarize it quickly to not get lost in word soup. Laptop note takers also apparently had a “tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim,” which to them meant they weren’t processing the information to help them understand it so much as just copying down what they were saying.

Other studies have noticed the same trend too, including one from McMaster and York Universities in Canada and another one from West Point. And it’s also on the scientific record that handwriting improves memory, motor skills, memory, and creativity.

So as technology increasingly takes over our lives, rendering all of what we used to do nearly irrelevant, remember that science now says that taking notes by hand will make you smarter and perform better on your exams in college.

Wish I knew that in J-School…

[The New York Times/The Verge]

About Matt Lichtenstadter

Recent Maryland graduate. I've written for many sites including World Soccer Talk, GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Testudo Times, Yahoo's Puck Daddy Blog and more. Houndstooth is still cool, at least to me. Follow me @MattsMusings1 on Twitter, e-mail me about life and potential jobs at matthewaaron9 at Yahoo dot com.