The evolution of note taking in the digital classroom

“The students using laptops were in fact more likely to take copious notes, which can be beneficial to learning,” he wrote in a blog post. “But they were also more likely to take verbatim notes, and this “mindless transcription” appeared to cancel out the benefits.”

Herbert wrote that even when students were told not to takes verbatim notes, they could not break the habit.

“Apparently there is something about typing that leads to mindless processing,” Herbert wrote. “And there is something about ink and paper that prompts students to go beyond merely hearing and recording new information — and instead to process and reframe information in their own words, with or without the aid of asterisks and checks and arrows.”