2006.03.22

Take Note.

18.29.02 - Mark

There's a student/teacher debate over laptops at University of Memphis that's getting some national coverage. The interesting thing about it isn't that there are teacher who want to ban laptops in favor of pen and paper. I don't think that's quite as interesting as what laptops are demonstraiting a bit better than "traditional" methods of note taking, and that is students don't know how to take notes.

The offending teacher claims that laptop users are more concerned with transcribing than note taking. I'd say that's a legitimant concern (as is eye contact and other distractions associated with computers) However the problem isn't solved by demanding pen and paper notes, because most students will continue to make attempts at transcriptions.

Different classes require different learning styles. Some classes almost require word for word image for image notes which require pen and paper (Math comes to mind) others benifit from outliner notes and occassional google searches. Others still shouldn't have any notes of any shape or form.

There's some decent discussion on the topic over at slashdot

Too bad there's a breakdown in communication between most students and teachers. That's part of the reason I really like the unconfrence model for classrooms. Everyone gets to do their own thing

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