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Technology in Education: from handwritten notes to digital education


Traditionally, students relied on handwritten notes to capture lectures and important information. This method required strong listening and writing skills. Plus, students had to carry numerous notebooks and papers. Such a method limited the accessibility or organisation of school notes, complicating the learning process.

Fortunately, the rise of technology has contributed to digital education accessibility. As with many other spheres of our lives, technology has improved and simplified many manual processes, making them more accessible, interactive, and personalised. Thus, it is fair to say that modern technology has transformed the lives of younger generations, making their school experience completely different from the ones before them.

Still, it is worth exploring how exactly the learning experience has changed due to technological influence and whether it has completely transformed for the better. After all, as technology continues to advance, it will likely continue to shape the future of education, providing other innovative learning experiences for students and replacing the old ways.

Pros and cons of handwritten notes

Taking notes by hand has its benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the cons and pros of handwritten notes:

Pros: memory practice

The physical act of writing stimulates our brain and ignites the memory processes. By actively engaging your eye work and motor skills, you enhance information retrieval, leading to better long-term memory retention.

Cons: limited flexibility

Handwritten notes are less editable compared to digital notes. If you make a mistake or need to add information later, modifying handwritten content can be more challenging. There is little room for error, which can often lead to messy notes, corrections in text, and further confusion.

Pros: reduced distractions

Using electronic devices for note-taking in class may present distractions, such as notifications or the temptation to engage in unrelated activities. Handwriting notes eliminates these potential distractions, helping you stay focused on the lecture or discussion.

Cons: limited searchability

Finding the needed paragraph or phrase in handwritten notes can be a time-consuming and irritating process. Whereas digital notes can be easily searched using keywords or phrases, making it quicker to locate specific information within a large body of notes.

Pros: selective listening

When taking notes by hand, you naturally develop the ability to filter and select important information in real time. This skill helps you identify and prioritise the most relevant and significant details, capturing the key ideas while skipping less crucial information.

Cons: vulnerability

Handwritten notes can be easily lost or damaged. If notebooks or papers are misplaced or destroyed, all the hard work of taking those notes is gone forever. Digital notes, when properly backed up and stored, are more resilient to loss or damage, as they can be easily recovered across various devices.

How digital note-taking changed the learning process

Digital note-taking has significantly transformed the learning process, offering various advantages that have revolutionised how students engage with information and enhance their learning experience. Let's see the examples.

Speed and efficiency

Typing on a laptop or smartphone can generally be faster than writing by hand. Using a digital device may be more efficient if you need to write down a large body of text quickly. Also, digital note-taking allows for easy editing, copying, and rearranging of text, which can help capture a larger scope of information in real time.

Customisation and organisation

Digital note-taking tools often provide features for customisation and organisation, such as colour-coding, tagging, and searchable keywords. This makes it easier to structure and search for your notes efficiently, creating a highly organised note-taking system. For instance, if you are looking for notes on an ethical dilemma essay, you can type 'ethics' or 'dilemma' in your gadgets to see any related materials.

Multimodal note-taking

If you anticipate the need to incorporate multimedia elements like images, audio recordings, or videos into your notes, digital devices offer more flexibility in capturing and integrating these elements. However, it's worth considering whether these multimedia features will enhance your note-taking process for a particular subject or context.

Accessibility

Digital note-taking allows for easy access to your notes across devices and cloud storage, making them accessible from anywhere. Additionally, digital notes don't require physical storage space. They are also at almost no risk of being damaged or misplaced. Hence, technology offers the convenience of having your notes readily available and accessible remotely and across various devices.

Bottom line

It's important to note that the choice between handwritten notes and digital note-taking depends on personal preferences, learning styles, and the classroom context. For instance, some people find that handwriting helps them better process information, understand new concepts, or focus on essential details. Others find digital note-taking more efficient and fast, reducing errors and shifting focus from the writing process to analysing and memorisation. Overall, it's always best to utilise technological advances in studying since their presence will only continue to grow in school and our lives. Ultimately, choosing the most suitable note-taking method is a matter of finding a balance between convenience, accessibility, and personal learning needs.




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