Taking notes by hand for better long-term comprehension. (2014, April 24). Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved on April 24, 2014 from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/take-notes-by-hand-for-better-long-term-comprehension.html
Summary: According to psychologists Mueller and Oppenheimer, students who took notes via laptop did worse on tests than did students who took notes long hand. While laptop users were more accurate in transcription and did just as well with questions regarding recall, their conceptual understanding was not as strong, causing them to fare worse on bigger picture questions. For the study, students used computers only for taking notes—they were not connected to the internet. The researchers think that those who take notes by hand do more processing and, therefore, develop better understanding. Even when allowed to review notes, the laptop note-takers did worse.
Evaluation: I would very much like to read the actual study, but I cannot access it. While I am in favor of using technology as a tool in student learning, it is important to remember that old-fashioned methods sometimes have a place in our pedagogy. This study goes to show that as educators we need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each tool we ask our students to use while we also develop ways for students to integrate various levels of technology into their work. Students need to be able to discern when paper and pencil is superior to a computer and visa versa. (This study is also covered in this article https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/ink-on-paper-some-notes-on-note-taking.html)