Students remember their lectures better if they take notes with pen on paper rather than on a laptop, according to Dutch researchers based at Trondheim University in Norway.
The researchers Audrey and Ruud van der Weel monitored the brains of 20 students as they took different sorts of notes and found those made with a pen stimulated greater brain activity.
‘You hold a pen and think about what you are going to write and draw a graphic or arrows,’ Ruud van der Weel told broadcaster RTL news. ‘The brain is lazier if we type out what someone says on a keyboard.’
Other tests have shown that students who took notes using pen and paper remembered more about a lecture three weeks later than those who used a laptop.
The couple want universities and colleges to encourage the use of pens in lecture theatres. ‘I am extremely concerned that in some countries, such as Finland, children are given typing not writing lessons. That could have a major impact on brain development,’ Audrey van der Weel said.
RTL points out that the research was funded by Microsoft and Microsoft’s laptop with stylus was used as ‘pen and paper’ during the research project, the broadcaster said.
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