Handwriting vs Typing – Why the Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard

Are the days of the old pen and paper numbered? Where once we wrote letters to communicate with people in far-reaching places, we now turn to emails or social media. Where before we would have scribed handwritten notes, we’re now far more likely to type notes into a smartphone or tablet. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that handwriting is becoming a lost art.

However, academics will tell you that taking handwritten notes is much more effective for studying than using a laptop or electronic device. When you write something down, you’re thinking about it as you write and you’re fully immersed in the content. By contrast, typing has become so second nature to us that we can tap blindly at a keyboard, with the words on screen in front of us not meaning a whole lot. Also, when it comes to revising notes closer to exams, handwritten material is far more likely to resonate, as you’ll recall writing it down physically, whereas electronic notes don’t possess the same evocative qualities.

Then there’s the familiar problem with electronic devices of letting our attention wander. How many students begin a lecture by typing notes into their laptop or tablet before boredom sets in and they spend at least half the lecture squandering time on trivial websites? Those students who take handwritten notes are generally much more engaged in the lecture and can also scribe notes in a way that makes them easy to understand, rather than jotting them down verbatim.

Note-taking is not just about writing things down in lecture, either. Afterwards, it is vital to go back over them, highlight the most pertinent points and make additional notes wherever necessary. This will help to further reinforce what you need to know.

This infographic from Study Medicine Europe   
https://www.studymedicineeurope.com/medical-university-romania   explains why handwriting still very much has its place in education, for all the wonderful technological advances that have been made.

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