When we physically write we are incorporating our body into our work. Our brains learn and retain best when we are physically moving. When we hear new information, our brain wants us to take action on that information somehow with our body. Writing out that information (even better, adding drawing as well) helps solidify that information deeper.
There have been many studies completed around handwriting notes verses typing notes on a computer. An author of one study, Jane Vincent said,
“One of the reasons some students favour handwriting is the role it plays in learning and retaining knowledge,” she said. “Many of the students in our study found [that] making handwritten notes leads to greater retention of data than if it is typed.”
The challenge I see is around people’s preferences. With computers being apart of the ‘norm’ when it comes to classrooms and boardrooms
If you need to remember something, write it.
Computers can also be distracting and take away your focus from listening and capturing the information. Typically, when students are taking notes they are writing down word for word what is being said – they may write without actually thinking about what they are writing. Scientists say this is more of mindless transcription – recording something just as you hear it.
With long hand note-taking you need to process and record the main point or summarize. When you write you capture fewer words then when you type. This means you have to be a bit more concise and summarize information, this all leads to deeper understanding.
Studies have shown that students who have written notes have shown greater understanding of conceptual ideas compared to those students who type their notes.
I am really passionate about is getting the skills of visual note-taking into the hands of students. I have launched a program for schools to teach them about the benefits and elements of visual note-taking. My goal is to get this tool in the hands of all students and teachers across Canada (then I’ll take on the world!) I have a license program for schools for only $96. This allows all teachers and students to opportunity to learn the amazing power of visual note-taking. What a steal. If you want more information about this program. Feel free to visit www.visualnotes.ca