From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.
Many college students have given up taking classnotes by hand. Instead, they type on laptop or tabletcomputers. But scientists from Princeton Universityand the University of California say that that method isless effective.
If you need to remember something, write it. Writingnotes by hand is much better for long-term memory ofideas, or conceptual information. That is the findingof a 2014 study published in the journal PsychologicalScience.
Unplug for a deeper understanding.
So, turn off your computer if you want to remembersomething. Computers can take your attention awayfrom your work. They can be distracting. Computersprovide the chance to send a quick message to afriend, check a sports’ score, shop or watch a funnycat video.
It is really hard to resist a funny cat video.
But scientists say computers may hurt performance inschool, called academic performance.
Here is what the research showed.
Students who type notes on a keyboard often transcribe, or write downwhat the professor says word-for-word. They may write without reallythinking about what they are writing. These electronic notes contained morewords. But scientists say it leads to "mindless transcription."Transcription means to record something exactly as you hear it.
However, students taking notes long-hand, or by writing them, need to firstprocess the information they hear. Then they record just the main points, orsummarize. They use fewer words. This is because people usually writeslower than they type. This process of summarizing information leads to adeeper understanding, say the researchers.
In the study, students listened to a teacher and then took a test. Some tooknotes by typing on a computer. The others took notes by writing themdown.
Both groups performed about the same in remembering facts. But studentswho typed their notes did much worse on conceptual questions. Thesequestions required them to understand an idea.
Those who typed also could not stop transcribing even after they were toldto try to avoid it. So even if you want to stop typing what you hear word-for-word, you might not be able to.
Also, researchers found that those who wrote their notes rememberedconceptual information better a week later. Researchers believe that thestudents who wrote notes long-hand had a deeper understanding of ideasand concepts.
Hands off my computer.
Scientists know that students probably will still usetheir laptops and tablets in class. But they suggestusing some of the available technologies for writingnotes by hand on computer screens. They say thismight be a good compromise between old schooland new school.
This research was contained in a classroom. But thefindings may be valuable for anyone wanting to remember more of whatthey read, hear or see.
I’m Anna Matteo.