Is it okay if I bring my laptop to class to take notes?
No, sorry, not any more. Now that Baylor offers wireless internet access in most classrooms, the university has provided you with too many opportunities for distractions. Think I’m over-reacting? Think you’re a master of multitasking? You are not. No, I really mean it. How many times do I have to tell you? Notes taken by hand are almost always more useful than typed notes, because more thoughtful selectivity goes into them; plus there are multiple cognitive benefits to writing by hand. And people who use laptops in class see their grades decline — and even contribute to lowering the grades of other people. Also, as often as possible you should annotate your books.
Here’s another report of a new study on this:
A new study in Psychological Science, though, suggests there’s even more to laptops’ negative effects on learning than distraction. Go old school with a pen and paper next time you want to remember something, according to Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton and the University of California-Los Angeles, respectively, because laptops actually make note-taking too easy.
The researchers ran a series of studies that tested college students’ understanding of TED Talks after they took notes on the videos either in longhand or on Internet-less laptops. Even without Facebook, the computer users consistently did worse at answering conceptual questions, and also factual-based ones when there was a considerable delay between the videos and testing.
You can read the whole thing here.