Thursday, July 7, 2016

Taking Notes: By hand, by laptop, by image

Today is going to be a crazy, hectic day, the kind of day where I leave the house at 7:30 a.m. and don't return for 12 hours--and not much down time along the way. 

Along with the two new student orientations, I'll be leading a professional development session--2 of the same one.  We're going to experiment with note taking.

I was inspired by this story when I created what I hope will be an interesting, experiential session.  We will divide ourselves into 3 groups, and I will lead a brief discussion of Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress."  Each group will take notes a different way:  by hand, by laptop or phone, and by sketching.  We'll have a brief quiz to see what kind of recall people have.

The NPR story predicts that the group that takes notes by hand will do the best:  "Because people can type faster than they write, using a laptop will make people more likely to try to transcribe everything they're hearing. So on the one hand, Mueller and Oppenheimer were faced with the question of whether the benefits of being able to look at your more complete, transcribed notes on a laptop outweigh the drawbacks of not processing that information. On the other hand, when writing longhand, you process the information better but have less to look back at."

I added sketching as a means of notetaking, because I've been experimenting with sketching, and because we're an art school of sorts, with a variety of artistic faculty. 

I hope people will like the experience; I'm certainly not going to make any sweeping claims in terms of our results.  The sample will be much too small.  But I hope it leads to an interesting discussion of classroom techniques.


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