A lot of my peers are surprised that I take notes with a cheap pen and a MUJI notebook instead of on my iPad. I think better on paper.
Turns out, there’s some science behind it…
A few years back, there were a bunch of stories in the press about the science of writing things by hand. As it turns out, our brains work differently when we form letters with a hand-held implement – and we learn more effectively than when we type. This makes total sense. I’ve long noticed that when I’m writing in a paper journal, it mentally feels different than when I’m typing out my thoughts on a computer. I thought it had something to do with the more focused nature of paper vs. connected devices. As it turns out, there’s more to it than that.
Now technically, you can write with your hands on an iPad. But the apps that do that still aren’t a good replacement for paper and pen. The fidelity isn’t good enough, and the screen is too constraining. And I feel like something is lost without the tactile response you get from physical objects.
As I think about mobile and virtual learning, this is something I often keep in mind as well. There are certain activities that are just better done offline.