Monday, September 10, 2007

[TIPS] Notetaking that works

Thanks again to Kurt Paccio ( for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag at I'm sure he sent this to me since I did a presentation on this topic at NECC this year. Wish I had seen this THEN.

Why is this something you should read? If your school is moving to a one-to-one program, or if you've got a ton of laptop carts that are being used regularly (and hopefully they are) then one issue you're likely to face is that of kids wanting to take notes with their computer, right? But, do a search about professors banning laptops ( and you'll see that it's happening in more and more college classrooms. Why? Well, aside from the the fact that the students were actually playing online poker instead of taking notes, those that WERE trying to take notes were turned into very poor stenographers, constantly calling out, "Would you repeat that?" They were trying to record every word. Not only was there no conversation in class while this was going on, but the effort to try to type everything that the professor said meant that there was no synthesis of information that went on prior to typing it.

This article talks about methods for note taking that may work. There may not be a lot new in this article, but a couple things stood out for me. One was the sugestion that the student use a graphic organizer (Inspiration, cmap, etc) to organize by concepts and relationships, and using the notes field to fill in details. I liked that one. The article also mentions the Cornell notes form as well as outline mode.

In any case, give it read. Also, spend some time with the google search to find out why those prof's are banning laptops in their classrooms. Interesting reads.

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