Adjusting to College With Old School Methods?

Adjusting to College With Old School Methods?

More and more research is showing that relying on phone apps for time management doesn't help students as much as a paper planner.  Apps involve hopping from place to place and require tapping - not writing by hand.  As such, the phone is very quick if you are recording a date or inputting a reminder, but it isn't necessarily going to help you remember or actually PLAN.

Time management means doing something active - the verb is "manage" after all. It doesn't just happen by virtue of recording a date.  It's a mental mind shift that is so visual in nature that a paper planner can make all the difference.  It allows a student to "see" their week, day by day, and then by writing in assignments and other appointments, the student has already engaged their brain.  The act of writing in an assignment involves thinking about the assignment, looking at the time"around" the assignment and as a result, remembering it.  Simply put, write don't tap. Writing by hand activates the thinking part of the brain.

The same goes for taking notes.  When we use a laptop in a course, we are typing furiously, trying to keep up and record what is being said.  But "recording" isn't thinking.  It becomes automatic, almost like what we see a court reporter do on Law and Order.  

Consider this recent research:

Contrary to the popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, volunteers who used paper completed the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smartphones.

A study of Japanese university students and recent graduates has revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory.


According to Jennifer Osborne, when more and more of her students take photos of the board or rely on other technology, "They are doing the exact opposite of what it takes to retain and process information."


The same is true in the world of business, where they are (gasp) promoting software that allows you to "pay attention" in meetings because it takes notes FOR you.  Uh Oh!  Consider this article:

All of these principles apply when students take the time to write down where they have to be and what they have to do each day of each week. They remember more, and when they remember, they do the work sooner, and that gives them a sense of control, which reduces their stress and increases happiness.

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