My Memory is Shot, All I Retain Now is Water

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Replicating Mueller and Oppenheimer showed that as people get more familiar with note-taking on a laptop, the negative side effects decrease. Caution should rule the day. Recent history is populated with examples of the public —and even scientists—leaping to conclusions from a sparse number of studies.

Take Notes by Hand for Better Long-Term Comprehension

That was the case several years ago when initial studies had indicated that beta-carotene had cancer-fighting properties. After more studies were done, the scientific community later rejected the initial finding. Personally, I also prefer using pen and paper to take notes, but please check all the research and do some critical thinking before you write such a negative comment next time. I agree that writing leads to better retention than typing but … I now write on a tablet which captures and saves my work.

I can also use character recognition to transcribe my notes. So I find I get the technological benefits of a computer with the human benefits of writing by using a stylus and touch screen tablet. Best of both worlds? Has anyone studied tablets? I would guess the benefit comes from the use of the hand to write. Whether the hand is writing on paper, a screen or hand made vellum is probably immaterial. I have noticed very tech savvy students using a tablet and stylus to hand write notes.

Great article — just about to take up a course of study and wondered if I should get into the 21st Century by taking notes on my laptop. This has helped me in making the decision to stick to taking notes by hand and subsequently have found a couple a really nice blank notebooks to use during my course.

In college I took notes by hand as fast as I could. I would stay up very late at night transcribing them to make them more legible. Studying before mid-terms and finals was much easier, and I did very well graduated with honors. In graduate school, I already knew how to process the information to take notes effectively. This worked out well too—completed a Ph. I think this was true if we take notes on laptops we would never take the time to go over them as if we were to take them on paper. I type faster than I write especially if I try to write legibly , but the cognitive process is different.

The same could be said about taking notes in lectures. I feel that the process of writing by hand provides an improved level of learning and analysis.

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My contention is dependent on my experience as a student, of course. This research report is good guidance, but many variables would have to be included for a more definitive statement. I am a second year college student. I always take notes using my notebook and pen for all my classes. I feel like taking longhand notes is more efficient than typing. Sometimes, I also print out the power point slides and take notes on it lecture.

I am not one of those students who would use a laptop to take notes and it is very distracting to be honest. Also one more thing. To be honest, I feel like typing notes on the laptop is only going to make us more lazy and will not make us productive and efficient. I believe that notes in a lecture should definitely be taken by hand simply because the laptop is too much of a distraction. This does not seem to be a well-controlled study. They compared students who chose to use paper and pen over those who used a computer. A better study might have compared students who had to use pen and paper vs.

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In addition, this ignores other electronic technologies, like using electronic pens e. Furthermore, the study does not address what about writing is more effective than electronic notes. It is unrealistic to expect a study to address all these points. However, I wanted to point out that the study or any study is perfect.

The authors provide some thought provoking ideas as well as ideas to help our kids learn better. I explain to my students every course start why I: a insist they take notes, b why my slides and handouts have so little information on them, and, c why it is a better method than passively reading a wordy slide or handout. It imprints that information and it is better retained.

I have seen that over the years. I have taught nursing for many years. As a nursing student, my method was to take copious notes in class, then go home and transcribe them with my typewriter. I made my own review for testing. I was not the most brilliant student in the class, but I made up for it by putting in the work. Resistance is often just seen as a form of laziness, but that is not true at all.

There are hidden forces causing us all to resist doing what we really should do. This slows us down considerably. Find out how to work with resistance, instead of fighting it all the time. Hi, Sean. Love your newsletter and articles and have read and re-read The Brain Audit several times.

My Memory is Shot; All I Retain Now is Water by Lori Borgman -

There are probably as many people who debunk the theory as there are who subscribe to it … no identifiable research supporting either side. Then only 2 or 3 actually practice out of class. For many years I ran my own construction company and before that my own factory — both relatively small businesses. I eventually developed a training plan where I would limit each session, run by myself, to 20 minutes. I then cut that to 10 minutes and in some cases as low as five minutes — all acompanied by practice afterwards, sometimes during. Consequently, I came to really know all about every task, many of which I can stilll recall in minute detail some 20 years later.

I myself recognize the importance of what he had to say. Interest in the material and repetition are important, I agree. I like the suggestion that mistakes are essential for learning. I find that I can retain something for years if I had an emotional response to it. On the other hand, even things that I have done repeatedly for years can be forgotten over time after I stopped doing them. But something highly emotional, like asking my wife to marry me, I recall today 25 years later. You fill the bucket and discover the leak. If you fix the bucket, you fill it and refill it many times.

I have learned five or six languages other than my mother tongue, but I have only retained one, French. Writing practice exams helps you a lot while preparing for a big test because, you learn from your mistakes and never forget the subject again! Good post.

No one taught me this — I had to learn the hard way… making mistakes. Being dyslexic I made many mistakes in my learning. Maybe because of those many mistakes I realized practicing it was the key. My secret was learning to cheat. Distilling a semester down to one sheet taught me the course. Now I cheat with everything I do. So if the method of educating were a seven-horse race. Form, weather conditions and the jockey all play significant roles. So too with learning where the mood of the participant, the teaching environment and the performance of the lecturer, determine what is going to stick in the mind.

We at Maersk Training in Denmark have for over thirty years been teaching seafarers and oilmen some of the most technical and challenging tasks at work. Over three days we will employ each of the methods of learning and see if we can taste the difference. Hi, Thank you for the post,you have a very good points. You might find this resource very interesting. I have trouble taking this article as serious fact-and-advice since you read the info online a few minutes beforehand. Where did those statistics come from? Who gathered them?

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Having gone from an extremely good and hands-on educational system where production and mistakes were encouraged, to the most traditional, lecture based undergrad and postgrad school, my almost year long introspection for the lack of knowledge retention has been finally spelled out here. Thank you :! I guess this is why when i study I remember most of the material because this is how i do it….

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I read the text, then I basically summarize it, Imake notes by writing the material i just read in my own words.. I would do this until i finish the book, then i would go back and read the notes I had written…as i go along, i talk to myself as if i am explaining it to another person.. It sounds more organised than just reading something once and expecting to remember it. So writing and practicing will be key. Does this work for math! It will work just as well for math. The point is this: The brain looks for a pattern. When it finds a pattern, it moves quickly.

Those who do math easily have figured out the pattern. With every repetition, the brain learns a bit more. Of course, a teacher or friend can point out the pattern as well. This is true for ANY skill! I always wonder why we listen to music onces but we can sing it for many years but reading a book to get an understanding could take years. Why is that so? That is because we listen to the song over and over again until we memorize it. That comradery is similar to what the article is saying. Also, a song lasts on average between minutes.

However, classical texts epics and plays do have meter, which I believe may have assisted in remembering the information. By the way, I became a teacher and taught gifted students for 35 years. Completely agreed. The best way to really learn something is teaching it. I learn a lot. And this is every single day. So first, what I do is write it down. The act of writing in, sorting it, helps. But then I might write a little piece about it.

All this writing takes time. Once, twice, many times. The brain is not designed to retain everything at full volume. To get it to pay attention you have to force it to remember. But yes, the best way to learn is to teach. If there is no one around teach yourself in the mirror, teach your dog or cat, talk to a stuffed animal.

Thank you for this very interesting article! I am passionate about how we can enhance the ability to retain what we learn, and it is actually easy! To make it even easier, I created recently an elearning website that applies your theory: we learn and remember better if we practice by doing practice questions and teach by making cheatsheets and courses about something we have learnt. Have a quick look as it is gaining new content quickly now. Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?

I know my readers would value your work. Really enjoyed reading this and created some great food for thought, particularly as a teacher myself. Would love to look into this further. This is out of intrigue not at all critical! Thanks for putting this together. Very inspiring. Thanks Ian. He writes a about how much you retain from what you learn. This can be a best case scenario. A lecture room, where the teacher is talking, you rarely retain […]. For hints and tips on remembering more.

Helping others in the web […]. Android Development is […]. And if I did, I promptly forgot, like we forget most things. According to Psychotactics. We retain just half of […].

Short Term Memory Loss - What It Is, What Causes It, and How To Prevent It

I need to take notes; write things down for myself. Having your videos transcribed gives your audience a better shot of remembering what you have […]. According to this post on Psychotactics. It explains that the most effective way to learn something is to teach it, or immediately put it into practice. The most simple response is — The greater your need to know in the moment of your learning, the greater your learning.