When you think of the class room environment, typically you envision students at their desks putting pencil to paper or listening to the teacher talk at the front. Today alongside the pencil and paper, there’s a range of tools that support learning, many of which include digital technology.
A common study technique was to always print everything, read it with a highlighter and then write notes. A lot of people agree this technique helped to absorb the information. Research shows this behaviour to be really common but also a better way to learn information.
Recent research and local experience shows that there are learning and retention limitations to using digital technology as a study tool in the classroom when compared to pencil and paper. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a recent report commenting that technology is being seen to do more harm than good in our schools. Findings started to show that students who used technology very frequently did a lot worse. While it is positive to provide a range of resources to students, laptops and tablets are accused of distracting students from their learning tasks.
Handwriting improves cognitive and learning processes, showing a positive connection between writing and idea generation. Another study showed that 60 out of 66 students preferred paper to a computer when studying, and that using paper for note-taking improved the quality of the reports. Moreover, 54% of students reported that print textbooks provided better learning outcomes than reading an electronic version.
Print and paper deliver proven results and continue to play an essential role in education and development.