August 12, 2014

Back-to-school Note

New academic studies say writing by hand improves your chances of learning something.

This has led the Cleveland Browns to use pens and notebooks rather than computers to record notes during training camp this year.

Brown defensive lineman Desmond Bryant (Harvard) said the mandate to write has the Browns "mentally processing it. "You are actively using your brain more," he added.

This goes along with a finding ("The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard," Oppenheimer and Mueller) that because the hand can't possibly keep up with the speaker's words, the writer must rephrase what was said in his or her own words which in turn processes the information at a deeper lever.

So before our schools do away with teaching "handwriting skills" and hand every kid a computer, let us take note that writing by hand improves your chance of learning something.  

Note to students:  Listen carefully and take good handwritten notes if you really want to learn something in class.

--includes references from August 12, 2014 issue of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, "The Browns' Strategy: Write This Down" by Kevin Clark