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Writing is Better than Typing!
If you are wondering in this electronic age if it is still important to teach your children to write, the answer is YES!!
Attention Students:
Put Your Laptops Away
Check out the article from NPR explaining new research demonstrating that college students who take longhand notes perform far better than those taking notes on a laptop.

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In a series of studies titled, " The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking" by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer, the authors state the reasons they believe that pen and paper notes are more effective.   Writing with pen is slower than typing and therefore students must “process” while writing in order to select the most relevant material for the notes.

It's All in the Movement

Though the authors did not discuss movement, I would submit that one of the key reasons that students perform better with longhand notes is not only because they are processing the material differently at the outset, but because they are also moving differently. It may be that students are able to process the material better, comprehend it better, and retain it better, because the movement-based tasks involved in longhand note taking are far more likely to stimulate the brain in beneficial ways, therefore greatly enhancing learning.  

Discover the Movement Tasks

Here are just some of the brain-stimulating movement tasks involved in longhand note taking that are not engaged in laptop note taking:

1. We use a SINGLE hand for longhand note taking. This activates one hemisphere of the brain that is specialized for this task, which likely allows other parts of the brain, to process the material more efficiently.

2. The muscle movements of hand and fingers required with pen and paper are far more refined and subtle than the hand movements required in typing.

3. Instead of staring at a screen, eye muscles are far more active, converging on the point where the pen touches the page and tracking the written letters across the page.

4. Eye, head and neck muscles are more engaged with hand writing when a student is looking from the professor (or front of classroom) to the page.  

Movement is Key

We know form the work of many researchers that movement is a key factor in learning. Movement stimulates the brain possibly more than any other activity. The book, Spark, by John Ratey, MD summarizes much of the research showing how movement stimulates learning. In addition, it used to be thought that the cerebellum’s main function was to control and orchestrate movement. It is now known that the cerebellum plays a key role in higher learning processes as well.  Explore More >> The Cerebellum and the Reading Process

It may also be that having the eyes on the screen and the hands hovering over the electronic tracking pad of the computer, which are both considered detrimental*, could also be a factor reducing the effectiveness of student learning when taking notes with laptops.  

*See the work of Victoria L. Dunckley, MD and Magda Havas, PhD  

Though multiple factors are involved, the outcome is clear: For best performance, students should ditch the laptop and opt for pen and paper notes.  
Upcoming Courses
All Courses Taught by Sonia Story Unless Noted Otherwise
Brain and Sensory Foundations  1.6 AOTA CEUs*

Learn Reflex Integration, Rhythmic and Neurodevelopmental Movement

Self-Paced, 8 Online Video Sessions

Recordings available 24/7
Open Enrollment Now through Feb 28, 2017

Contact Sonia Story

Rhythmic Movement Training
Levels 1 and 2
2.1 AOTA CEUs*
April 19 - 21, 2017
Princeton, NJ

March 24 - 26, 2017
Portland, OR

In Rhythmic Movement Training we learn an excellent combination of 17 innate rhythmic movements and reflex integration activities that effectively stimulate brain and sensory pathways and optimize potential in all areas of life.

See profound results for the children and adults in your life who receive these movements on a regular basis.

  *AOTA does not endorse specific content, products or clinical procedures
Rhythmic Movement Training Courses
RMT Level 3
April 22-23, 2017
Taught by Mary Gazca and Sonia Story

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact: Mary Gazca
Interview with Nina Gallwey
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