Editorial: Should Students Be Allowed to Take Notes via Laptop?

Students should be free to type their notes rather than being forced to handwrite them.

In the classroom, teachers only have so much time to relay information to their students before the bell rings. This often requires teachers to be quick with their lessons in order to get information through to their students. Students are encouraged and often forced to handwrite in class. This is intended to help them better remember what they’re taught, but due to time constraints, some can often end up lost and confused. Though this does not apply for all students, some students are much more efficient in typing than they are in writing, and allowing them to record their notes in this manner would solve this problem easily. Handwritten notes can also come out garbled and incomprehensible as a result of students rushing to get the information down, leaving them without any form of review and causing their work to go to waste.

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If students were to take notes via laptop, they would also have the opportunity to back up their notes to programs such as Google Docs and Google Drive, allowing them to store their notes and access them universally. There would be no need for students to keep track of their notes physically, and even if something happened to their computer, they would still be able to access their files with relative ease as long as they still had access to their account. They can be revisited to study for large, end-of-the-year tests that students often struggle with not because of the difficulty of the problems, but due to the simple challenge of retaining all that they’ve learned over the school year. I agree that handwriting notes does help students to better remember what they’ve learned for tests, but when so much time has passed since students have gone over a topic with their teachers, they’re bound to be unsure whether or not they’re remembering what to do correctly. If students store their notes electronically, they’ll be able to access them nearly anywhere at nearly any time, and refresh their memories for exams and other large end-of-the-year tests.

Alternatively, students could handwrite their notes in class so that they better remember them for upcoming tests and quizzes and copy them on laptop to store them for future use. This would allow students the benefits gained from handwriting notes, such as better memory of what was taught, while still allowing them to store their notes for the future, in the event that they do need to look back and study them without digging through countless notebooks and papers. Students should be given the option to take notes via laptop in class if they believe it would be more beneficial than handwriting notes, and should be encouraged to store their notes electronically using programs such as Google Docs or Google Drive so that they can easily access them when necessary.