Here’s some good advice for the students among you. If you want to improve your academic performance, you do better to take handwritten notes than to take notes on your computer.
Moreover, you will learn more if you add an occasional thought of your own than you will if you merely transcribe the reading verbatim.
By writing it out with pen and ink you will retain more of what you learned. It’s not just that you will better remember the facts. Writing it out will help your conceptual learning, too.
Wray Herbert reports on the most recent studies:
Those who took notes in longhand, and were able to study, did significantly better than any of the other students in the experiment -- better even than the fleet typists who had basically transcribed the lectures. That is, they took fewer notes overall with less verbatim recording, but they nevertheless did better on both factual learning and higher-order conceptual learning. Taken together, these results suggest that longhand notes not only lead to higher quality learning in the first place; they are also a superior strategy for storing new learning for later study. Or, quite possibly, these two effects interact for greater academic performance overall.
Of course, studying and writing reports does not stop when you graduate. Surely, the same rule applies when you are doing research for a presentation.
Many first-rate writers insist that they do better when they write out early drafts in longhand, only later to retype them into a computer.