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Students no longer using pen and paper

Danish students overwhelmingly opt in to the benefits of digital note-taking. Pen and paper is the preferred method of note-taking by only one out of every five students

80 percent of all Danish university students now rely on computer, tablets and smart phones for note-taking, a new survey made by Mircrosoft shows.

“Digital notes have many benefits because they are easier to find and edit. But more importantly, they also increase the possibilities for student co-operation. The students can share their notes more easily and write comments for each other and work on the notes together,” says Lars Birch Andreasen, who researches the relationship between IT and learning at Aalborg University, to Danish news site

“And then you are also free from situations where the entire class can’t access the notes from a lecture because the person who did them is sick” he says.

Still a digital stigma

Apart than making the university environment more social, digital notes also teach students to work in an up-to-date fashion, making it easier adapting to a modern workplace when they are finished studying, explains Jakob Ruggard, president of the Danish Students’ Council (Danske Studerendes Fællesråd).

According to Jakob, there is still a stigma on the use of electronics on campus.

“It is remarkable that although the benefits of using electronics in learning situations speak for themselves, you still often experience lecturers complain that students only bring their laptops and smartphones to the class room to watch movies and surf the net,” he says.

Pen and paper students miss out

The survey shows that 60 percent take their notes in Word while 20 percent use specially designed software for note-taking, like Microsoft OneNote, Apple Pages and Evenote. The last 20 percent are still using pen and paper.

“Of course all students use digital tools, but the students who still use pen and paper are missing out on the benefits of digital notes. Digital notes makes group work different, when you share the same notes. Then you have to make your notes understandable to other people than yourself. And that is a really good excercise” Lars concludes.

The survey had 1,059 respondents distributed among 10 higher learning institutions.

Read original article (in Danish) here.

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