Modern life is full of technologies applied in many spheres: smartphones to communicate faster, watches to analyze health conditions, recognition systems for safety, online money, and more. The novelties also appeared in the educational systems as students changed usual copybooks with pens to desktops and tablets with keyboards. However, the human brain and body evolution is significantly slower than technological development, and implementing different studying tools might affect educational outcomes (Dahlström & Boström, 2017). Handwriting and typing are equally convenient approaches to recording information, yet they have different effects on students’ memory, concentration, and learning quality.
Firstly, the way new data was recorded affects how students memorize it to apply later. Handwriting has been the only strategy to fix information in one’s head, thus the brain turns on the memorizing process automatically when a hand begins to write down what is being heard or seen. In contrast, typing is a novel operation for people, even though it exists for more than a century. The human brain does not automatically switch to the memorizing mode while hands are typing (Ito et al., 2020). People tend to re-read what was typed multiple times to remember the crucial parts of a text.
Secondly, concentration is required in the writing process, and students experience a different level of focus while applying handwriting or typing on a keyboard. Recording information using hands and pens is a complicated task that involves a high percentage of the brain’s attention, therefore, it is harder to get distracted while handwriting (Ito et al., 2020). Conversely, students find it hard to stay focused for a long time while typing because the device they apply contains many interruptions.
Lastly, the learning quality of recorded information depends on students’ involvement in the process, and its level is different for handwriting and typing. While recording data by hand is a proven way to gain new knowledge, entering it into a device remains questionable (Dahlström & Boström, 2017). Though many students prefer typing during classes, they still use handwritten notes while preparing for exams because it is more effective for learning.
To conclude, modern students should not overestimate the convenience of using desktops and tablets for recording new information as it is still hard for the human brain to turn it into knowledge. Handwriting has a better effect on memorizing, concentration, and learning quality than typing. People need to achieve a balance in applying technological novelties in their daily lives to maintain the effectiveness of processes like studying.
Dahlström, D., & Boström, B. (2017). Pros and Cons: Handwriting versus digital writing. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 12(04), 143-161. Web.
Ito, R., Hamano, K., Nonaka, K., Sugano, I., Nakamura, S., Kake, A., & Ishimaru, K. (2020). Comparison of the remembering ability by the difference between handwriting and typeface. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 526-534. Springer, Cham. Web.