Pen mightier than mouse


Miranda Lester / Legacy Media

Senior Mavi Ontiveros and Tristan Ortega take notes on their preferred device, the computer and paper.

No matter how technologically advanced the world may become, paper will always be more effective. Whether it be for learning purposes or to avoid dealing with the inevitable technical errors that arise when using a computer, the benefits of using paper are hard to match.

Writing notes down on paper is proven to be more effective for committing information to memory than typing on a laptop, and paper can be used at any time. In a recent study conducted by Mueller of Princeton University and Oppenheimer of University of California Los Angeles, a comparison was made between students that took notes by hand, and those that typed notes on laptops. Oppenheimer tested the students’ memories for factual detail and conceptual understanding. While students that typed notes on laptops tended to remember the information learned, the hand-writers retained more information and showed stronger conceptual comprehension.

A very common excuse used by students at school is, “my laptop died and erased all of my work.” This excuse never arises when using paper, because paper never dies or need recharging. When writing on paper, the only work lost is the work that is erased by a person. Writing notes on physical paper is becoming something of the past, and that will be a severe disadvantage to students.

Considering the increased use of laptops, phones and other technological devices, it is no surprise that handwriting is becoming a lost art; however, when comparing a computer to pen and paper, the cons of using a computer should be considered. If used for learning purposes, taking notes with pen and paper is the better choice. Although technology is becoming more and more advanced as the years go by, the benefits of using paper will always outweigh the benefits of using a computer when it comes to learning.