As online learning, e-textbooks and digital note-taking gains popularity amongst students, it’s easy to think that using an old-fashioned pen and paper is outdated. However, even though embracing new technology and techniques is a step in the right direction, there are a whole heap of benefits from using paper-based learning too, meaning it’s still a really important part of everyday education at home and in schools. Here’s just some of the benefits of paper-based learning and why it’s still such an important part of the learning process for students.
It Can Help Students Retain Information Easier
Countless studies have found that even though there are clear benefits to using computers in lessons, many students actually preferred to write by hand because it helped them remember what they had learned. In fact, even more research found that writing notes by hand actually forces students to fully process the information and rewrite it out in their own words. Ultimately this means they have to fully digest, summarise, and select the important pieces of information, which helps them build up a much deeper understanding and knowledge retention.
Material Can Be Easier To Understand On Paper
It’s also been found that for some students learning can be much easier to understand on paper than when seeing it on a screen. A study conducted by professor Anne Mangen backs this theory up. She learned that people who read a 28-page story on paper understood the chronological order of the plot better than those who used a Kindle. This could also coincide that reading on a screen is much more tiring than reading on paper, which suggests that paper-based learning could increase motivation and willingness to understand and engage.
It Can Help Students Stay More Actively Engaged
Even though digital learning is excellent in so many ways, the vastness of the internet can also be a downfall of it too. With so many distractions on devices such as social media, WhatsApp and YouTube, it can be easy for students to get side-tracked if they’re learning digitally. When there’s no technology involved, it can be much easier for students to stay actively engaged and focused during their lessons and have the capacity to express more ideas. Research by psychologist Virginia Berninger also found that when students wrote notes on paper they expressed more ideas and brain scans showed greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory.