Note Taking a Personal Choice

Note Taking a Personal Choice

My guess is we all had a teacher who required us to take notes a particular way.  I remember one teacher who made us take two column notes.  I did not like having to fold my pages and frankly I have trouble reading my own handwriting, this method was not for me.  I appreciated knowing there are different strategies for taking notes, organizing and maximizing workflow but ultimately the choice should be mine.

I feel the same way about all the note taking apps for the iPad, there are a slew of them. A quick search of the iTunes store came up with 130+ for iPad. Not to mention the storage type apps such as dropbox that work with these apps. While talking to some educators at MassCUE they we trying to decide which note taking app to tell their students to use.  They believe they need to preview the apps, learn how to use them, choose one and then teach their students.  In this case the teachers will experience all the learning* and thinking about study strategies, work flow and how to use the apps and apply them to school. I do feel it is worth while to discuss study skills, note taking strategies, ways to maximize workflow and review some of the tools to do it.  It is also helpful to encourage our students to try a method or two before settling in on one tool.  If a student is not doing well then it is a time to chat about what is working or not for that student and encourage them to try another method.  Learning is truly a personal endeavor and how we keep track and organize that learning should be personal too.

* On a side note I often feel that I get the privilege of the learning experience when someone else once to learn something.  I am asked to give conference workshops, consult with schools, or support an educator regarding a technology I have not had much experience.  I spend the time researching, learning, reflecting, experimenting then summarizing.  I learn.  Then I pass on the digested version of my experience hoping to pass on what I have learned.

One thought on “Note Taking a Personal Choice

  1. Ms. Knittle,
    My name is Ashley Zaworski and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I will be following your blog and post a summary about it on my blog for school. You can take a look at
    I completely agree with you on note taking being a personal choice. Teachers should inform their students about the different strategies they can use to help them take notes, organize and maximize their workflow. Like you said, the choice as to which method they use should be the student’s choice. Every student is different and they all learn in different ways. Therefore, one particular method for taking notes is not going to work for all of your students. Each student should be able to choose the strategy that works best for them to maximize their study skills. By allowing your students to do this, you are giving them the opportunity to make the best grade that they can possibly make.
    I never thought something so small such as requiring your students to take notes a certain way could actually hinder their performance in class. Your blog post was very helpful. Thank you for the advice.

    Ashley Zaworski

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