By Ryan Preston
In a world where every teacher talks to their class with email and has every PowerPoint online, how can anyone still think handwritten notes are better? Typing on a computer during class allows you to not only keep up with your teacher’s fast paced rambling, but allows you to have access to all the material with the click of a button.
How can you even hope to take notes when you’re all the way in the back of the class and can barely hear the teacher or see their lecture? With your computer you can simply look at the PowerPoint, copy down the key points on a word document you also have queued up on your computer, and suddenly, coming late to class and sitting in the back isn’t the end of the world.
Almost every class at Washtenaw Community College uses Blackboard, and often times you can download the notes, and write in important points throughout the lecture. Thus, solidifying your understanding of the material and continuing to further your education, while also integrating technology into your schoolwork.
“I just like having everything organized for me,” said Nathan Fink, a sophomore in the Honors Program at Washtenaw from Ann Arbor. “I used to handwrite everything in high school… I would lose half my notes throughout the week, but with my laptop, unless I lose that, I’m set.”
Did you forget your final paper at home on the printer? No problem. With things like Google Docs, you can simply have all your notes, and papers on your phone and your computer, so if you’re ever in need, you’ve got a way to save yourself.
What if you get home after a long day of multiple classes, and then find yourself looking at your handwritten notes? There’s just one problem: you can’t read anything you’ve written. In your haste to keep up with your teacher and their lecture, everything has been misspelled, or is otherwise illegible. With the average adult being able to type at about 40 words per minute with no mistakes, and spell check readily available, it’s hard to see the benefits of handwriting.
“I just can’t focus on the teacher’s lectures without my laptop, I need to be able to rewatch it when I’m awake and it’s not 9:30 in the morning,” stated Aleck Sotolongo, a student in the liberal arts program from Ann Arbor.
While a laptop may seem like an expensive investment, entry level laptops are going for only about $400 these days, with many talented students being able to build their own for even cheaper. Thanks to the low cost of Washtenaw you may even be able to take out loans and use your refund check to purchase a laptop. So while people may still cling to the old ways of writing notes like a bad habit, the rest of us will be steadily typing out or notes, not stressing about the fast-paced nature that is the reality of college.