The end of notetaking?

By | August 7, 2019
College students at desks, taking notes.
(flickr CC BY 2.0)

In a recent article for “Inside Higher Ed,” Perry Samson, professor of atmospheric science at U-M, suggests that digital transcribing tools might free students up to do more beneficial things with their time in class.

“Just as speech-to-text technologies like Amazon Alexa or Google Home can answer your questions in the kitchen about the latest news and weather report, the same algorithms are now powering a new age of speech-to-text transcription that means all classes can now be transcribed, so students don’t have to take notes,” writes Samson.

According to Samson, the question is not whether note taking is bad or good, but rather what else students could do that is more productive for their learning. For example, students could spend more time asking questions, which is the foundation of engagement and the best predictor of academic outcomes.