Why do CSM students use (paper) notebooks?

CSM My Digital Life Workshop, 26 Feb 2013

GROUP 3: Why do CSM students use (paper notebooks)? Ningyi Jiang, Kerilyn Tacconi, Ana Laya, Leo Qin

This group presented using Prezi – link to follow shortly!

Thanks to Althea Phoenix for taking notes in the group discussion after the presentation. The following is an edited version of her notes (done by hand then typed!)

Taking notes was seen as part of the learning process, whether done digitally or by hand. People have very personal preferences and affections for their note taking, and it was clear that there is a significant emotional aspect at play. For some people digital devices are less intimidating than a blank piece of paper – for others, it’s the other way around. It was noted that digital tools can be barriers unless you know how to use them.

One person described liking the ritual of writing with a fountain pen, another was proud when their writing was described as ‘clean’, and another stated their preference for a particular type of Moleskin notebook.

The group discussed the ‘human’ qualities of handwriting, which was seen by some as an art in itself. Understanding writing as an art form is perhaps culturally contingent – for example, one student from China stated that written characters carry the ‘scholar’s manner’. The group questioned whether certain cultures, such as Arab cultures, that are proud of their calligraphy, would have a different perspective on digital technology replacing writing.

One group member said that he went digital because he had problems carrying his physical notebooks around due to airline restrictions. Having a digital notebook was a way to keep his practice going within the practical limitations of his life.

Some people felt more secure with having a hard copy back up of their notes – notebooks are precious, personal things. One student said she does not like to leave her notebook (as she clutched it to her chest).

It was noted that having lots of laptops in lectures can be intrusive.

The group questioned the assumption that paperless = more sustainable. Data storage in the cloud requires enormous use of water and resources to power the cables that go across the world to connect the Net.

And finally….Evernote changes lives!

1 thought on “Why do CSM students use (paper) notebooks?

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