February 19, 2019

The Pen is NOT Mightier than the Keyboard – Strategies to Embrace and Scaffold Digital Learning

By Beth Holland

Few empirical studies may be more detrimental to advancements of effective technology use in K-12 education than Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) and Carter, Greenberg, and Walker (2016). Both assert that students in lecture-style courses perform worse when allowed to use technology. However, neither mentions any instruction to help students capitalize on digital tools! Too often, educators project their own learning habits onto their students, applying paper-based strategies to digital contexts. However, what if we considered digital note taking as a completely new task? When students can harness the power of tagging, searching, and sharing as a new way to approach how they interact with course content, they will be able to ask better questions, build stronger connections, and engage in deeper inquiry. Ultimately, students need to not only be able to search for knowledge across disparate sources, but also within their own brains.

Presentation Slides

My Note Taking Articles


Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159–1168. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614524581

Carter, S. P., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. S. (2017). The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy. Economics of Education Review, 56, 118-132. Retrieved fromhttps://seii.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SEII-Discussion-Paper-2016.02-Payne-Carter-Greenberg-and-Walker-2.pdf