Put it in your own words (part 1)


Let's face it. In today's digital world, it's pretty easy to get overwhelmed by information.

 

You know what I mean.

 

Downloading or uploading the data is one thing. Processing it is another.

 

Even simple online searches can be overwhelming. Sophisticated inbound traffic techniques lead a viewer to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of posts at once.

 

It's up to you to decide which ones will be the most helpful. 

 

TOO MUCH INFORMATION

Wipebook whiteboard notebook

 

Here's the thing: For a lot of us, this torrent of information becomes noise because we get overwhelmed. We end up doing nothing with the data because we don’t know where to start.

 

Getting past that stage involves realizing that you don't have to memorize all that information to learn effectively. If you focus on absorbing smaller, relevant pieces of information and allowing a disruption or disfluency to take place as you put ideas in your own words, the process is slower -- but it makes for more effective learning.

 

LAPTOPS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION

Wipebook whiteboard notebook

For instance, this 2014 study on notetaking by Princeton and UCLA examined the learning efficiency of students who took notes by hand compared to the learning efficiency of those who used a laptop. The end result: Students who took handwritten notes fared much better on exams.

 

Why is that?

 

AS HUMANS WE NEED TO MANIPULATE STUFF

Wipebook whiteboard note writing

 

Writing by hand is slower, so you can’t record as many words as quickly. But there's more to "writing it out" than we realize. In order to master material on a deeper level, you have to manipulate it. You've got to make it your own.

 

On the other hand, the study found, students who used a laptop pretty much recorded the whole lecture verbatim in a mechanical manner. They listened to it and they wrote it down. But they didn't manipulate it in a way that helped them acquire or absorb the knowledge that the lecture contained.

 

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