This article on the benefits of writing notes by hand rather than on the computer — The Benefits of No-Tech Note Taking — rings true in my experience as a student (and as a teacher). Computers are an impediment to good note-taking, not a help. Even apart from the distraction, the problem is the way that people take notes:
The researchers found that students who used laptops were inclined to try to take notes verbatim—even when they were told not to. The longhand note takers took selective, organized notes because they couldn’t write fast enough to get everything down. As a result, they processed lectures more deeply, which allowed them to retain more information and even understand it better.
On a related note, I’ve found that I have serious problems retaining written material read on the kindle, in part, I think, because every text is formatted the same. I’ve found that the various things I read blend together and then disappear from memory in ways that print books, audio books, and even articles read online don’t do.
Do you have the same experience? If so, any suggestions?