Is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?

Mr Richard Dobrenov | Deputy Principal & Head of Senior School

Whilst the age of technology has increased our ability to communicate quickly and more efficiently, studies are showing that the use of laptops solely to take notes in classes and lectures may actually be impairing student learning, resulting in shallower levels of processing.  As we embark upon the studying of new subjects particularly in Year 10, there is value in reflecting upon our current practices. A recent research article by Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) entitled, The Pen is Mightier Than The Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking, identifies three studies that reached the conclusion that lower performances on conceptual questions were experienced by those who took notes on laptops as opposed to those students who took notes in the traditional long hand way.  They discovered an increased tendency in students on laptops who attempted to transcribe verbatim rather than those students who processed the information and reframed it in their own words, longhand.

A major contributing factor to the study’s findings was the capacity of laptops to distract the user and invite multi-tasking.  Random internet browsing was a major impairment on performance and even when the distractions are controlled laptop use might impair student performance around the manner and quality of note-taking.  Substantial data already exists on the general effectiveness of taking notes by longhand through an encoding process, which suggests that the act of taking notes improves both learning and retention.   We already know that the possession of notes for future review increases retention and impacts academic outcomes.

There are two forms of note-taking, generative (summarising, paraphrasing and concept mapping); and non-generative, (where the person copies verbatim).   The study found that Verbatim note taking generally suggests shallow cognitive processing, as opposed to generative note-taking where the student first processes information and then encodes it into their own words.  Verbatim note taking predicts poor performance as opposed to non-verbatim, especially on conceptual and integrative items.

This becomes particularly relevant to laptop usage, because today, most students can type significantly faster than they can write. As a result, typing may impair the benefits of encoding that were experienced in the past with handwritten note-taking.  Certainly, typing is better for transcribing but not for general note-taking, which is still the mainstay of academia.

It still seems that synthesising and summarising content rather than verbatim copying produces improved educational outcomes.  For this reason, note-taking on laptops should still be viewed with a healthy dose of caution in the ever-changing landscape of education.

Valedictory Events | Livestream links

This week we’ve hosted a number of Valedictory events to celebrate our Year 12s and their time here at the College.  We have live-streamed all …

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Little SCOTS takes off! featured image

Little SCOTS takes off!

This week we welcomed some of the newest members of our community to the Prep room for our first ‘Little SCOTS’ transition morning.  Our new …

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Little SCOTS takes off!

This week we welcomed some of the newest members of our community to the Prep room for our first ‘Little SCOTS’ transition morning.  Our new visitors enjoyed joining the class and being shown the ropes by our current Preps who were wonderful examples for the College. Everyone enjoyed their ‘Teddy Bear’ themed morning and are already looking forward to seeing what’s in store for next week.
Our Little SCOTS Transition to Prep program will run over the next 5 Wednesdays. If you know of any kindy kids who would like to be part of the program, it’s not too late to get in touch!
Boarding Reflections featured image

Boarding Reflections

Last week marked the final Boarding Chapel for Term 4 and an opportunity for our senior boarders to reflect on their experiences and impart their …

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Boarding Reflections

Last week marked the final Boarding Chapel for Term 4 and an opportunity for our senior boarders to reflect on their experiences and impart their boarding wisdom to their younger schoolmates.

Here are some excerpts from our Senior Girl Boarders:

Erin Fearby | Boarding Captain,  Inglewood

I became a boarder in 2017, so imagine a very shy little 12-year-old Erin who had no resilience whatsoever and was scared of absolutely everything, and there you’ll have me. I come from a small country town where I had the exact same friends from kindy all the way up until I left at the end of Year 7. Boarding was always a really weird concept to me, I was expected to live with 55 other girls that I’d never met before all of whom came from all different kinds of backgrounds – for all I knew one of them could have been a serial killer and I was expected to live with them. I had never moved schools before so this was a very big thing for me. I didn’t know anybody here except for my very “caring” brother who was just as terrified as me. The time came for us to drop little Marky-Mark off and in saying goodbye I heard a crack in his voice and from there the tears just streamed down my face. Then it was my turn to be dropped off.  All I remember is me crying hysterically and Ms Clarke having to hold me down whilst my parents left. Ms Clarke, I am so sorry. I was then introduced to a very hyperactive and excited girl named Heidi, and a very shy, quiet girl named Alexandra. Heidi knew my sister and Alex’s brothers and had decided well before we even came that we were all going to be best friends, she absolutely terrified us at first but she was right, here we are, five years later, still great friends.

I was asked to talk about how I’ve grown since becoming a boarder and I think it’s pretty obvious that I have, I’m no longer that little shy girl that was scared to meet new people and would cry about the smallest of things. Most importantly though boarding has taught me so many things; how to deal with people I don’t want to, how to forgive people, how to be independent, how to not care what others think of me and how to control my anger when Rozzy wakes us up on a Saturday morning with the loudspeaker. In all seriousness, this place is so special and I wouldn’t have it any other way with any other people. I want to finish by thanking all 56 of you, it was a pleasure leading you this year, as cliché as it sounds, you guys are family and I love you all so very much. To quote Tshinta Kendall, girl boarders are the superior and I’m so proud to forever be one.

Charlotte Jarvis, Tambo

This is my fourth and final year at the College as a boarder and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end. However, if you turned back in time and told that scared, quiet and eyebrow-less Year 9 girl that I once was, that boarding would become her second family, she wouldn’t have believed you. You see, when I first came to the College I struggled to fit in and came very close to leaving. However, a wise girl by the name of Erin Fearby told me that your second year is always better than your first, so I decided to give it another shot and sure enough, she was right. In Year 10, our grade of only four girls (Erin, Shona, Arena, and myself) started becoming a family and we shared many amazing times together. From laying on the kitchen floor and singing the Greatest Showman, dancing together at socials, and having a strange but comforting obsession with the Hangover movies, these girls were the reason I stayed. Since Year 10, our family has grown quite a bit and so have I. Boarding turned that scared little Year 9 girl into this confident, opinionated, and self-sufficient Year 12 student that you see standing before you today. Boarding also gave me more than just six new friends… it gave me six new sisters and although we don’t all get along at times we share that boarder bond.

I can’t thank the girls enough for what they’ve done for me over the past four years, and I am forever grateful that they have put up with me for this long and they are the reason I grew into the person I am today. It’s definitely safe to say that I will always be proud to tell people for the rest of my life that I was a real housewife of PGC.

Leilani Lavea, Tenterfield

This is my second year of being a boarder at PGC but in all honesty, it feels like I’ve been here a lot longer. I remember my first day that I was scared that I wasn’t wearing the right uniform and I knew no one but Eleanor who was in the same position as me.  We weren’t too sure that we’d like it here and I didn’t know if I’d fit in but it became clear to me very quickly that the girls I was surrounded by were sure to become my second family and the boarding house I lived in, a new place to call home. The girls here have helped shape the person I want to become and made me see that I can achieve more than just being a trophy wife.  Though there’s no real way to prepare for the real world, I think it’s fair to say that boarding has helped set me up for the journey ahead in becoming a stronger and more independent person.

My fellow Year 12s… we are finally at this end of this chapter of our lives with no clue as to what’s in store for the future .  We have all grown so much, not only as individuals but as a family. We took our time getting to this point and it definitely hasn’t been a cruisy trip – I’d say it was more of a dramatic rollercoaster that should’ve had a lot more ups than downs, but we made it nonetheless. I know we didn’t always see eye to eye, it was especially hard for Eleanor seeing as she’s a head shorter than the rest of us, but we always had each other’s back when things got serious. You guys also taught me some great self-defence. I’m sure that if any day student ever got into a fight as intense as one of ours, they would not have survived and it probably would’ve ended in a lawsuit. But jokes aside, there is truly no other group of girls I would want to have gone through this boarding experience with than each of you guys. Although we are all ready to go our different ways, wherever they may take us, we will always be sisters and we will always have each other’s backs. I love you all so much and I will always be proud to say that I was a boarder here at SCOTS PGC.

Arena Wheeler, Winton

For the last three years, I have called PGC home, the 50 plus girls and staff who live there, my family.  As a cohort, I think we have all grown so much; from the 4 of us that made up Year 10 to the 9 of us that now make up our final year. We would be lying if we said that we always got along and that the road to here was always smooth because we all know that isn’t true. We have seen the best and worst of each other and I believe because of this we have all grown so much. I don’t know how many times I have heard day students say “I don’t know how you boarders do it, living in boarding”.  But I don’t know how I could have made it through the last few years of high school without boarding.  Next year we are all going to go our separate ways and it will be the first time in three years that I won’t be calling boarding, home.  Boarding has prepared me for some of the realities of life, like having to deal with people that are different from me, or that I don’t get along with, and how to be independent.  Living in boarding isn’t always easy and we all do fight A LOT (sometimes sisterly and other times we have to be broken up). But there is no other place that I could knock on a few doors and have 10 of Warwick’s hottest models doing an exotic runway show with little convincing.  If it wasn’t for boarding I don’t think I would have grown into the independent and confident person that I believe I am today.

PARTY Program featured image

PARTY Program

Georgia Moody | Year 11 Student Last Friday twenty-two other students and I, travelled to Toowoomba Hospital to participate in a one-day P.A.R.T.Y (Prevent Alcohol …

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PARTY Program

Georgia Moody | Year 11 Student

Last Friday twenty-two other students and I, travelled to Toowoomba Hospital to participate in a one-day P.A.R.T.Y (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program. The P.A.R.T.Y program is all about prevention and awareness by learning from real people and real experiences. Their motto is “think twice because you only live once” which are extremely powerful words. The program takes young people through the path of a trauma patient while healthcare professionals including trauma nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physios, and psychologists talk about their role in the process. We had a guest speaker Zach Nightingale, a trauma survivor who tragically lost his leg in a motorcycle accident talk about his experience and the long term effects of trauma-related injuries. It was a great experience, and we all took a lot away from the program.

Grandparents & FriendsDay

Grandparents and Friends Day is a very special event on our calendar each year – it is a day that is enjoyed by students and …

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Grandparents & FriendsDay

Grandparents and Friends Day is a very special event on our calendar each year – it is a day that is enjoyed by students and their grandparents.

We are pleased to be able to host this special day once again this year.  Here are the details for this year’s Grandparents Day (Grandparents Day Invite 2021)

Please RSVP using this link: https://forms.office.com/r/dcuTba9JsP

 

 

Invitation | Junior School Playground Opening featured image

Invitation | Junior School Playground Opening

Our Junior School Playground is in the final stages of completion which is very exciting for our Junior School students and the wider College community.  …

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Invitation | Junior School Playground Opening

Our Junior School Playground is in the final stages of completion which is very exciting for our Junior School students and the wider College community.  To recognise the opening of the new Junior School Playground, we have planned a special event for families to join in and celebrate with us.

Please join us on Thursday 21 October at 4:30 pm for the Official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Come along for  Sunset Drinks, Sausage Sizzle and entertainment by our College Rock Band.

We look forward to seeing many of our families there.  Please RSVP by Monday 18 October to College Reception or sarah.henry@scotspgc.com.au