Taking notes using laptops or tablets — An article from The Conversation

There are those who believe students must learn the way we teach and there are those who believe we must teach the students learn. Whatever the reason or background belief, it it inevitable, learning process changes through time, and in this case, technology. Knowing how to manipulate these gadgets can help in maximizing what you have, making every penny worth it.

The article below is from the Conversation, an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Read on!

What’s the best way to take notes on your laptop or tablet?

Claire Brown, Victoria University

How many windows and tabs are open on your computer as you read this article? How many different tasks are you trying to do on your computer right now? Electronic devices tempt us to try to multi-task, but according to research, only 5% of people can multi-task efficiently.

People have a maximum attention span of around ten minutes, thus the amount of attention we can devote to processing, encoding, storing and retrieving information is limited.

When students divide their attention by simultaneously trying to take notes as they listen to the teacher, check Facebook, answer texts and respond to email, their notes are less effective because they are distracted by non-academic activities.

Arguments against the use of laptops, tablets, smart phones and other devices in the classroom largely centre around problems with multi-tasking and distractions on the devices. It also becomes an equity issue if not all students can afford the latest devices.

But the fight over whether to use electronic devices for taking notes is a battle that may have already been lost, and it is not an “either/or” problem. Banning technology because teachers are not comfortable using it effectively is not a convincing argument.

Teachers have to develop new skills to use technology purposefully. Whether handwritten or electronic, it is best for teachers and students to choose the most appropriate form of note taking for each task. Here are six tips on how to use electronic devices more effectively for taking notes.

Tip 1: Our memory affects the way we take notes

Understanding attention span and working memory capacity is important to learn how to take electronic notes more effectively. Working memory can be defined as “the ability to temporarily store and manipulate limited amounts of information”.

Research on differences in people’s working memory capacity reveals there are significant differences from person to person.

As people become faster at typing than handwriting, they can transcribe a lot more content by typing notes than if they write by hand. If a learner has poor working memory, it is sometimes easier to copy first and process the notes later.

Learners don’t have to divide their attention as much between the various cognitive tasks involved in simultaneously listening, typing, synthesising and processing information, so they can write more notes. But this strategy works only if learners go back and reprocess the notes within a 24-hour, seven-day and 30-day period.

Even using electronic notes, a learner has to review and re-engage with their notes several times in active learning tasks, such as:

• “chunking” a lot of similar pieces of information into bigger categories that you can remember more easily

• transcribing key concepts in your own words

• adding essential questions to the notes to prompt recall of the key concepts

• writing a summary of the notes

• reflecting on the learning process itself – where were you challenged? How did you solve problems?

Tip 2: Laptops must be used in structured learning tasks

Learners need to be taught explicitly how to use technology tools in structured, active learning tasks. Structured tasks use technology built into the lesson. For example, have groups use laptops to look up a number of alternative research findings when a new concept – say, climate change – is introduced, then have the groups summarise and compare their findings to the class. Researchers have found:

The use of laptops in structured tasks results in significantly more time spent taking notes and related academic activities, and significantly less time sending personal emails, instant messages and playing games during class.

Teachers need to take into account students’ attention spans and the perils of multi-tasking. This should result in less lecturing, more collaborative learning tasks, use of discussion groups, problem-based learning and case study discussions.

Research also shows that use of laptops is distracting for others around the laptop user as they tend to look at the screens and their learning suffers as a result. Designate specific areas of the room for laptop use so that non-users are not distracted.

Tip 3: Share the responsibility of using electronic devices

Teachers should collaborate with students to make decisions about the use of electronic devices in classes. Share knowledge of both the pitfalls and benefits of using handwritten or electronic notes. Teachers can make a contract with students about how technology will be used in their class, and revisit it throughout the term.

Apps and software tools for taking notes on laptops and personal devices are released frequently. Give learners the responsibility of researching different apps and sharing the pros and cons of each, gradually building a database of what is available, to be shared by everyone.

Tip 4: Start with easy tools

Using track changes in any word-processing program enables students to annotate and add self-quizzing questions to their notes. Word-processing documents can be very effective for the four stages of notes – note taking, note making, note interacting and note reflecting – as it encourages the sharing of notes between study groups.

Notes can easily be written, stored and shared on various programs and apps. Guided notes can be emailed or sent to students using a QR Code. Teachers should provide time for learners to pause and reflect on their notes throughout a lesson and in subsequent lessons.

Tip 5: Combine handwritten notes with electronic devices

For tasks like formulas and diagrams, handwritten notes can be integrated electronically using a stylus. Handwritten notes on the electronic device become searchable, too. There is also software for mindmapping and similar forms of non-linear note taking.

In the example below, a student used his iPad to take notes, then added a photo and essential questions. Later, he will review again and add a summary.

Example of handwritten notes on an electronic device using Notable – an app that enables stylus and keyboard entry.
Donohue 2015, Author provided

The student uses a number of electronic notebooks that are stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere in the world anytime. In this example, he linked an online video and lesson plan, which he copied, pasted and referenced into his notes. The different colours are his later annotations of the notes. He then saves to Dropbox or Google Drive and shares the notes with colleagues for their additional annotations using any application that allows annotation of PDFs, such as Notability, iAnnotate, PDF Pen, Evernote and Professional Adobe Acrobat.

In Figure 2, notes were typed electronically and reflective questions were added when he reviewed his notes within 24 hours. He uses Notability, which allows him to annotate a pdf and embed audio comments.

Sample of AVID’s Electronic Application of Cornell Notes using Word and Tracked Changes.
Donohue, 2012, Author provided

In figure 3, the student inserted a “self quiz” box to slide over the key information. He then used his essential questions as prompts to review what he has learnt about the topic so far. At the touch of a key, he can remove the box and check his understanding.

Sample of AVID’s Application of Cornell Notes For Testing and Revising.
Donohue, 2012, Author provided

Tip 6: Know your device

Physical differences in manipulating laptop, tablet and smart phone keyboards are likely to impact the efficiency of taking notes electronically, as are differences in storage and retrieval options, and the range of apps available on different devices.

Researchers found texting about unrelated material is distracting and negatively impacts note taking, test performance, learning and recalling information, but learners who texted about related course material scored higher on multiple choice tests.

AVID consultant and Adjunct Fellow at The Victoria Institute, Jim Donohue contributed to this article.

The Conversation

Claire Brown is Associate Director, The Victoria Institute at Victoria University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Di tag


As much as how most of us refuse to think ‘money is everything’, it is somewhat important and necessary. For couples and families, most of the time having adequate income is ranked the highest priority. Because in order to even have a place to live, you need money to pay the rent/buy a house. In order to satisfy the occupants of your home, you have to at least have something to eat, a place to lie down and rest and a space to spend time with the family.

I understand the economy of Malaysia is very worrying, especially for the younger generations that have high hopes and expectations. University graduates have this impression that ‘yes, a degree entitles me a job with good pay’. Sadly kids, no, it’s not really that. Competition is very high and because of stagnant to dropping economy conditions of Malaysia, high salary comes with fierce and tight competition. It is worsened by favouritism culture of some Malaysians — choosing ‘friendship and family’ over deserved individuals.

While some Malaysians think this is a MALAYSIAN problem, it is definitely not. For instance, the spiking price of housing in Malaysia. It is not just us, people. The world have this problem as well. The housing in Sydney and Melbourne are in the list of 10 least affordable cities, alongside with Hong Kong, San Fransisco as well as London. According to the article I’m referring to (the link at the end of this rambling), The median house price in Sydney jumped from $393,500 in 2002 to $760,000 as of June 2014.

Some of my friends said — okay apa, gaji orang dia tinggi, tak macam Malaysia.

Friends, even when their minimum wage is way higher than us, ‘rakyat biasa’ like us can’t afford to buy a home.

Don’t get me started with the cheap cars they sell here.

One interesting difference is, lack of house supply is linked to the increasing house prices. In a glance, I feel Malaysia in never lack of house supply, there is always new development and housing areas opened. The only problem is having groups or individuals that own 50 houses and rent them out because ‘it’s good business’.

So where do we go from here? First of, it is not fair to directly compare Malaysia with other countries as the variables is significantly different. What we can do is take the good and the bad and try find ways to improve ourselves.

Bitching about it won’t help. Sharing about it may help. Pointing fingers never help.

From: The Conversation [dot] com


Di tag

tingkap yang tak akan tutup

mesti indah, kalau kau ada

aku nak kita duduk bawah pokok itu

kau bermain gitar

bersenandung untuk aku

mesti indah, kalau kau ada

gelak sama sama

tawar bahu untuk kesat air mata

bagi tangan nak tolong aku

mesti indah, kalau kau ada

masuk sini, masuk sini

tingkap aku tak akan tutup

mungkin rapat tapi tak berkunci

mesti indah, kalau kau ada

sebab skarang

yang pasti

kau tak ada.

karut karut karut

JsmnGhzlli | 1602.2008

diam-diam sudah…

tiap kali kepala aku ligat karang ayat, tiap kali tu la aku sedang:

  1. dalam perjalanan pergi/balik sekolah
  2. masak makanan yang tak de la sedap sangat untuk keluarga
  3. tengah basuh pinggan/baju
  4. peluk anak

oleh itu, kesudahan dia– diam-diam sudah.

Things in my head #2


Satu perkataan yang boleh bawak seribu macam makna. Depends on how you view it– extreme, sederahana, panduan, cara hidup, etc. Kebelakangan ini, banyak betul benda negatif yang dipapar di TV, terutama sekali media barat. Not sure apa yang ‘seram’ sangat dengan perkataan Islam ni. Well, easy to say untuk aku dan kebanyakan (mungkin) yang baca blog ini. Kita dilahirkan, dibesarkan dan dikelilingi dengan ‘Islam dan ajaran dan amalannya’.

But, is it the real teachings of Islam?

Aku bagi soalan tu bukan sebab aku nak bincangkan pasal ‘what is right and what is wrong’. Aku bagi soalan tu supaya aku dan korang semua sama-sama ‘hack’ kepala masing-masing dan mencari apa yang patut di cari– Allah Taala, the Source, the Maker.

Dalam post ni, aku nak share artikel yang ditulis oleh Christopher van der Krogt, pensyarah dalam bidang Religious Studies, di Massey University. Tujuan aku share adalah untuk simpanan aku dan harapnya korang dapat benefit dari sharing ini.

Disclosure Statement — Christopher van der Krogt does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Islam, like Judaism, is a religion of law. The usual Arabic word for Islamic law is sharia (pronounced shar-ee-ah), originally the track leading to a waterhole in the desert. For Muslims, the morally good life consists of surrendering oneself to God (Allah) by obeying his requirements – which is the meaning of the word “Islam”.

These obligations are most authoritatively declared in the Qur’an (Koran) or “recitation”, which was revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad (who lived from about 570 to 632).

The Qur’an is supplemented by the teaching and example of the Prophet (the sunna), known through thousands of reports or traditions (hadiths). These were passed on orally before being committed to writing. Not all hadiths are authentic, though, so Muslim scholars try to sift the genuine from the false by examining the chain of people who had allegedly passed on each report.

What sharia covers

Together, the Qur’an and the sunna are the material sources of the sharia. Muslim scholars have developed techniques such as analogical reasoning to deal with situations not directly explained in them. For example, since the Qur’an forbids wine, it is obvious that spirits, not known in Muhammad’s time, must also be prohibited. Another important principle for applying the sharia is maslaha: that which most benefits the community.

Islamic law is, in theory, extremely comprehensive. Naturally there are prescriptions about when and how to pray or fast. But the sharia also includes rules on marriage, divorce, inheritance, commerce, torts, war, international relations, and government. Muslims have traditionally agreed that an Islamic society should be governed in a manner consistent with the sharia.

If God is the real author of the sharia, scholars produce fiqh – literally “understanding”, but in this context “jurisprudence”. This is arguably the single most important Islamic science – much more significant, for example, than theology. Legal scholars have written countless treatises and hefty tomes expounding the sharia, an activity that continues to this day.

Far from being produced by rulers or governments, Islamic law is elaborated by scholars, often as a critique of what the rulers are doing.

Scholars (the ulama) claim to know best what God requires because they have studied the Qur’an and the sunna, as well as the works of their predecessors. Naturally, they often disagree with each other on matters of detail, and there are five distinct schools of jurisprudence in the Islamic world today. Four of them are Sunni and one is Shii (Shiite).

Mention of Islamic law calls to mind corporal punishments such as amputation for theft and stoning for adultery. Régimes of doubtful legitimacy tend to use such penalties enthusiastically to prove that they are good Muslims and worthy rulers. However, more liberal interpreters of the sharia usually restrict their application: for example, by requiring four adult male eye-witnesses to convict an adulterer.

Among both Sunni and Shii (also referred to as Shia) Muslims there are recognised institutions of learning and credentialling. But Islam is a lay religion; it has no priests. In practice, anyone can set themselves up as an interpreter of the sharia and gain a following.

Like radical sects in the past, movements like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State claim to represent authentic Islam. But they do not command a consensus – which, for Sunni Muslims, is an essential requirement for legitimate interpretation of the sharia. Many Muslims worldwide have condemned Islamic State as extremists, including young British Muslims who started the #NotInMyName social media campaign.

How does sharia fit with Western laws?

In principle, God’s laws have to take priority over human laws, and there have always been purists who argue that Islam can only be lived properly in a state governed solely by the sharia.

Historically, though, most Muslims have accepted compromise in practice as long as they are not required to do anything against their understanding of God’s requirements. They are accustomed to obeying the law of the land as well as the sharia, since obedience to legitimate authority is itself a sharia requirement.

Muslims living in Western countries have to accept that other people can openly drink alcohol or wear skimpy clothes on the beach. In this, they are little different from other citizens with conservative moral views. Problems may arise where women are forbidden to wear a veil, but most Muslim women in the West do not consider covering their faces to be a sharia requirement. Despite the Islamic prohibition of usury, some Muslims will even take out a mortgage.

While there are universally agreed requirements and prohibitions, Islamic law is not codified. Even though the sharia is God’s law, fiqh, like any sophisticated legal system, is a matter of interpretation and debate. Sure, some militants’ views give their co-religionists a bad reputation. More progressive Muslims, though, are busy interpreting Islamic law in a manner more in keeping with the need to create just societies.

Taken from —- http://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-sharia-law-and-does-it-fit-with-western-law-31972

esok seminar pertama aku kat sini

Aku ada satu ‘perangai’, yang mana, kalau aku bakal menghadapi benda-benda penting, aku akan jadik SUPER malas dan pada masa tu jugak, tiba-tiba banyak benda berlaku kat keliling aku.

Aku yang tak tension dan super malas TERUS jadik tension dan super semak hahaha.

Aku cakap kat supervisor aku, pasal apa yang jadik kat aku dalam seminggu ni, sebab aku asyik duduk rumah tak pegi sekolah. Dia cakap–

“You’re stressed. It doesn’t affect you, but it affects everyone else around you”.

Hmm in the end aku pun merasa jugak stress nye.

Mengarut di bulan puasa 2014

Selalu tak, kita dengar cerita, orang alim jenazahnya manis, ‘bercahaya’ dan tenang?

Apa itu ‘alim’?

Alim itu kata akar dari ‘ilmu’. Ilmu tu luas dan tak hanya pada ilmu agama.

Pada aku lah.

Aku ada kenal seseorang ni. Alim ke tak aku tak tau. Tapi sangat suka tolong orang sampaikan orang nampak dia macam digunakan. Dia cukup suka tanam pokok. Banyak pokok yang dia tanam dah besar, lagi tinggi dari bas.

Lama-lama kenal, aku dapat tau satu benda– dia tak pandai mengaji. Surah dia tau pun al-fatihah sahaja. Kalau bacaan dalam solat pun, dia tak tau semuanya.

Tapi itu antara dia dengan Pencipta, aku tak perlu bagi pandangan aku sendiri.

Ajal dia sampai pada umur 50++ Dalam kepala aku yang tipikal (pada masa tu), aku duk bayang la ‘habis laa dia ni nanti’. Tapi something happened. Something that changed my stupid perspective towards life as a whole.

Jenazahnya senyum! The same smile he always give me. Kulit dia pucat tapi raut muka dia buat semua dalam masjid berbisik dan bertakbir.

He is PROOF to me, yang Allah Taala tu, tak pilih orang ikut betapa alim nya rupa luaran dia. Allah Taala tu langsung tak memilih! Si arwah adalah bukti kepada aku, pasal kisah pelacur yang di beri ganjaran syurga. Si arwah adalah bukti kepada aku, bahawa ibadah tu bukan hanya kepada Allah, tapi termasuk berbuat baik kepada semua manusia.

Thank you, mister. For you are the proof that i dont have to care about what people do, what people say, what people think, as long as i know what to do, what to say and what to think.

Masih lagi ke nak persoal hal orang lain punya dosa & pahala? Masih? Kesian la kau.

Salam Ramadhan. Jangan lah hanya puasa fizikal. Puasa is so much more than tahan lapar dan dahaga.

distance is a bitch

kadang kala aku suka bila ada distance. tapi sekarang, aku benci bila ada distance.

Macam biasa, aku kayuh basikal pergi sekolah.

Masam biasa, aku kayuh basikal pergi sekolah.

Minggu ni cuaca agak baik, the summer weather is not that summer-ish. Suam-suam kuku. Perfect weather to cycle to school. Kalau tak, confirm baju basah berpeluh.

Macam biasa, aku kayuh basikal pergi sekolah.

Kadang-kadang ada orang potong aku, kadang-kadang aku potong orang (tengah berjalan kaki). Kadang-kadang ada parents yang bawak anak sekali—sama ada carrier macam kerusi kat belakang atau macam small wagon siap ada bumbung. Dan selalunya kalau diorang ni mengayuh, bunyi tayar kasar sikit, sebab lebih dari sorang.

Macam biasa, aku kayuh basikal pergi sekolah.

Aku dengar bunyi tayar kuat. So macam biasa aku slow down, bagi peluang dia jalan dulu. Tiba-tiba yang potong aku mamat naik skateboard. Eh, sikit pun tak mengah padahal lagi laju dari aku (padahal aku kayuh slow je). Punya laaa aku perati, rupanya deck dia ada motor! Ok aku kagum kejap. Siap ada remote control kat tangan dia. He can go way faster than me!

Piker-pikir balik, benda alah tu sangat lah bagus sebab [1] dia tak berpeluh macam kami yang cycle, [2] dia boleh ikut bicycle path, so jarak ke office/sekolah jadik pendek, [3] dia tak perlu pikir nak parking basikal kat mana, he can just carry it to his desk, dan [4] dia tak payah bayar cukai jalan pun. How cool is that! Kecik, efektif, laju, dan kau tak berpeluh pun.

Ada a few posts pasal basikal bermotor kat Malaysia (dated 2010) cakap, JPJ tak luluskan basikal bermotor on the road. Harap cepat la lulus, boleh aku bawak balik Malaysia sebijik. Tak payah harung jam & tak risau smelly armpits.

aku tak paham. sungguh.

Satu hari aku ada bukak youtube, layan video pasal ‘the most hated family in America’. Keluarga tu sangat benci golongan gay dan mengikut pemahaman mereka (komuniti mereka tak ramai), takde benda lain yang patut dimarahi selain marah kepada golongan gay. Mereka rajin berpiket kat majlis pengebumian askar Amerika. Terkini, mereka mula sebar benci kepada golongan Yahudi dan Islam.

Point nya disini ialah– humans are capable of hating others, sampai ke tahap yang kadang-kadang susah nak percaya.

Bagi aku, tujuan wujudnya agama adalah sebagai panduan. It is a way of life. Bukan satu ‘persatuan’ yang eksklusif dan boleh dijadikan alasan untuk bercakap sesuka hati atau berbuat sesuka hati. Agama dan peraturan-peraturan yang datang bersamanya adalah satu panduan supaya kita jadik manusia yang baik dan berbuat baik sesama manusia lain, terutama diri sendiri. Bagi aku, kalau ajaran agama tu membuat kita layan diri kita sebaik mungkin, kita akan otomatik layan orang lain sebaik mungkin.

Kalau ikutkan, banyak je definisi agama pada aku, tapi aku pilih yang sesuai dengan post aku hari ni.

Aku ada seorang kawan, yang cukup terkenal kerana dia rajin share pasal diri dan keluarga dia. Aku pernah tanya, kenapa dia suka share macam-macam padahal ramai orang gunakan apa yang dia share (instagram, facebook etc) sebagai satu tool untuk menjatuhkan dia. Dia jawab mudah saja– aku berhutang dengan ramai orang, sebab orang ramai sedekah duit untuk operasi jantung anak aku, aku share segala perihal keluarga. Pendek kata, orang yang membantu dia dah jadik macam ‘keluarga’ dan berhak tau perkembangan anak yang disayangi begita ramai strangers.

Tapi macam biasa, fame comes with haters. Apa orang kata, ‘haters gonna hate’.

Cuma yang buat aku berpikir sampai migraine ialah mengenai apa yang ‘haters’ ni semua tulis. Demi Allah aku tak pernah sangka, manusia (terutama Muslim) BOLEH tulis sampai macam tu skali. Bila ada muslim (aku assume dia muslim berdasarkan nama dan avatar dia) tulis secara terbuka (di twitter), menulis ayat-ayat macam kat bawah ni:

“aku nak sembelih anak dia”
“rasa macam nak dera anak dia”
“adakah vagina dia sama deep macam puisi dia?”
“dia tu deep sangat tahap beromen dengan negro pun tak dak rasa”


Tu tak termasuk lagi dia anjingkan ayah orang lain.


Aku macam….. WTH???



Serius aku blur. Aku terus tak tau nak tulis apa. Sekarang ni. Dengan kepala berdenyut-denyut.


Ada beberapa orang yang menulis macam tu, adalah orang yang memakai hijab. Kenapa aku sentuh pasal dia pakai tudung? Berbalik kepada ayat aku awal-awal tadi. Agama, sebagai panduan. Peraturan, untuk menjadikan kita lebih baik. Tapi kalau peraturan dari segi pemakaian (yang memang kita praktik setiap hari) pun masih gagal mengekang benda-benda yang tak sepatutnya dicakap daripada terkeluar, aku tak tau la apa lagi cara nak ‘menapis’ mulut (dalam kes ni, tangan) orang-orang ini.

Aku macam tak percaya dan berharapppp sangat orang-orang ini adalah ‘palsu’. Tapi bila tengok dia ada instagram, dan banyak skali gambar, aku terpaksa percaya dia memang ada, memang wujud.

Selalu kita dengar kawan-kawan kita yang free hair cakap– apa guna pakai tudung tapi perangai macam haram. Memang ada betul apa mereka cakap.

Tolong la aku jawab soalah ni– KENAPA tergamak tulis macam tu pasal orang lain? Adakah takde sekelumit pun iman dalam diri sampai tergamak cakap macam tu pasal orang lain? Siap retweet banyak kali, siap tambah lagi bara kat api. Aku ni bukan lah orang yang paling layak nak soal iman orang lain tapi tindakan macam ni seolah-olah takda pegangan langsung. Even atheist pun ada batasan yang mereka sendiri tetapkan untuk diri sendiri.

Sudah lah. Aku nak tido.


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