Handwritten Notetaking Wins, Hands Down
Students who take notes in longhand learn better than those who type notes, according to new research from UCLA and Princeton University. Specifically, handwriting seems to lead to better retention of information and an enhanced ability to grasp new ideas.
Notetaking requires individuals to transform what they hear into words. Students taking notes on their computers try to keep up with what is being said, but in doing so, fail to pay attention to what they hear. So while typing notes yields more words per minute—often verbatim accounts of a lecture—reviewing those notes later seems to actually undermine learning rather than enhance it. Students who type notes forget the material quickly—usually within 24 hours, the researchers found.
On the other hand, material from handwritten notes appears to stick with the note taker longer. Scientists surmise that the physical process itself encodes the information being written more deeply in the brain. Additionally, taking notes by hand results in better organized notes, which helps when reviewing material for tests.
Nevertheless, past studies have determined that any notes are better than none.
From The Wall Street Journal
Workplace Agility—The Latest Management Concept
A new buzz phrase has come to town, and it rides on the coattails of technology. Workplace agility is the ability of an organization to change quickly in reaction to market forces. It has its roots in agile computing, a management strategy that combines cloud computing with collaboration of small and cross-functional teams used in tech companies to create and fine-tune projects faster than the competition.
Workplace agility benefits a broad spectrum of organizations in several ways. First, cloud-based computing has allowed workers to access information anytime, essentially extending the hours worked per day and keeping employees tethered to their jobs constantly—score one for employers. The other aspect of this increasingly popular management style is to break up large projects into smaller, more scalable tasks, which allows problems to be caught early in the creation process—another plus to the organization.
Finally, workplace agility helps organizations because it requires employees to be flexible, often meaning they are pulled off one project and moved to another, thus maximizing the workforce’s effectiveness.
It’s not surprising that only about a third of workers who practice workplace agility love it; another third resist but eventually come around. The last third? They’re the ones who hide until they’re caught… and released.
From The New York Times
Singular They is Now Okay?
After years of correcting our students’ incorrect use of the singular they, we instructors of writing may be witnessing the acceptance of a once taboo grammatical error.
Recently a Washington Post copy editor announced a change to the venerable news organization’s style sheet, making use of the singular they permissible. According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, that is exactly how grammar rules change—“one style guide at a time.”
The article notes that it may take a while before the walls completely disallowing the singular they come down. However, there can be no doubt that the chink in the stonework is getting harder to ignore. While some may remain uppity about the common usage, few readers are confused by it. And that marks the beginning of the end of any grammar rule.
From The Chronicle of Higher Education