Within the last two years, almost everything has shifted online. School, work, social gatherings—we have learned to make technology our friend, not our foe, and adjust to new ways of learning—ways that are heavily reliant on technology. But, with the recent switch back to in-person classes, students are faced with yet another large, and almost abrupt change to their learning. Online learning led to a reliance on devices for notetaking and reading, as well as a dependency on cheating during tests and quizzes. Students simply forgot how to do in-person tests and how to sit through three hours of lectures.
Sometimes, students are prohibited to use their devices in class. But, returning to old-fashioned pen and paper can be a burden, especially for those that have just finally gotten used to the digital world. It seems the days of asking professors to speak slower, in order to not miss a slide, have returned.
Humans are unique, with each mind working in multi-faceted ways. By limiting students in their style of learning, the educational institutions vowing to encourage knowledge-seeking actually hinder students from succeeding.
On the other hand, there’s a beautiful simplicity associated with the glide of a pen or pencil across glossy lined paper. Nearing the end of each page evokes a certain pride, knowing you’ve managed to stay focused and efficient during your lecture. Some people learn better by writing, others by typing. Learning shouldn’t be limited to a single method, and notetaking shouldn’t be confined to a single medium.
If we look at our schools, workplaces, or even social media, we’ll learn that there no longer is one way of doing things, or one way of achieving greatness. There are millionaires who never attended university, and our nine-to-five is changing. With that comes accepting that there are multiple paths and strategies we can adopt, and also multiple ways to learn and test.
At The Medium, we know the importance and impact of appealing to every aspect of our audience. We upload each issue online and we trek around campus to distribute the beautifully-crafted physical copies because we know some people are more receptive to feeling the silky pages across their fingertips. There is importance in accommodating the unique minds that take interest in student journalism. This is a lesson our institutions should learn as well.