Social Sundays: Digital or non-digital note-taking?

About a week ago I read an article about how Google is taking over k-12 classrooms. It was a business article, so much of the article focused on Google's growing market share in everything from email to tablets to messaging parents in classrooms.

I don't teach in a one-to-one classroom nor do I teach in a Google classroom, so when I read about this wave of digital classrooms, I simply have questions as an outsider.   As someone who loves hands-on learning and uses digital tools primarily for research and other project tools, I wonder a bit about how and how much they are used, and in particular, their use for note taking.    Here's why:

1. Notes -  while I can absolutely believe that the current generation and future k12 generations may never need to pick up a pen or pencil, there is a growing body of research that shows that we learn more when we physically write than we type information. Plus interactive notebooks use whole brain activities with coloring and even kinesthetics. I'm not sure we can replicate that in tablets. So is the move to everything on a tablet a good choice in terms of student learning?

2. Time with media: a study came out at the end of last year citing the amount of screen time kids in the United States. The study concluded that there was too much screen time.   The study included only screen time of kids outside of the school environment.  If there is a concern that kids already spend too much time outside of class with screens, should schools just add to the screen time?    

These are just questions I wonder about. I'd love to hear from those of you who do teach in digital classrooms about what you love or don't love. And for those who like me have limited use and access to digital media in the classroom, what do you think?  Would your social studies classroom be better if it was all digital?

Social Sundays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching social studies.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the store in the question and answer section.  



  1. I too share your concerns - I think too many school districts are jumping on the technology bandwagon without examining the unintended consequences.