Writing versus Typing in the Classroom

Students around the world have been faced with a glaring dilemma since the introduction of electronic devices in the classroom: does typing or writing notes lead to more success in a class? Well, when biology teacher, Ipshita Chakladar, assigned a choose-your-own experiment as a final last year, Cory Easton and I decided to test just that with students in this very school.   

Our experiment entailed testing a group of 100 students to determine whether writing provides an advantage in short term memory recollection as opposed to just typing. Each individual in the sample group was given two lists of 25 vocabulary words, each list containing words pertaining to a single category. The subjects were then asked to type out the first list of vocabulary directly from the sheet that they were given. After waiting 5 minutes, the subjects were then asked to write down as many vocabulary words that they could remember from the first list. Then, the subjects were given the second list and asked to copy down 25 new vocabulary words onto a piece of paper using pencils. Again, after waiting 5 minutes, they were asked to write down as many words as they could remember. Then, we counted and compared the number of vocabulary words remembered from the first list vs. number of vocabulary words from the second list.

Our results showed that 80 students remembered more vocabulary words that were written, 17 students remembered more words while typing, and 3 students remembered the same number of words regardless of whether they were writing and typing. On average, students who remembered more words while writing remembered 3.675 more words than they remembered from typing, while students who remembered more words while typing remembered only 2.235 more words. From these results, we concluded

that writing did indeed have a greater impact on the ability of subjects to execute short term memory processes. On average, students remembered a greater number of vocabulary words after writing them down than after typing.

Keep these findings in mind the next time you bring your laptop to school. Save yourself the time of reviewing your typed notes over and over again, and try to handwrite your notes for better retention of the information!

School Weather Report







November has arrived, and fall weather is finally settling in after the volatile temperatures of October. With fall comes changing colors on the trees and pumpkin spice lattes. Fall also means that the heating is turning back on at Winchester High, but the temperature isn’t the same everywhere. The Red and Black has done some research on the changing weather patterns in our high school, and we’ve compiled our data to make some predictions-- here’s our forecast for the season.

First floor: The dining commons will be fairly comfortable, except for occasional bursts of cold as the doors sweep open before and after school. However, the rest of the first floor varies. Expect below freezing temperatures in the first floor B wing, as the AC cold front remains stationary. The first floor C wing is cold for similar reasons as the typical seasonal heating element always fails to overcome the AC. Students should expect to keep their sweaters on in both wings. They may even consider full winter jackets for those particularly susceptible to the cold. However, the A wing and E wing are relatively temperate.

Second floor: The second floor A and B wing are fairly mild-- you should be able to wear T-shirts comfortably. However, there is more variation in C wing weather-- some rooms, like Ms. White’s room, are particularly cold, while the rooms around hers are fairly normal. Wear a jacket, just in case. The gym and fitness center are hot and humid (per usual).

Third floor: Third floor weather is particularly scattered. While the A wing is mostly temperate, much of the C wing is frigid. Dr. Spencer’s and Mr. Benedetto’s rooms in particular are freezing-- keep your winter jackets on. The B wing was warm at the beginning of the season, but an unexpected cold front means it has gradually been getting colder in locations like Mr. Waddell’s room.

Some final notes: There are reports of static electricity in the A wing causing hair to become frizzy. Also, as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, make sure to wear your jackets and stay warm!