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Student Productivity 101: Become a Note-taking Ninja

09 Sep

Student Productivity 101: Become a Note-taking Ninja

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Feb 15, 2014 4:47:21 PM

Everything in education is changing. Information is moving faster. Instructors have access to an ever-growing array of resources. And almost every school in the country is offering online courses. Even the tradition-rich American Bar Association, which has a reputation for being a bit stodgy, has approved an online J.D. program.

With education evolving so quickly and information moving at warp-speed, how’s a student supposed to keep up with everything?

The answer, of course, is to focus on personalized learning.

The idea of personalized learning isn’t new; educators have always known that every student learns differently. But until now—with advances in online learning tools—students haven’t been able to create truly personalized learning systems. Now, thanks to online courses, students can work at their own pace, review material on demand and create their own ways for taking notes—ways that work best for them.

Here are five great ways to integrate technology into your education and create the ultimate personalized learning system that allows you to become a note-taking ninja:

Make sure you have the right equipment.

If you’re going to take an online course, you’ve got to have the right equipment. This means a laptop with a camera, reliable internet connection and all the right software. After all, if you can’t connect to the internet, you can’t take your course, right?

Make the most of your technology.

There are a lot of programs and apps available that will make it easy for you to take notes and maximize your classroom experience. Evernote, for example, makes it easy for you to create notes using photos, text and audio. It also allows you to quickly clip web pages—and get all the text, links and images. Best of all, you can synch your notes with all your devices, so you’ll be able to study from anywhere in the world.

Make the most of the course materials.

Students who take online courses have a distinct advantage over those who take courses in more traditional, bricks-and-mortar classrooms: They can go back and review the material. If you’re not grasping something or your notes are unclear, make the most of the course materials by going back and reviewing the lecture video and meeting 1:1 with a teacher.

Partner with a classmate.

Just because you complete the majority of your coursework by yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a little help from your classmates. Once you’ve taken your ninja-like notes, find another person in class and communicate with them electronically. Compare your notes. See if you’re both coming to the same conclusions about the material. Having someone else to bounce ideas off can be a major help in your efforts to succeed. Use school chatrooms to help with this. 

Review your notes.

While there is some benefit to simply taking notes, the real impact comes from reviewing them. Have a study plan for each course. Carve out time for the online classwork as well as the review of the material. Notes are no good if they never see the light of day.