Dramatically improve note taking

Taking notes during lectures is hard.  One has to listen, understand enough to figure out what is the most important thing to write down, and then write it while listening to the next piece of information.  Note taking requires very good complex attention skills.

Often students with learning disabilities or ADHD are not able to both effectively take notes and learn from the lecture.  Their mental energy is taken up by the complex task, and they lose any benefit from the lecture- and often take poor notes as well.  

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A helpful accommodation in high school and college is having a copy of professors’/ teachers’ notes to follow along with as the lecture is presented.  Another helpful accommodation is a note taker (relatively easy to arrange at the college level).  

More recently, I have been highly recommending the Livescribe Pen.  This is a very clever electronic pen that records handwriting and audio at the same time.  After the lecture, dock the pen in its cradle attached via usb cord to a computer, and the notes and audio are uploaded, and searchable.  The best feature is the ability to double click on the hand written notes or on the computer file at any point in the lecture, and hear that segment of audio.   

For example, if a student writes a note about an algebra formula, and later can’t recall how to perform the calculation, he/she can double click on that line, and the professor’s voice from that segment of the lecture will play.  Its ingenious, and allows students to relax and take notes on information they want to highlight, confident that they will get every word. The pen is available on Amazon, and through the Livescribe.com website.