Students are reaping the rewards of using a notepad and pen when studying in comparison to their laptop-tapping contemporaries, with eager learners buying more notebooks than ever before.

To mark National Handwriting Day (Monday 23rd January), British stationery brand Nu: has revealed that sales of its nu Craze range of notepads, designed specifically for students, grew by more than 30% in the year 2015/16.  This reflects the findings of research carried out in 2014 which revealed that those who take study notes with a pen and paper retain more knowledge than those who use a computer.

Research by Princeton University and University of California revealed that students who took longhand notes using a notepad retained more conceptual knowledge than those who took notes using a laptop, despite writing fewer words than their computer counterparts. In a number of studies, those who used a laptop were more likely to take notes word-for-word, ‘mindlessly’ typing what they were seeing and hearing, than those who wrote longhand. The research also showed that even after a week’s delay, those who took notes by hand still retained more knowledge.

Dr Daryl Brown, head teacher at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, one of the country’s leading establishments for pupils with dyslexia, also believes that handwriting helps students retain knowledge.

“Handwriting pulls spelling patterns out of people’s kinaesthetic memory, where the learner can feel each letter as they write it. Letters typed into a keyboard are pulled from a locational memory or by visually locating each correct key.  Typing is not as closely linked to spelling patterns and memory as is the kinaesthetic movement of the pen in writing. Writing by hand means the student plays a more active part in processing what to write and how to write it. This makes the key facts more memorable than what could be an almost mechanical process of hearing a word and typing it on a page,” he said.

Keith Matthews, Managing Director at Nuco International, said: “It’s fantastic to see that students are increasingly seeing the importance of taking notes by hand and keeping hold of what they’ve learned by doing so. We designed our nu Craze range with students in mind, with bright colours and striking designs that allow them to let their individuality shine through.”

National Handwriting Day was created to remind the public about the importance of handwriting and to re-introduce people to pen and paper.

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