Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Medical students should "write" on their iPads

Medical students are constantly standing around in the hospitals, so it's difficult for them to sit down to type. It's hard to touch-type on the iPad with high efficiency, so "writing" with a stylus pen is a better option if you: 1) don't want to appear rude to your patient by tap-tap-tapping on the screen and losing eye contact with your patient; 2) want to jot down every key point quickly and efficiently; 3) want to draw shapes, diagrams and figures to help you learn; and 4) want to color-code your notes and drawings on the same "sheet" of digital paper.

Let's face it - writing is very efficient. Tap-tap-tapping on the screen to type isn't nearly as fast. Now, if your handwriting is illegible, then you'll get motivated quickly to improve it so that you can actually use your notes.

Also, you can learn more effectively if you use hand-written notes. You can circle and underline things. Make certain words bigger. Draw diagrams. You can really personalize your notes to maximize your learning.

Many note-taking apps (like Penultimate or GoodNotes) for the iPad have some type of "palm rejection" built into the app so that you can rest your palm on the screen and write fairly effectively with a capacitive stylus pen. No need to look for a sheet of paper to cover half the screen while you rest your palm.

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