If you’ve joined one of my webinars about search strategies or taken my Teaching History With Technology course, you probably know that I advocate for two very non-techy activities. Those things are reading physical books and writing in a physical notebook.
I have always found that when I read physical books, regardless of whether they’re fiction or nonfiction, there at least three things that happen. I get new ideas to dabble with in my head. I have ideas that I want to remember. I have to stop and write my ideas down. All of those things are similar and all of those contribute to making me a bit of a slow reader if your only gauge for reading speed is how many pages you turn in a given timeframe.
A physical notebook is almost always within my reach throughout the day. I start my day writing in a notebook (goals for the day, to-do list, reminders). During the day when I need to puzzle through an idea I write in my notebook. And when I’m stuck and can’t think of anything to blog about or make videos about, I turn back through the pages of my notebooks (in my office I have notebooks going back at least ten years).
This summer I’m reading The Last King of America and re-reading Twenty Things to Do With a Computer. Both books are quickly filling with notes. Both have given me ideas that I wouldn’t have found through scrolling social media accounts or through Google search. I wouldn’t have those notes and ideas through a Google search because I wouldn’t have known what I didn’t know until I read the books. Those notes then prompt and form my later Google searches. In other words, the books start me down the rabbit hole of investigating more ideas.
Is there a point to this post? Yes, it’s to remind you to pick up a good book this summer and take notes. And in the fall, do the same for your students.