Accession Number:

ADA510223

Title:

Rewriting History: Historical Research With the Digital Plan

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLORADO SPRINGS CO INST FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

18.0

Abstract:

This study examined the use of technology to enhance the educational experience. The study, which involved 28 Cadets from the United States Air Force Academy, was designed to examine the benefits of using a digital pen for note taking in the classroom. The Department of History offers a Historiography and Methods class History 330, where cadets research historical data. The cadets plan, research and write a 5000-7000 word term paper. Throughout the semester, each cadet is required to keep a research journal to track notes, data and sources. Normally this is done with pen and paper on note cards or notebooks. For this study, one class was randomly assigned to complete their research using traditional methods pen and paper while the other class was given a digital pen to complete their project. Each week, cadets completed a survey rating the ability of the note taking method that was being used. When the final draft was turned in, an endof- course survey was completed by the class using digital pens. Participation was voluntary and surveys were anonymous. Digital pen participants were enthusiastic initially but attitudes changed with increased use of the pen. The pen itself proved to be cumbersome because it was much larger than a normal pen. Combined with the fact that research notes were taken in a small field journal, note taking was more difficult. The software interface for the pen was a Microsoft product providing a familiar desktop environment. The most significant advantage identified by digital pen users involved the following elements of efficiency 1 automatic transfer of notes to the computer, 2 writing faster than typing, 3 portability, 4 simplicity. Cadets rated the pen above average for performance and concluded that with a few modifications, the pen could enhance the note taking process. The paper closes with recommendations on these modifications and possible future studies.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Psychology
  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Computer Hardware
  • Photography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE