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Keeping a Space for the Analog Notebook by Michelle Haseltine

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Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 school year is filled with uncertainties and unknowns.

Teachers are scrambling to make successful learning environments for their students, and, as always, they are rising to the occasion.

In my research to prepare for my own online teaching, I discovered something that troubles me: an overwhelming focus on the digital notebook.

I’ve seen post after post and tweet after tweet with fancy templates to create digital notebooks that students can use in school - whether virtual or in-person.

Although taking our classes online is a real challenge, I urge you to be thoughtful about asking your students to only keep digital notebooks. Analyze your reasoning for why you’d like to implement the digital notebook and how it will help your students and their learning.

Let me pause here and express my deep love for digital writing. It’s powerful, it can reach a wide audience, and it’s faster than notebooking by hand.

Digital writing is different though. What I write in a digital space is nothing like what I write in the pages of my notebook.