Class Scribe: A Modern Approach to Note-taking; Digital Wellness: The Tech Industry’s Response to Tech Addiction

Brown, Benjamin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

How can unhealthy dependence on electronic devices be reduced? In the last decade electronic device ownership and usage in the U.S. have been rising, with significant impacts to everyday life.

How can students’ learning and engagement in classrooms be improved? While notetaking on laptops is popular, studies have shown it to be ineffective for material retention. Some alternative techniques introduce distractions and impose significant costs on the user. A research team, following the Scrum development framework, designed a system composed of overhead note-scanners and a companion web app. It encourages note-taking by hand, while providing some of the benefits of digital note-taking techniques. The system may improve student outcomes, however more work is warranted to enhance the user experience and to evaluate the academic benefit.

How are tech companies responding to accusations that they exploit tech addiction? Many device users feel addicted to their mobile devices; some suffer health impairments. The tech industry has responded by framing tech addiction as the user’s responsibility, by downplaying its role in fostering device overuse, and by introducing product features that inform users of their device habits. Statements from tech industry executives and their opponents, press releases from tech companies, and research on responses from other industries support this conclusion.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Technology Addiction, Note-taking, Attention Economy, Material Retention

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim

STS Advisor: Peter Norton

Technical Team Members: Rahat Maini, John Watkins, Henry Weber

Issued Date: