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Since the existence of humanity people have been taking notes in different ways. It has evolved from rock sketches to the advanced means of pen and paper. Since 1888 people have been molding the idea of a stylus and tablet. This idea finally sprung into full swing in the technology era. Tablets starting taking on the form as we know them during the 1980’s. During the second decade of the 21st century many schools have now converted to using tablets instead of textbooks.

With survey will be conducted by current Wits students only. With this survey we want to determine the preference of students regarding the tools that the use for learning. Further we also want to determine how many students make efficient use of the e-learning resources that is provided by wits. By doing this we want to determine if students have evolved with technology or not.

Survey Results


The results of the survey show the following:

  • The majority of survey takers prefer to take notes with pen and paper.
  • Those who prefer to take notes with pen and paper do so because of the ease of the process.
  • Those who prefer to take notes with a tablet and stylus do so because of the greater efficiency compared to pen and paper.
  • The majority of survey takers spend from R201 to R400 on stationary and learning materials yearly. This is likely due to the fact that most textbooks are often only recommended by courses or are downloaded (rather, pirated).
  • Most survey takers feel that tablets offer more security than paper. This and the fact that it is a marginal majority could suggest that most people simply have a passcode on their devices and no other form of security.
  • Almost two-thirds of survey takers believe that pen and paper is dying out as a method of storing and sharing information. This can be easily shown as most information is shared via cloud storage (i.e. Dropbox and Google Drive) and via Sakai and other Wits electronic facilities.
  • More than half of survey takers are warey of loss of data with regards to the security of information irrespective of technology.
  • Three quarters of survey takers have taken some measures to prevent information from getting lost or stolen. This is likely to be backing up on cloud storage, whether it is a file from a note taking app or scans of the handwritten notes.
  • All survey takes claim to have some degree of information security.
  • Approximately 96% percent of survey takers have had access to Wits’ e-Learning facilities although two third of those survey takers have had some difficulty doing so and as such, most survey takers believe that Wits has successfully implemented e-Learning only to some extent.


Students should continue to use their prefered method of note taking as this is an individual choice and independent of what Wits offers or of what fellow students use for note taking, however those who prefer pen and paper should note that sharing information is very restricted without a smartphone or tablet and that shared notes are of lower quality than of notes taken with a tablet. Wits should redesign or upgrade its e-Learning facilities to allow for better access.