One of the things that I notice when I observe lectures is that either very few students make any notes, or students have laptops and make occasional notes while watching the powerpoint on their screen. There are a number of issues here:
Is note taking a necessary academic/professional skill – I often notice that when I give the observation feedback the lecturer general makes notes – we do make notes, and our students don’t – is this a problem.
When the laptop option becomes predominant there are other problems – in giving feedback to a lecturer I often comment on their eye contact with the students – if there aren’t any students looking at the lecturer – that becomes problematic.
At a deeper level there is a question about the value of handwritten note-taking, I use my tablet a lot so I am not sure about this – but two recent articles about the importance of handwritten notes – http://chronicle.com/article/The-Benefits-of-No-Tech-Note/228089/ and
Useful literature review from Sandra Sinfield – http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/learnhigher/Resources/resources/Notemaking/Staff/Note-takingliteraturereview%20FINISHEDv2.pdf