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I'm still really struggling with that problem too. And it's not going away. All students in the grad program I'll start in the fall are required to have laptops and wifi cards. All the classrooms, hallways etc. in the school wifi. That's fantastic in one sense. But then there's the problem.

For me, knowledge of slides being online only slightly alleviates the problem, because (1) the biggest benefit I get from taking notes is that they dramatically aid in my learning at that moment (i.e., I hardly ever look back at them, but I retain a lot more knowledge in the act of taking notes than I do listening passively; but that doesn't seem to happen the same way w/ chatting as opposed to note-taking). And (2) the points that I note are rarely the same points that the presenter focuses on in the slides.

I hope that increased familiarity with such scenarios will improve our ability to optimally juggle knowledge absorption, notes, listening, chatting, Googling, etc. I'll need a few more conferences and classes before I can judge whether this is the case.


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