This is a post in response to the Extend Activity ‘Try watching a TED talk or conference keynote video yourself to practice your own note-taking skills using Cornell Notes’ found in the Teacher for Learning module under the heading Organize Knowledge.

I love watching TedTalks! I probably spent over an hour trying to narrow down which one I was going to watch for this activity, however I kept putting off doing this activity because I really am not a fan of Cornell Notes. I’ve tried to use them before but find myself unmotivated to write notes using that style. I prefer to write point form or create concept maps.

I ended up choosing to watch the video “Paper towns and why learning is awesome | John Green”.

I chose to watch this TedTalk because I read quite a few of John Green’s books when I was teaching high school English (and they are great YA novels)! When I read the title of this video, I wondered to myself why John Green thinks learning is awesome!

Here is my attempt at Cornell Notes for this video.

I wrote my own set of notes in bullet form (the note-taking method I’m most comfortable with) then I put the information into the Cornell Notes template). In hindsight, I liked that I could categorize (or put topics) to my notes using the Cornell Notes, but I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I used the template as my initial note-taking tool, as I had to reorder some of the information in the video to follow the topics I listed in the left hand column. I see benefit in the Cornell notes for studying and doing retrieval practice, but personally I wouldn’t use Cornell Notes as a note-taking tool during a lecture.


TedTalk (2015, July 22). Paper towns and why learning is awesome | John Green. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from


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