“Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.”
Kelly L. Briggs, “Reading in the Classroom” (2003)

I love movies… I enjoy watching tv and videos. There are times when a good documentary or instruction 3 min video is better than reading a book or article. But I see a trend on the Internet that really annoys me. Maybe it just doesn’t gel with my learning style however…

I would rather read the information than watch it.

Using a video where a person articulates the information is really popular today. But I find it stifling, tedious and time-consuming. My time is precious and I can read. There is nothing more annoying than arriving at a website and wanting to know what the site is about and the only way to find out such basic information is to sit through a 5 minute video listening to that information. I could read (scan) for that information in less than 5 minutes, thus getting the information that I want in a shorter time.

I’m a scanner. I skim through articles and books, seeking information that I want so that I can then expand my knowledge in that area. Watching video upon video wastes much of my time and doesn’t allow me to get a quick overview. So if a company or product site has loads of videos for the bulk of their information, they will lose me. However, once I’ve skimmed the site and retrieved the basic information I want, then it is time for me to dig deeper. This is where a video comes in handy.

This is all part of the way we learn about different topics- be it Ancient Egypt or green smoothies.  I’m not talking about learning styles as much as I am about the process of learning. The method in which a person learns can be adjusted to suit. i.e: one can read a book or watch a video depending upon their preferred mode for absorbing information. I’m talking about the building blocks of learning which is cross generational.


I’m not talking about the use of video lectures, documentaries or dvd/cd use for instructional use,  for they are valuable and have a solid bearing upon education. I’m talking about websites that have a video introduction (as an example) in which a computer generated or sometimes a real person’s voice will speak words of welcome and describe the site. I’m talking about a passive process replacing basic reading. What is happening to the world of print? Are we too lazy to even read such basic English? What effect does this have upon a developing mind?

I have learned, both as a homeschooling mother and a lifelong learner, that there are no shortcuts to education! The process of education is hard work. Each student must be a willing participant. No matter how hard we try or what new technologies we use, we simply cannot perform a data dump of information (knowledge) into a student’s brain and call it education.

Reading stimulates the brain and mind where the simple act of watching information is more passive. This is all part of a global change in learning and processing of information but I fear that a lot has been lost as a result.

What do you think? Do you see the popularity of video instruction that replaces reading as a positive, negative or something else?



“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
~Abigail Adams