The author outlines the strengths and weaknesses of video’s role in education. First, the strenghts:
1. Visual demonstration. One of video’s greatest strengths is its ability to demonstrate how things work and for helping teachers make concepts more clear to their students. With video, students can see things they might never get to see in person.
2. Dramatization. Video can draw viewers in like no other medium and can be used to enhance the learning experience. With computers, integrating animation, charts, and graphics into video can give new life to once-dull materials.
3. Presenting visual evidence. Another of video’s strengths is its ability to document real events that most people would otherwise miss. Video becomes a record of the event, rather than an illustration.
4. Emotional appeals. Nothing can bring emotion to light by letting pictures and sound demonstrate those emotions.
And now, the weaknesses:
1. Too much talking. Video too often is used simply to record people talking, the least interesting type of video presentation.
2. Abstract or non-visual information. Trying to use video to present abstract ideas is a difficult endeavor. Think of the difference between presenting history, which can be dramatized, and mathematics, which cannot.
3. Intellectual argument. Only intellectual arguments that can be backed by some sort of physical evidence will be effective. If prior knowledge is required to understand the argument, video probably won’t work well.