Understanding How We Learn: Video vs. Text

People have different ways to absorb information, whether through text learning materials or educational videos. However, a common question arises: Video or Text — which is better for learning? We’ll explore both and figure out the strengths of each, plus some tips.

Ready to find out which one wins the learning game? Let’s get started! 

How Our Brains Process Information

Remembering Things

Remembering things is making mental notes in your brain.

When you learn something, your brain takes snapshots using your senses, such as seeing, hearing, or feeling. It then stores these snapshots, a bit like putting photos into an album.

So, when you need to remember, your brain can flip through these mental pictures and bring back the information.

Paying Attention

Paying attention is focusing on what you want to see.

Your brain decides what’s important by considering if something is new, interesting, or related to what you already know.

It’s a bit like being a detective, sorting through clues to find the key details.

When you pay good attention, it helps the brain move important stuff from a quick memory (like a sticky note) to a more lasting memory (like a bookmark) so you can remember it later.

Video-Based Learning

Why Pictures and Videos Stick in Our Memory

When we watch videos or look at pictures, our eyes capture the action, and our brains go, “Hey, this is interesting!”

Pictures and videos create vivid scenes that stick in our memory because they’re like mental snapshots.

So, when we need to remember something, our brains can replay those images, making learning feel more like watching a movie than reading a textbook.

How Watching Videos Affects Our Brain

Watching videos is a way we work out our brains.

As we follow the visuals and absorb information, different parts of our brains team up. The visual and auditory parts join forces, helping us process and understand things faster.

It’s like a tag-team match where our brain’s players work together, making learning more effective and enjoyable.

So, when we choose videos to learn, we’re giving our brains a dynamic and engaging experience.

How Emotions Boost Learning

Ever notice how a good movie can make you laugh, cry, or feel excited?

Emotions are like spices in our learning recipe—they add flavor!

When we feel something, whether it’s joy, surprise, or curiosity, our brains pay extra attention.

It’s like turning on a spotlight that says, “This is important!” So, when we watch videos that spark emotions, we’re not just learning; we’re creating memorable experiences that stick with us.

Why Emotional Connections Matter in Videos

Emotional connections make learning feel personal.

Videos have the power to tap into our feelings, making the content more relatable and meaningful.

When we connect emotionally to what we’re watching, it’s like building a bridge between the information and our memories.

This connection makes the learning experience not just about facts but about how we felt, creating a lasting impact on what we remember and understand.

Text-Based Learning

How Our Brain Understands Text

Reading is a silent conversation between our eyes and brain.

When we read, our brain works like a word detective, breaking down sentences and figuring out the meaning.

It’s a bit like solving a puzzle—the words are the pieces, and our brain puts them together to reveal the story or information.

So, when we understand how our brain decodes text, reading becomes a fascinating journey of discovery.

Why What We Already Know Helps Us Learn

Our brains store bits of information we’ve gathered over time.

When we read something new, our brains link it to what we already know.

It’s like adding a new piece to our mental puzzle.

This connection helps us understand and remember things better because we’re building on what we already have. So, when we read, we’re not just learning; we’re expanding our mental map.

How to Stay Interested in Text: Find Reasons to Like What We’re Reading

Reading becomes more enjoyable when we find a connection or reason to like the text.

It’s similar to choosing a favorite book—when the topic interests us or relates to our experiences, reading feels less like a task and more of an adventure.

So, when we actively look for aspects that appeal to us, we’re turning reading into a discovery of things we genuinely enjoy.

Tips to Stay Excited About Learning from Text

  • Use Visualization: Imagine the scenes described in the text, creating a mental movie. For instance, if you’re reading about a beach, visualize the waves, feel the sand, and imagine the sunshine. 
  • Take Breaks: Take a mini-break between chapters, step outside, get some fresh air, or grab a snack. It helps you come back to your reading with a fresh perspective.
  • Discuss with Others: Share thoughts about what you’ve read, adding a social touch to your learning experience. Discuss it with a friend or study group. 
  • Make it Dynamic and Interactive: Turn reading into an engaging journey by transforming it from a passive activity into an interactive exploration of understanding. For example, read about history and then explore related content online: maps, forums, or additional articles.

Which Helps Us Learn Better?

Do We Remember More from Videos or Text?

When it comes to remembering, both videos and text have their unique tricks.

Videos are like visual fireworks, leaving lasting impressions, while text is the quiet superhero, building strong connections in our brains.

So, the winner depends on the learning mission—sometimes it’s the video, and other times, it’s the text!

How Well We Use What We’ve Learned

Learning isn’t just about remembering; it’s about using what we know.

Both videos and text equip us with knowledge, but the real test is how well we apply it. 

Whether it’s a video or text, what matters is how skillfully we use these to solve problems and navigate the challenges of the real world.

Some Like Videos, Some Like Text

Think of it like ice cream preferences—some people love chocolate, and others prefer vanilla.

Similarly, some of us love learning from videos, while others enjoy diving into a good book. 

Our preferences are like learning flavors, shaped by our unique tastes and styles. 

Recognizing what works best for us helps us choose the learning path that suits our individual preferences.

How Our Background Influences Learning

Our backgrounds are the lenses through which we see the world.

Cultural, educational, and personal backgrounds shape how we approach learning. For some, videos may feel like home, while others find comfort in the familiarity of text. 

Understanding these influences helps us appreciate the diversity in learning styles and tailor educational experiences to meet everyone’s needs.

After all, learning is a personal journey, and we all have our favorite routes!

Practical Tips for Educators

Include Visuals in Your Teaching

  • Make your lessons more interesting by blending pictures and words seamlessly.
  • Capture students’ attention with interesting images, diagrams, and videos placed strategically next to the text.

Adapt Content to Different Learning Styles

  • Acknowledge that students have different preferences and give them choices.
  • Offer a variety of learning materials, letting students choose between videos and text based on what they enjoy.

Add Fun to Videos with Interactive Features

  • Boost engagement by adding interactive elements to your educational videos.
  • Turn passive viewing into active participation by including quizzes, discussions, and clickable features.

Make Text Learning Interactive

  • Use digital tools to make reading more exciting.
  • Encourage collaboration by adding multimedia elements to written content, turning regular text into a lively and engaging learning experience.


In the big debate of text versus video learning, the best choice depends on what you like and how you learn best. It could be text, videos, or a mix of both—whatever feels right for you. 

The important thing is to go with what suits you the most. So, soak in that knowledge using the method you want, and don’t forget to share what you’ve learned with others. Learning is all about finding what works for you and making the journey enjoyable.

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