If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is more valuable: the picture or the words? This is something that people contemplate every day, especially in the classroom. As technology advances, teachers are constantly trying to explore new ways of helping students to excel in the classroom. They explore different ways to keep a student’s interest by assigning articles and videos, but what is more effective? It is a combination of both what and how it is presented. Some things are better told, and some are better shown. For example: if you are exploring the damaging affects that a hurricane caused in a small town, reading an article won’t depict it as well as showing pictures, or even a video would. However, if you are trying to talk about your vast activities that you involved yourself in during school, a written explanation or description would be much more affective. Take snapchat for example. It is a form of communication, that allows you to have a conversation through short videos or pictures, with only a tiny caption. This is good when you wanna show you outfit off to a friend or complain that you’re stuck in a library, like i have been doing for the past hour, but it doesn’t explain in depth what you’re doing, it shows. A text message on the other hand, would be better for explaining, but not showing.

What does this picture tell you? That I am in the library. Does it tell you why? No. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if they aren't the right ones... they are meaningless.

What does this picture tell you? That I am in the library. Does it tell you why? No. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if they aren’t the right ones… they are meaningless.

In class we looked at some college video applications, and after each viewing would talk about whether or not it was effective. While I think the concept is great, and has great potential, the student has to be smart about how they portray themselves. Showing a picture of you playing soccer, does not tell the viewer that you played varsity soccer for four years. It just says, “I play.” Another thing that is important in any type of college submission, is that you as the student stand out. It is effective when the viewer can put a face with a name, and a name with a story. Simply being able to view a student makes them more relatable. This is a benefit of a college submission, however, some people argue that when you alert the viewer in such a way, you can be profiled. Another issue is that when a student writes an essay they can proofread and reread the essay where as with a video they may not be as cautious. Can a student really add all the detail and content to a three minute video that they could when writing an essay?


The history channel uses video essays to discuss previous historical events that have taken place. I find this to be an effective tool, especially when in the classroom. There was one particular segment that I have referenced before when they showed the Revolutionary War. Rather then having to read about the various battles and try to visualize them in hopes of remembering, the video essay was able to tell you facts about the battle however did not have to waste time on visual details because this could be shown. I think video essays have the potential to take over normal written essays if properly introduced. They have the potential to both tell and show a viewer which is alway a more effective way of learning. I was just reading over another post which made me explore the fact that some of the classic novels that I read in my AP English class are now being presented on the big screen. Although the story and basic plot of “The Great Gatsby,” was not changed, people seemed to connect to it more. It may be because a weeks worth of reading was shown in only two hours, or because rather then having to visualize the characters, a movie gives a face to a name. Convenience wins, yet again!