5 Reasons Why Video Is an Essential Part of Distance Learning

A video is a powerful tool for distance education. It’s cost-effective and accessible for educators and learners with limited resources or learning challenges.

Video has always played a role in education, since the early days when the teacher would wheel on the TV and VCR. Now, it's foundational for distance learning from elementary to post-secondary education.

There are several reasons why video has become an essential part of distance learning. These five are the most notable.

Opportunity for Visual Aids

Video allows for the use of visual aids such as diagrams, animations, and simulations, which can help students understand complex concepts more easily. While creating these assets was once challenging for educators, it's now simple to screen-record, add voiceovers and audio, and edit video online.

Visual aids can help students learn better by providing a way for students to see and interact with information in a way that can be more engaging and memorable than just reading or listening. 

For example, videos can provide a more dynamic and engaging way to present information than just reading text. Adding graphs and charts can help students visualize and compare data. Additionally, visual aids can help students to better understand and retain information, directly impacting their performance in school.

Facilitates Asynchronous Learning

While there are benefits of real-time learning and interaction, it's not feasible in some scenarios. For example, a student taking a course set in a different time zone may not be able to log on for a live class. Parents trying to advance their education may have to find time between work and parental responsibilities. 

Asynchronous learning is convenient, flexible, and facilitates self-paced learning. Video content is instrumental in making this possible. Educators can record demonstrations and lectures and post them for review at the student's convenience. This is also an effective way to share feedback or ask questions about materials with visual references for clarity.


Videos were once considered a high-cost endeavor. Now, it's accessible to almost everyone with a smartphone. There are several ways in which video improves the cost-effectiveness of education.

Asynchronous learning can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person learning, as it eliminates the need for students to travel to a physical location to attend class. Video modules and feedback make this possible.

Videos can also be repurposed and re-used repeatedly, reducing the ongoing preparation work so educators can focus on offering guidance to students.

Video editing and sharing tools are affordable, especially compared to the costs associated with printing and distributing worksheets. This feature also aligns with cloud-based document sharing and a modern distance learning environment.

Enhances Accessibility

Educators can use video to make distance learning more accessible to students with disabilities, as it can include closed captions, sign language interpretation, and other accommodations.

Many students with learning disabilities find videos easier to process. For example, people with dyslexia appreciate the lack of written material or the quick transition to have their computer read text out loud with accessibility tools. Similarly, those with ADHD can adjust the speed to promote better focus or revisit sections they've missed.

Creates Study and Review Opportunities

Finally, videos make it easy to review and study, as students can replay sections or revisit sessions at any time and study at their own pace. This is particularly helpful for students who have busy schedules or need to review material multiple times to understand it.

Videos are also versatile, allowing for several approaches to reviewing the information. The addition of captions and visual aids can help improve retention among visual learners. Students on the go can also separate the audio track and listen to lessons as a way to study while accomplishing other tasks.


A video is a powerful tool for distance education. It’s cost-effective and accessible for educators and learners with limited resources or learning challenges. The asynchronous nature and ability to review video content are also beneficial for students in our modern, fast-paced society. Video will continue to be an integral part of distance learning in the future.

Kyle Reyes
Kyle Reyes is a professional writer based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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