Showing posts with label lee lefever. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lee lefever. Show all posts

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Curse of Knowledge

Earlier this week I shared the 101st explanatory video published by Common Craft. More than a decade ago Common Craft pioneered using simple paper cutouts to tell stories and explain difficult concepts in videos. Six years ago Lee LeFever, the founder of Common Craft, published The Art of Explanation. It's a great book containing concepts that can be applied to video production or nearly any story-telling format.

Shortly after the The Art of Explanation was published I recorded a short interview with Lee LeFever. You can watch that interview here or as embedded below. One of my big take-aways from the book was the idea of avoiding "the curse of knowledge." The curse of knowledge is basically knowing so much about a topic that you forget that what you take for granted is not as easily understood by non-experts. Explaining things is something that we do every day in our classrooms and I know that I'm guilty of sometimes suffering from the curse of knowledge.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Free Webinar - Behind the Scenes at Common Craft

Common Craft burst onto the explainer video scene way back in 2007 with RSS in Plain English. That video demonstrated a new way for students and professionals to create effective and engaging explanatory videos. In the ten years since RSS in Plain English hit the web, many teachers, students, and creative professionals have created their own explanatory videos using the Common Craft model.

On June 21st, for the first time ever, Lee Lefever (the voice of Common Craft videos) will host a free webinar in which you can go behind the scenes of a Common Craft video. You'll learn how he and his wife Sachi craft engaging and effective explanatory videos.

Learn more and register here. I'll be there and I hope that you will be there too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Storytelling Tips from the Producers of BBC Explainers

BBC Explainers are short explanatory videos produced for the BBC. Through Lee LeFever's recent post I learned about the process used to create the BBC Explainers videos. Central to Lee's post is this video explanation of the creation process. The video might be over the heads of middle school and some high school students. The video is worth watching for the information that you can pass to your students.


BBC Explainers from After the Flood on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Using Pizza to Explain Politics

Lee LeFever recently shared a great example of how to stay neutral while explaining concepts in political science. Lee shared why he used triangles, squares, and circles in his explanation of the Electoral College. He went on to share a recent BuzzFeed video in which pizza slices were used to explain Congressional redistricting.


Applications for Education
Two thoughts came to me while reading Lee's post and watching the BuzzFeed video. First, what a great way to remove politics from explaining important concepts in political science. Second, I've seen lots of high school students struggle to demonstrate their understandings of current events because they allow their personal feelings to cloud their explanations. Having students use pizza slices, candies, or simple shapes to explain current events without their feelings clouding their explanations.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Craft Clear Explanations - A Podcast With Lee LeFever

Common Craft videos are world renowned for their clear explanations of often complex topics. The clarity of explanation is why I use some of their videos in my professional development work and use Electing a US President in my classroom when introducing the Electoral College to my students. Today, while eating lunch I listened to Lee LeFever on the Art Heros podcast explain the process of crafting the clear explanations that appear in the Common Craft videos.

Applications for Education
If you listen to the podcast I think you'll find that many of the ideas Lee has about creating clear explanations apply to the classroom as well as to video production. Listen to the podcast here. (Note, for some reason the podcast is marked "explicit" but there is nothing in the podcast with Lee that justifies that label).

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Learn It In 5 - Tech How-to Videos
Seven Videos All Teachers Should Watch

Wikipedia in Plain English

Friday, November 13, 2009

Webinar with Common Craft - Libraries & Online Video

Next Wednesday Lee Lefever, the voice and creator of Common Craft's In Plain English videos, will be one of the three speakers in a free webinar for librarians. The webinar is about using video in training sessions for library patrons and staff. The webinar is being hosted by TechSoup. You can get all of the details about the webinar and register for the webinar here.

Applications for Education
This webinar could be a good opportunity for school librarians to learn about strategies for using online video. The promotional material for the webinar also says that there will be a discussion of how explanatory videos are created.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lee Lefever Explains Where Goldfish Come From

Lee Lefever, the creator of the amazing Common Craft videos, recently presented at Ignite Seattle. His talk, embedded below, explains where goldfish come from. If you have goldfish in your classroom, have students that have goldfish, or you're just curious about where goldfish come from in the US, watch the video.