We recently completed one of our most comprehensive video projects to date: a series of eight videos for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture explaining the requirements for Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) certification.
Background: Farming is an important part of Hawaii's economy and in recent years, food safety has become a priority. We were hired to create videos that help farms and farm workers understand food safety regulations and how farms can become GAP certified. These videos were designed to work with voice-overs in English, Chinese, Thai, Spanish and Ilocano.
One of the talented project leaders, Jeri Kahana, recently explained how they are using the video series in education:
We have shared it with our Cooperative Extension partners to use when conducting outreach education with our farmers. We have also shared it with a Group GAP organization who is working with a group of farmers to become GAP certified under the Group GAP program. They were all impressed by the videos!
Along with working with the amazing team in Hawaii, we loved this project because it was a perfect fit for our style of explainer videos. The videos are educational and focused on solving a problem.
One of our earliest videos (from 2007!) explained online photo sharing. While much of that video is still relevant, photo sharing has changed significantly over the years and now plays a much bigger role in our online lives.
So, we've created a completely new version of the video which focuses not only on why photo sharing matters, but how to do it safely and responsibly. This new video will replace the older version in our library.
Online Photo Sharing - Explained
What it Teaches:
Today, we’re taking and sharing more photos than ever before. In the moment, it’s easy to forget that sharing photos can represent both fun and risk. By understanding the basics of online photo sharing and how to share responsibly, we can reduce the risk and focus on the fun. This video teaches:
Why photo sharing is more popular than ever
How people often interact with online photos
What kinds of data and information are included when sharing online photos
How online photos create a digital footprint that can become a risk in the future
This is the 99th video to appear in our library and was suggested by Common Craft members. Watch it here.
What it Teaches:
Like footprints left on a trail in the woods, our digital footprints leave evidence of what we do on apps and websites. This video explains the concept of digital footprints, why they matter and how to reduce the risk of digital footprints in the future. It teaches:
What it means to have digital footprints
Why digital footprints are tracked and saved by organizations
What actions leave digital footprints
How your digital footprints could be used in the future
Over the past ten years, I've written hundreds of scripts for explainer videos and if there is one thing I've learned, it's this: the act of writing the script and trying to explain an idea for others teaches me more about the subject than anything else I can do. My understanding doesn't become clear until the ideas in my head make the jump to the script, where I'm forced to present them logically.
This process of writing explanations in order to understand them better is also known as the Feynman Technique. Richard Feynman was known as The Great Explainer thanks to his talent for transforming complex scientific information into easy to understand models and ideas. The 1.5-minute video below summarizes the technique.
For a new study in Applied Cognitive Psychology researchers led by Aloysius Wei Lun Koh set out to test their theory that teaching improves the teacher’s learning because it compels the teacher to retrieve what they’ve previously studied. In other words, they believe the learning benefit of teaching is simply another manifestation of the well-known “testing effect” – the way that bringing to mind what we’ve previously studied leads to deeper and longer-lasting acquisition of that information than more time spent passively re-studying.
They found the students who performed best at understanding and remembering a new subject were the ones who learned the subject and then taught it to others.
Why does this matter? Because anyone can use this practice to increase their understanding of a subject. Studying is great. Taking notes is helpful. But if you really want to understand and remember a subject, explain it to someone else. Or, simply pretend that you're writing a letter or video script with the goal of explaining it clearly.
Sachi and I often find ourselves discussing what is in "the zeitgeist", meaning subjects that are becoming more popular and representing a particular period of history. Early in our video careers, we created videos about Twitter and Wikis because they were in the zeitgeist at the time.
Today, there are few subjects in the technology world more in the zeitgeist than the idea of blockchain and how it enables Bitcoin, among many other ideas, to work. The problem, as with most subjects in the zeitgeist, is that new, transformational ideas are often difficult to understand. This is certainly the case with blockchain.
We produced a video called Blockchain Explained by Common Craft that's available in our video library and designed for use in classrooms, training, etc. Now that blockchain is becoming a more popular idea, we've decided to publish the blockchain video so it may reach many more people. You can now find and share the video on YouTube and Facebook. I've embedded the YouTube video below:
Using an example of a song written three generations ago, this video shows why it makes sense that the public domain exists and what it means when a song, photo, artwork, document or other creative work is in the public domain. This video teaches:
The basics of copyright law and how it gives creators control
Why copyrights expire over time
How public domain works are available for use without payment or permission
Why creators and organizations contribute to the public domain