All posts for “Explanation”


Our new video explains blended learning in under 2.5 minutes. See the highlights below: Watch it now   About this video: This video follows the story of a teacher who discovers blended learning and incorporates it into his teaching. It teaches: A basic definition of blended learning How the Internet has impacted teaching options The role of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) in blended learning How blended learning can change how classroom time is used What factors can ensure success Why... Continue Reading

New Common Craft Video: Online Advertising

Posted by: leelefever on June 19, 2014- 10:01am

Topic: advertising promotion marketing Explanation video

Categories: Common Craft Video


Our new video is all about the models of online advertising. This animation includes highlights: About this video: We see advertising everywhere online. Using an example of a small business, this video explains the major advertising models and how they work to build awareness for a new product.  What it teaches: Why advertising is so important to online commerce. The basics of display and pay-per-click advertising. How text and keyword-based advertising works. Remarketing: Why some ads seem to... Continue Reading

We Are All Just Drooling Dogs

Posted by: leelefever on May 2, 2013- 8:49am

Topic: Explanation

Categories: animation, pavlov, science, teded, video


The blog It's OK to be Smart pointed me to this animated TedEd video that explains how humans are not that different from Pavlov's dogs.  Like a dog that is trained to salivate when a bell rings, we too learn to react to events and stumuli. We may not drool, but may fall in love.  Watch: Email Readers can watch here. More about the genius of dogs at Brainpickings.

Video: Explaining The US Election Process

Posted by: leelefever on October 10, 2012- 12:29pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: election, Explanation, politics, video


This time of year, politics is everywhere, and so is confusion. Electing the US president is a complex subject with lots of moving parts.   That’s why we chose to explain it with a simple, non-biased video that uses visuals to make it understandable.  It’s one of my favorite videos in our library and I hope it will be helpful to you and people you know. Please feel free to share it. Looking for more videos like this?  Check out our library of video explanations. Or build your own explanation... Continue Reading

5 Trends Behind the Growing Shift to Video Explanations

Posted by: leelefever on January 23, 2012- 11:24am

Topic: Explanation

Categories: history, media, youtube


It’s easy to look back at Internet history and spot the points of major change. A famous example is the Web 2.0 era which spawned products like Twitter, Facebook and other lasting features of the Web. Some would say we're in the cloud era now, with nearly everything we do on computers being moved to off-site servers.  Within these big, tectonic shifts are smaller shifts that also make a difference.  YouTube was a big shift that kicked off online video in 2005 and in the years since, we’ve seen... Continue Reading

Guest Post: What Communicators Can Learn from a Highsticking Penalty

Posted by: leelefever on January 16, 2012- 12:45pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: hockey, sports, video


This is a guest post by friend of Common Craft, Darren Barefoot. He's a writer, marketer, Canadian and a big hockey fan. During a hockey game in March, 2010, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara drove Montreal Canadians forward Max Pacioretty into the stanchion that separates the player's benches. Nearly a year later, it still looks like a brutal hit as Pacioretty 's head bounced off the corner of the boards. Chara received a five-minute penalty and ejected from the game. Pacioretty was sent... Continue Reading

How a Coin is Solving One of the World's Great Explanation Problems

Posted by: leelefever on January 9, 2012- 10:07am

Topic: Explanation

Categories: coin, explanationproblems, olympics


I grew up playing soccer and over the past few years, Sachi and I have become bigger fans than ever, especially for our hometown Seattle Sounders.  The rules of soccer came pretty easily to Sachi who didn't play as a youngster - with one huge exception: the offsides rule.  I tried to point it out at matches, explain the idea, etc.  Eventually, visuals did the trick and now she's the one throwing her arms in the air. Indeed, the offsides rule has a serious, worldwide explanation problem. It's... Continue Reading

Explanations Lower the Cost of Figuring Something Out

Posted by: leelefever on November 18, 2011- 11:53am

Topic: Explanation

Categories: politics, technology


  Recently Jay Rosen published a fascinating article on his PressThink blog that focuses on politics and how the parties have learned to exploit an “electoral blind spot”.  As Rosen puts it: The blind spot is the point at which voters stop paying attention because the costs of figuring out what’s really going on are too high.  It’s a fascinating article, and I really love this idea of “costs of figuring something out”. The article is about politics and the press, but I think the idea applies... Continue Reading

The Truth About Ladders

Posted by: leelefever on March 27, 2011- 5:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: advice, story, tip


I’m sure you’ve heard the superstition that it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder. Like many superstitions, it’s rooted in a real-world consequence.  The truth is, walking under ladders has nothing to do with luck - it’s just a bad idea.  It could fall, paint could splatter on you, or you could cause someone to fall off of it.   But those points are almost worthless. You could promote the risk of walking under ladders until you are blue in the face, but no one will care.  But, add a story, a... Continue Reading

The White House Goes Whiteboard

Posted by: leelefever on September 29, 2010- 5:00pm

Topic: Explanation

Categories: Explanation, government, politics, whiteboard


A while back I was a part of a panel with Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin and one of his big points during the session was the use of visuals in politics.  This was in the middle of the healthcare debate and he wondered why no one, Obama, Republicans, members of congress, etc. were using visuals to make their cases. I agreed whole-heartedly. Glenn Beck seems to make it work, why not put visuals and whiteboards to work for serious policy discussions? Today I saw that the White House... Continue Reading