Wed, 01 Mar 2017 20:11:10 +0000
Piracy, in any form, seems like a simple idea. It’s illegal and a form of stealing. But online, it may feel different because it’s so easy to make copies of a song or movie and share them. It’s easy to find pirated software on the cheap. The risks seem low.
Our challenge with this video: How can we explain piracy in a way that goes deeper than simple right vs. wrong arguments? How can we appeal to reason?
Our solution: Focus on understanding why it makes sense that piracy is illegal. Below, we explain the system that makes it possible for creative people to be paid for their work and how piracy breaks that system and directly impacts the creative people who make the music and art we love.
We also worked to make the visuals, especially in the beginning, fun and interesting. I loved animating those pirates!
Piracy, on the open ocean or online, is illegal because it is a kind of theft. By understanding different types of online piracy and why it’s illegal, we can start to see how piracy impacts the artists we love and represents a risk to us as individuals. It teaches:
Watch the video on CommonCraft.com.
Wed, 01 Feb 2017 17:44:29 +0000
One of our most popular video categories is Internet Safety and our new video covers an essential part of staying safe online (and off): identity theft. It's perfect for educating students and trainees.
Learn why our identities are at risk and what we can do to protect them (in about three minutes).
We all use names, account numbers and passwords to verify our identities to organizations. Unfortunately, these can be stolen by criminals and cause us financial ruin. The key to avoiding this problem is awareness and understanding ways to keep our identities safe. This video teaches:
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:07:33 +0000
Every once in a while, we come upon a subject that is both extremely complicated and potentially transformational. We treat these subjects with care and work hard to capture the big, fundamental ideas that create a foundation for learning more in the future.
Today, that subject is Blockchain, which is the backbone of the digital currency Bitcoin and a concept that could be used more widely in the future.
The video below uses an analogy to show why blockchain may represent a better way for a small village to manage ownership of village property.
This video provides a big picture look at why blockchain matters. Using the story of a village, it explains how villagers, who had a centralized authority for ownership, discover a new, decentralized way to manage ownership of village property. It teaches:
Watch the video now.
Wed, 02 Nov 2016 15:50:56 +0000
Find out why so many teachers, organizations and products are using gamification to engage and motivate others.
What if completing your goals felt more like a game, with points, competition and awards? That’s the goal of gamification - to motivate and engage people by making the completion of tasks feel like a game that you want to win.
Gamification is becoming a bigger part of our lives and for good reason: it works. This video explains the concept of gamification and how game mechanics are used to motivate people to accomplish personal and professional tasks and goals. It teaches:
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:40:28 +0000
At the very heart of the web are a set of rules or “protocols” that let us send and receive information. By understanding Internet Protocol Addresses or IP Addresses, we can see how information is delivered on the web.
Without IP addresses the internet could not function. They are essential. Unfortunately, because IP addresses are often hidden from view, we rarely hear or learn about them. This video reveals the powerful role they play on the web through a useful analogy involving traditional mail. It teaches:
Wed, 03 Aug 2016 00:28:09 +0000
Waiting just out of their sight is a world of valuable resources called the Hidden or Deep Web and understanding it makes research more effective. This video is perfect for schools or libraries who need better ways to teach research.
What it Teaches:
This video is designed to highlight the major differences between the normal web sites we see in search results and the databases, services and websites that are found in the Hidden or Deep Web. It teaches:
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 18:56:26 +0000Back in 2007, Sachi and I had an idea. YouTube was just getting started and we wanted to make videos that explained technology. After a few failed attempts, Sachi suggested pointing a video camera at a whiteboard and recording human hands moving paper cut-outs and markers on the screen. This was the birth of Common Craft videos and our first video was RSS in Plain English, what many consider the first explainer video of the YouTube era. Sachi in 2007 with out 1st generation whiteboard setup Since then, a lot has changed, but the basic format of Common Craft videos has remained the same. The 80+ “ready made” videos we license to educators all use live-action, stop-motion animation with paper cut-outs. For each video, we print, cut-out and animate every piece of paper that appears. We film the video over 3-4 hours and then Sachi edits it all together with a voice-over. It’s all very time-consuming. And now, we’ve made a decision to adjust our method. Common Craft is going digital. Let me explain... Finding a Better Way We love our work and there are two big things we love to do: Produce explainer videos that help educators Create resources (Cut-outs, Explainer Academy) that help professionals become better explainers In reviewing our time and priorities, we saw that the video production method we’ve used since 2007 is complex and involves extensive time, equipment (lights, camera, software) and know-how. Unlike so many other parts of our work, the process had not evolved to be more efficient. At the same time, we have grown even more focused on helping others learn to explain ideas and create DIY animated videos. We could see that teaching our live-action, stop-motion process would be a challenge. An Idea Was Born We started asking ourselves what really mattered and what could change after nearly ten years. We considered questions like: What if we experimented and developed a new, more streamlined method for making Common Craft videos? What if the method we develop is focused on simple, inexpensive, DIY tools (like presentation and screencasting software) that almost anyone can use? In the end, we gathered feedback and agreed that our work as explainers is grounded in our process for writing and refining scripts, and developing visual stories. While stop-motion animation and on-screen hand gestures served us well, they were not required for creating the same compelling explanations that our fans and members love to use. So, we started experimenting and developed a simpler production method over the last year that’s all digital. In fact, this method was what we used to create the 60+ videos in the Explainer Academy and is the exact same method we teach in the DIY Media Maker Course. It's known as "Common Craft Style". Looking Ahead Starting immediately, future videos for the Common Craft Video Library will be created in digital format. We’ll be developing the same scripts, storyboards, visuals and voice-overs as before, but the visuals will be animated with software instead of edited video footage. With this new efficiency, we're excited to create more videos and hopefully continue to inspire others to become explainer video creators. If you’re interested in the Explainer Academy sign up for the Explainer Academy newsletter or check out the courses. [...]
Wed, 01 Jun 2016 16:04:00 +0000
You've heard of open source software and you may even use it every day. But have you ever wondered why it matters? That's one of the questions we're hoping to answer with this video. How is open source different from proprietary software? Why is open source software useful and popular?
This video follows the story of a software developer who created a new tool and is trying to figure out how the tool will be shared and supported in the future. It teaches:
• Why open source makes sense for some types of software
• How open source differs from closed source, or proprietary software
• What motivates people to work on open source projects
• How businesses work with open source software
Tue, 08 Mar 2016 17:51:33 +0000
Our latest video (our 80th!) explains the basics of artificial intelligence, where we are today and what we can expect in the future.
The goal of artificial intelligence is to create computers that are as intelligent as humans. Achieving this goal is a huge, huge challenge. Today, researchers are making progress and forms of artificial intelligence are starting to appear in everyday life. This video teaches:
The Explainer Academy is one the biggest projects we've ever taken-on. Over months, we've developed completely new and original approaches to teaching the skill of explanation.
The "Explanation Master Course" is a multimedia experience with dozens of short, animated videos, visuals, quizzes, exercises and downloadable templates and guides.
Want to be notified when it launches (and get a discount)? Sign up for updates here.
Our library of downloadable Cut-outs continues to grow. We now have over 2,350 handcrafted visuals for presentations, videos and more.
Get unlimited access starting at $49 a year.
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 14:12:34 +0000
All great presentations have one thing in common: they are well organized. This video illustrates how to plan your next presentation so that your audience easily understands what you have to say. It teaches: