Conversation with Common Craft – Looking Forward

Last Monday in the NECC Blogger’s Lounge I sat down next to Sachi and Lee Lefever. Lee and Sachi are the producers of the excellent Common Craft videos. They were not at NECC to exhibit or present, but simply to talk with people. I had great conversations with both Sachi and Lee. The conversation that I had with Sachi revolved around how their service has benefited educators. Sachi said that they’ve only recently become aware of just how much educators enjoy and benefit from their work. I asked Sachi what they were planning to produce next. Although she couldn’t say for certain what they’re going to produce next, she did say that they are seriously considering producing something along the lines of “Internet Safety in Plain English.” I certainly hope that they do produce a video on that topic as it would be an educational resource for school and home. (For the record, I did check with them before running this post).

One of the things that Lee and I talked about is the dilemma faced by people like him and I regarding free versus paid services. We both agreed that we prefer to make content available to teachers and schools for free, but at the same time we are concerned about issues of copyright infringement and somehow being compensated for the time we spend creating content. Although we were not able to come up with a clear solution to this dilemma we both agreed that producing quality content is always the primary goal. That said, if educators want a quality company like Common Craft to continue to create quality content they do need to generate revenue somehow. This is not a problem unique to Common Craft, it is a dilemma faced by any company that offers a free service to the education community. Common Craft, VoiceThread, and other companies like them generally make their money from doing work for corporations or charging a fee to non-educators. As educators, particularly blogging educators, the way that we can support them is to make sure we give proper attribution and links whenever we can so that they can continue to offer free content and services to educators.

Here are some Common Craft videos that have been featured on Free Technology for Teachers in the past with explanations of how they can be used in the classroom.

Understanding Web Search in Plain English

Investing in Plain English

Saving Money in Plain English


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!