The Visual Essay

This is a visual essay by Cobra Creative for Clif Bars which advocates bicycle riding as an environmental good. ¶ Doesn’t matter whether you agree or not, you keep watching. The points are clear. The points are nicely illustrated. The illustrations blend and twist into each other seamlessly, which is the rhetorical equivalent of a perfect transition sentence between paragraphs. ¶ The visual essay. It is the new gold standard for communicating simple ideas to a broad, skeptical audience. Those who can write them will always have bread on their tables. ¶ I want to learn them. I want to make them. I want to teach them.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I know you have more expertise in the video editing department than most, but a neat web tool thats been hitting the edu blogs I read pretty hard recently is VoiceThread –

    You probably already know this, but you can upload an image than leave a voice comment on it. Other people can leave voice comments on it as well (if you set it up to allow them). Of course it’s all embeddable.

    I’m using it in my class to create a science picture dictionary. It works really well for the ELL’s and seems to have some pretty good engagement with all students.
    Here are ours:

  2. Dan,

    A neat, clean visually appealing clip. I like this medium as well, and if I could ever clear out some time, I need to learn some mulitmedia authoring apps to pull one of these together.

    The ability to tell compelling stories, regardless of form, will always lead you to find employment.

    J.D.- Voicethread is a great way to pull together a lot of disparate voices on one topic. It’s also great for putting an old family vacation photo up and letting your siblings duke it out over who started the fight that made dad pull over on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or that’s just the way we’ve used it.