June 21st, 2021 by Explain Everything Team

Explain Everything for lectures and therapy – the story of neuroscientist Dr. Carolina Mendez

Carolina Mendez inspiring educator

Meet Carolina Mendez, Doctor of Cognitive Neuroscience, speech and language pathologist and assistant professor at Pontificia Universidad de Chile. Carolina is also a research coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine and a speech and language therapist. Keep reading to find out how she utilizes Explain Everything in her everyday work.

Dr. Mendez started using Explain Everything when she won a grant for her university, and has since implemented it into her teaching as well as her clinical practice – in her work with patients.

The Covid pandemic and subsequent restrictions have not stopped her from getting creative, both in her academic work and in her medical practice. In fact, they have only given her more motivation on how to utilize the app with her undergrad students and patients!

Dr. Mendez uses Explain Everything with people of all ages, too – from undergraduate students, providing them with interactive, enthralling lectures, to elderly patients battling neurodegenerative disorders. She has even created a type of therapy which enables her patients to connect with their families during these unprecedented times!

Read on to get all of the details or skip to the best bits👇🏻

Table of contents:

  1. Explain Everything whiteboard – an invaluable help in online teaching
  2. A digital whiteboard for working with speech- and writing-impaired patients

1. Explain Everything whiteboard – an invaluable help in online teaching

Dr. Mendez conducts lectures with undergraduate students using Explain Everything as a means of better presenting ideas, topics and complex cases. Because of the pandemic, she has, like most of us, had to switch to online teaching. She decided to use Explain Everything to help her students stay connected with her during those lectures.

Dr. Mendez uses the digital whiteboard as both a presentation tool, where she can simply walk her students through the lecture, and a collaborative canvas, where her students can simply “grab a pen” and draw on the materials she has previously prepared. This allows them to actually take active part in the classes – and all this while she can monitor her students’ understanding.

Studying specific areas of the brain as well as recognizing different types of degeneration is imperative for proper diagnoses. Using Explain Everything, Carolina is able to allow her students to accurately target precise regions and problematic areas.

Use # 1 – Short explainer videos

Creating short instructional videos and sharing them with students is one of the most effective ways to teach and engage, especially in the times of remote learning.

How Dr. Mendez use Explain Everything: the process:

  • Creating short videos (capsulas) in which she presents a certain topic for her students.
  • Sharing these videos with her students before class so they can familiarize themselves with the new material

Result: Dr. Mendez’s students go into the classroom (or join an online session!) with a decidedly better understanding of a given topic. This helps students anticipate what she will be talking about and gain a more in-depth understanding of a certain topic.

Use # 2 – Live-sharing a whiteboard

Static slides don’t help your students stay focused or interested. Broadcasting a whiteboard live is a great way to present a lesson in a more captivating, engaging way.

This is how Dr. Mendez uses a digital whiteboard to live-share:

  • During the pandemic and switch to remote learning, she has been using Explain Everything to simply present her materials.
  • Dr. Mendez likes to draw, annotate and highlight the specific region of the brain she is giving a lecture on to drive her message home.
  • She uses Explain Everything to present how language is processed in the brain after injuries, as well as the the inner workings of an fMRI (functional MRI).

Use #3 – Collaborative whiteboarding

Having a space where you can meet with your students, no matter the distance, is extremely important in education. An interactive whiteboard gives you this ability.

This is how Dr. Mendez applies Explain Everything in her collaborative teaching:

  • She puts emphasis on active participation, getting her students to join her on the canvas to present their understanding.
  • Using the tools available in Explain Everything, students point out and highlight particular areas in the brain responsible for language processing, detect lesions, tumors, etc. 

“The way they move and change my presentation actually is the way they learn the most, by being flexible on the material. And I also learn a lot, like, oh – this is the way I should present that next time. I learn from them through the feedback they give by manipulating my materials and I think that they learn just by experimenting with my slides.”

2. A digital whiteboard for working with speech- and writing-impaired patients

On a quite different note, Carolina has also found an amazing use for Explain Everything in her everyday work with elderly patients. She has taken used it to take her therapy sessions to the next level – all while utilizing just the basic features of the app to keep things simple. 

The speech of those who have suffered a stroke or experiencing the early stages of dementia is quite often impaired, leaving writing as the only way to communicate with others. Dr. Mendez recognized the potential of using Explain Everything in such situations, as well as its advantage over basic pen and paper.

Engaging activities with an interactive whiteboard

To start, the interface is simply more stimulating and rewarding for Dr. Mendez’s patients than a white piece of paper would be. She can make a bouquet of flowers appear on the screen when they complete an assignment. She can change the pen color. Using various, even simple features of the app, Dr. Mendez is able to engage her patients and help them stay attentive during their therapy sessions.

This is how Dr. Mendez’s therapy sessions look:

  • She displays a picture on the Explain Everything canvas to her patient.
  • Her patient writes the name of the object next to the picture.
  • If her patient is not able to do it, Carolina forms the first letter herself and then the patient can copy overtop, imitating Carolina’s letters to create legible text.

“We are now able to make sentences which are readable, for example now we can understand that she says ‘I want to go to the market’, and before it was just tiny, tiny lines, very close to each other so it was not understandable.”

Result: The technology is much more stimulating and engaging for her patients who enjoy writing on the canvas. They don’t have to worry about making mistakes, as they can easily erase and try and again. 

An online whiteboard that connects – a new type of therapy

Yet another way Dr. Mendez has implemented Explain Everything into her daily work is her therapy sessions with dementia patients. By teaching them to use technology as a means of expression, she helps them to stay connected with their families, which is especially meaningful during Covid.

Here’s how Dr. Mendez uses a virtual whiteboard in her medical practice:

  • She helps her patients create short stories using Explain Everything.
  • Patients continue to create and add on new elements to the stories which they then try to remember.
  • Patients create short sentences that connect with each other. 
  • This helps them to organize their thoughts and train their memory. 

“Explain Everything gives you the flexibility to do a recording, and if you did it wrong then you can just erase and create the same scene again, moving elements in the meanwhile, so to be honest recording was a pretty easy job. I didn’t have to learn how to manipulate very complicated softwares. My patients, either.”

Dr. Carolina Mendez was interviewed by Isabelle Procner-Michelin, the Explain Everything Partner Relations Manager.

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