June 21st, 2021 by Explain Everything Team

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

Meet Carolina Mendez, Doctor of Cognitive Neuroscience, speech and language pathologist and assistant professor at Pontificia Universidad de Chile. She is also research coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine, speech and language therapist School (SLT). Find out about her ways of using 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 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 as well as in her medical practice. In fact they have only given her more ideas on how to utilize the app with her undergrad students and patients!

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

Read on to get all details and best bits or skip to the whole story 👇🏻

Table of content:

  1. Explain Everything whiteboard – the help in online teaching
  2. Digital whiteboard for working with speech and writing impaired patients

1. Explain Everything whiteboard – the 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 the lectures.

Dr. Mendez uses it as both a presentation tool, where she can simply walk her students through the lecture as well as a collaborative canvas, where her students can “grab a pen” and draw on the materials she has previously prepared. This allows them to actually take active part in her lessons. She is also able to advise and monitor her students’ understanding.

Detecting certain areas of the brain as well as recognizing specific degenerations is imperative for proper diagnoses. Using Explain Everything, she is able to allow her students’ to accurately target specific regions and problematic areas.

Use # 1 – Short explainer videos

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

This is a process of how Dr. Mendez use Explain Everything:

  • 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: Her students go into class (or join an online session!) with a 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 the whiteboard

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

This is how Dr. Mendez uses a digital whiteboard:

  • During the pandemic and switch to remote learning, she has been using Explain Everything to present her materials.
  • Dr. Mendez can draw, annotate and highlight the specific region of the brain she is giving a lecture on.
  • She uses Explain Everything to present how language is processed in the brain after injuries and describe fMRI (functional MRI).

Use #3 – Collaborative whiteboard

Having a space where you can meet with your students no matter the distance is extremely important in education. Interactive whiteboard gives you this solution.

This is how Dr. Mendez applies Explain Everything to her teaching practice:

  • She puts emphasis on active participation getting her students to draw on the canvas themselves 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 they change my presentation actually is the way they learn the most by being flexible on the material and then I also learn a lot, like oh, this is the way I should present that next time. I learn from them in the way they give me this feedback manipulating my material and I think that they learn just by experimenting more with my slides.”

2. Digital whiteboard for working with speech and writing impaired patients

In a completely different scenario, Carolina has also found a fantastic use for Explain Everything in her everyday work with elderly patients! She has taken these therapy sessions to the next level, utilizing basic features of the app. 

For patients who have suffered a stroke or are in the early stages of dementia, speech is commonly impaired and writing is sometimes the only way to communicate with others. Dr.Mendez recognized the potential of using Explain Everything and the advantage it has over basic pen and paper.

Engaging exercise thanks to interactive whiteboard

The interface is more stimulating and rewarding for her patients than a white paper. She can make a bouquet of flowers appear on the screen when they complete an assignment. She can manipulate the pen color. Using various, even simple features of the app, she is able to engage her patients and help them stay attentive during their therapy sessions.

This is how this works in Dr. Mendez practice:

  • 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 first forms the letter herself and then the patient can copy overtop, imitating Carolina’s letters and then start writing proper-sized letters again.

“We have been able to now 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 canva. They don’t have to worry about making mistakes as they can easily erase and try and again. 

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. 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 times.

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

  • She helps her patients create short stories using Explain Everything.
  • Patients create and add on new elements to the stories which they should 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 the recording, and if you did it wrong then you can just erase and create the same scene again and move the figures in the meanwhile, so to be honest for me it was a pretty easy job, i didn’t have to learn how to create big videos, manipulating very complicated softwares.”

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

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