Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Potential of Video

I never cease to be surprised by the many ways video can be used to teach and inspire. If a picture (1 frame) says a thousand words, then video (30 frames per sec) says it exponentially. Speaking of math terms, that's a language Vi Hart, the YouTube "mathmartist" is revamping in her personal and increasingly viral view of where life and math intersect. She's created an entirely new way of appreciating shapes, concepts, and numbers and hinging them to everyday things. This one on snow angels is a good example. Brrrrrr...

Sure, the video could use some improved production value, and graphics always help, but she's finding her voice and with that hopefully a new way to bring math into daily conversation. I, for one, don't think this way, but if I could borrow some of these insights, I might be able to help my own daughter appreciate how math is everywhere in life and not fear it as an evil alien topic through which she's doomed to slog (like I was and did).

The video revolution is what allows this innovation to happen. Chris Anderson, best known these days as the Ted Talks guy, calls this "crowd accelerated innovation" and discusses the influential power behind how video communicates the subtleties of human thinking and action. Role models can be anywhere and anyone. Thanks Vi Hart. You are changing the world with video.

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