Lisa Nielsen is best known as creator of The Innovative Educator blog and Transforming Education for the 21st Century learning network. International Edublogger, International EduTwitter, and Google Certified Teacher, Lisa is an outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education. She is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students. Based in New York City, Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities helping schools and districts to educate in innovative ways that will prepare students for 21st century success. You can follow her on Twitter @InnovativeEdu.
"If the math curriculum wasn't so appalling and the teaching methods so atrocious," people like me wouldn't appreciate people like Vi Hart as much as we do. Vi Hart is a self-proclaimed mathmusician who's on a mission to help girls enjoy mathematics and even embrace being a little nerdy and smart. She recognizes that for most people, math class was, in her words, "fuzzy, unfocused, and all together not very good."
This is why after more than 12 years in math classes I was forced to take if I wanted to get the job that I have because I wasn't enough of a hot shot to get a waiver, I learned, well mathematically speaking, zero, ziltch, nada about math. What I did learn is that the way we teach math in the U.S. sucks about as much as the way we teach language, but that's fodder for another post.
As was recently reported in The New York Times Vi has created a series of videos, because "I want people to feel they can do this. People can. It’s mathematics that anyone can do.” Vi shares in her videos appreciation for math classes that don't bore students to death and suck as much as the classes that most of us experienced in school and left us with mathematical nightmares that still haunt us into adulthood.
If you teach math today, you don't have to suck anymore. Vi is here to help math teachers make math magical, musical and fun with her series of videos where you'll find the following.
- The infamous series of videos about doodling in math class.
- Experiments with music boxes! Videos and explanations of music boxes with a mathematical flair. Currently features a Möbius strip music box and Pachelbel's Music Box Canon.
- Instruments made of paper! Videos of them being played (while on fire, too), recordings, and instructions on how to make your own recorder, hand flute, and xylophone.
- Mathematical Balloon Twisting! Instructions and photos for the platonic solids, balloon tangles, and more!
- Other art, now featuring figure studies of hyperbolic planes. Also includes various digital art doodles, some old charcoals of mathematicians, wire sculpture, and even my award-winning StarCraft comic!
- Mathematical beadwork: how to bead a hyperbolic plane.
If you're a student or have a child, share this post with your math teacher. If s/he won't watch, you can watch the videos yourself as they give you ideas for lots of fun things to do while sitting in a boring math class with a teacher more interested in having you drawing and label axis then explore the wonder and relevance of math.
This video will give you a flavor for her work.
Cross posted at The Innovative Educator.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.