We watched this video during the closing session in Denver.
I love this video. I find it amusing and clever. The moment where Vi Hart folded the guacamole into the interior of the hexaflexamexagon was marked by an audible gasp of delight in the room.
Somebody needs to explain to me what this is. Is it a lesson? Is it a tasty bite-sized morsel of entertainment? Is it an inspiring call to mathematical action?
Because Vi Hart works for Khan Academy.
It turns out that Hart thinks it’s a lesson. Lessons have objectives. Can you guess hers? She began a sentence this way, “The main educational purpose [of this video] is…”
Watch the video again if you need to. Then you may scroll down for the answer, which will be in the comments.
We also watched Hart’s “i” video.
She said, “Technically, it was a bad video because I lost subscribers [on YouTube]. But numbers don’t matter.”
She cringed at her own words and observed that saying numbers don’t matter in a ballroom full of math teachers is probably a bad idea. I think we all understood that she meant to say that popularity is different from quality, and is a direct indicator of neither quality nor effectiveness. It is in this spirit that her numbers don’t matter quip is strange.
Has anyone from Khan Academy ever given a talk which did not use the number of views, or hits, or followers, or lessons served?
She and her father (George Hart) had already exchanged the number of views of each of their first viral videos. Number of views as a measure was discussed on at least five separate occasions during the hour including the introduction by Outgoing Past President Michael Shaughnessy (whose title I am absolutely not making up, and which is strangely not redundant).
Which brings me back to my original question. What was that? What was that video, exactly? What was that talk? Anyone?