YouTuber and Maths-enthusiast Vihart on reaching your audience

In this video Vihart discusses a surprisingly relevant, to the internet today, piece of writing from the 70s in a video that should be interesting to all, but it has a special significance for me.

Though the theme of the video is how a YouTuber should go about reaching an audience, to me the interesting and pertinent message (as a teacher-in-training) is her opinion towards education. From 02:07 to 02:38 she compares the popularity of her maths videos to the approach, which I am well familiar with, frequently advocated in the modern teaching profession. Watch:

So, food for thought. Next time I hear somebody say that to teach maths (or any other subject) to children we should make it 'relevant', make it about sports or wrestling or whatever, I'll think of Vihart's videos, and see if I can't express some of the feeling one gets from watching them, missing from their approach.


  1. Interesting stuff. That books sounds cool. I wonder what else that guy from the _70s_ had insights to.

    The message _definitly_ applies to artists (including writers, bloggers, youtubers etc). Pandering to your audience is bad; do what you do, say what you say, and if you resonate with people your audience will grow. And the awesome thing about the Internet is the extended reach of artists and audiences. People can find stuff that resonates with them.

  2. I'm having technical trouble writing this comment in one, so here's part 2

    Applying the message to education is harder. You have your audience
    and massage picked for you. Your goal is to get the message across to
    this audience as effectively as possible. That changes the game, but
    maybe playing in the same way would be effective.

    I think we best remember out teachers that loved the subject, and
    weren't afraid to show that enthusiasm.

    I certainly agree that trying to water the message down to avoid
    alienating the audience is doomed. You only end up alienating
    everyone. But you can't _change_ the audience, only what and how you
    present to them.

    1. Yes, there is a difficulty given that education fundamentally does have its audience picked for it. That would be the source of any objection to Vihart here, and I'm not saying I know who's right. I think the power Vihart's talking about is in the shaping of the audience. If I teach maths in a way that maths geeks enjoy, will I influence my children to be maths geeks? That would be nice!

  3. I quite agree Vihart, sixtysymbols, periodicvideos and other education based youtube channels are often much more effective at teaching concepts than a classroom setting. In fact, I by the time I started my O-Levels my learning was completely independent of my school. Almost 80% of my learning happened at home on the internet through my own efforts.