Investing In The Long Term Future of Mathematics: The Global Math Project
The long game. For many companies, in this day and age of rapid change and shifting landscapes of how we learn, this is where a lot of the eggs are being put. The long game involves having long term plans with long term goals, and then patiently and confidently waiting for that long term vision to come true. This is not a strategy. This is a 21st-century necessity.
As we enter what is probably the second generation of social media, a large shift in trust is happening all over the globe, and in every institution imaginable. Traditional hierarchical and upward flow of trust has been massively displaced by a more horizontal and equitable distribution.
This is causing a profound evaluation of how we must think about education, as the disruptive change in flow of information and trust is moving through traditional institutions with the force of a tsunami. As such, math education is also affected by these trust changes. And, any company that works in math education as a resource partner needs to strongly reflect what will be the impact of this change–both for now and for the future. Here at Buzzmath, we have been thinking about that for a few years.
One of the biggest challenges of being a digital resource company is working within your domain–technology–but also trying support ideas and initiatives which go beyond designing web infrastructure. It is important to own things in order to trumpet any belief in them. What I mean by that is that any company that wants to communicate a higher purpose or value, better be able to demonstrate and communicate that to its customers with… proof.
So, if you are going to believe in something, mere words will ring hollow. Your company has to invest with time and energy in those beliefs. And, as powerfully suggested by Simon Sinek’s “Why” bullseye in the diagram below, those beliefs must be clearly communicated internally and externally.
In 2016, Buzzmath, decided to invest heavily in The Global Math Project, a grassroots movement started in the US by James Tanton and Jill Diniz. The goal was to create something as big and celebratory like the Hour of Code started by Mark Zuckerberg. This was indeed an ambitious goal, or in the words of James Tanton–”audacious”. The reason for so, lamentably, is that mathematics has always been tarnished as something not quite “sexy”, kind of more a necessary workhorse to help other disciplines shine.
Nonetheless, the idea of creating a week during the year to have the entire world engage in mathematics that was fun, creative and joyful was launched.
The goal of The Global Mathematics Project–Uplifting Mathematics for All–is what all of us here at Buzzmath believe. That mathematics needs illumination of its inherent play and wonder, and that light should be available and accessible to all. It’s a large project. And, now it is in its second year, with the aim of reaching 10 million students from around the world–so far more than 175 countries from around the world have connected with GMP.
The grassroots success of the venture–or adventure–in its embryonic stages gives the team here at Buzzmath the reassurance that the collective energy that was poured in from the whole company of designers, developers ,marketers, and educators was indeed a wise investment.
To be able to build an experience that honors the vision of the project and the whimsical play of James Tanton’s patented Exploding Dots makes the company proud of taking a stake into the broadest and most human goals of math education–that it is a connected/shared experience with all cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds. It is one thing to say that everyone is capable of doing mathematics, it is quite another to deliver on that promise on a global scale.
Time. Mathematics has always needed time. Time to ponder, reflect, restart, and relearn. The survival and flourishing of mathematics is because it has always braided its past and present with the future. And the future of math education lies in the values and beliefs of equity, global connectedness, accessible technology, and rehumanization of learning the most important language of the universe.
At Buzzmath, we are enthusiastically and energetically moored to all the ideas of The Global Math Project. We believe in ‘uplifting mathematics for all”. We also understand that this destination will take some time to get to. We hope that many of you will come along with us and millions around the planet next month to continue the journey!
What is Buzzmath?
Buzzmath is a widely used math learning and practice platform used by teachers and their students. Activities cover content from elementary grade 1 through middle school grade 8. Learn more HERE!