When I think about why I ended up in education, it boils down to a single word: passion. When I delve a bit deeper into the “why,” I see that dissatisfaction with my previous vocation was also a factor. Drilling down a bit further, I acknowledge that I was also spurred by an inner belief that studying mathematics can become a positive and enjoyable endeavor for anyone if he/she has the right foundation and mindset. In this episode, I had the privilege of interviewing someone who feels the exact same way about math. Jason Skoubye is not your average edtech pioneer. He is a former accountant who had a crazy idea about teaching mathematics: he wanted to build animations so kids had a real chance to develop a concrete number sense. It doesn’t sound that crazy until you realize that Jason has no background in either computer science or animation. He decided to take on an incredibly challenging task on a whim. That whim proved to be right.
Parents, family members, and friends all told him his vision was absurd. Why leave a successful career as an accountant to build something as complex as educational animations? Despite the wave of naysayers, Jason pressed on without hesitation. Slowly but surely, the resistance to his pursuit began to fade as his YouTube channel started to explode. Today, Math & Learning Videos for Kids has over 44,000 active subscribers. As Jason himself notes, the animation is not ultra sophisticated. Why? He’s not an animator by training. But interestingly enough, his audience actually prefers his simple and clear style. What he makes conveys concepts in a perfectly clear and stylistically appealing manner.
Jason was inspired to create his channel by the fact that he himself struggled with math as a child. In order to truly face his frustration with math head on, he ended up pursuing a career in accounting, one of the heaviest math related majors around. Now, instead of continuing down that path, he has opted to help other young minds make the jump from math frustration to math fluency. Jason’s next phase of edtech brilliance is to build his animations into a fully interactive math based video game called Math Mage. To learn more about Jason Skoubye and his amazing work for kids, check out the full podCast episode! If you are interested in viewing his website, go to https://www.commoncore4kids.com/.
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