REVIEW – IBM “Smarter Math” Commercial

June 25, 2009 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

Title: Smarter Math
Media Type: Commercial and Website
Primary Subject: Math

Just caught this commercial for the first time while watching TV. Apparently it has been around awhile as the date on the YouTube link is 6 months old. I’m not a math teacher myself but I do teach AVID and deal with math in there regularly. Even I get the constant “Why do I need to know this stuff?” question. This commercial aims to answer that question.

There is a website to go along with the campaign here:

It has a podcast along with some additional information that may be worth checking out.

Motivational Potential:
Let me just say that if there was a history version of this commercial I’d use it and use it often in my classes. It is short, rapid-fire, and to the point. There is no chance for the kids to get bored as it ends as soon as it gets going. That, however, is my one complaint, the commercial is so quickly paced that it can be hard to get the impact. It will require multiple viewings and analysis to get the full effect. Still, I’d definitely go for it if I were a math teacher. You can’t deny the impact of telling kids that math can solve financial crisis, predict mutations, etc. This is powerful stuff.

Educational Potential:
You won’t be teaching any math from this unless you visit the accompanying website. Once there it is fairly high-level stuff and doesn’t really teach it so much as show how it might be used. I’m not putting down this resource in any way by rating it as such – it just isn’t for teaching content.

I’ll be using this with my AVID kids no doubt. If I were a math teacher I’d use it regularly. A fantastic resource though not as awesome as Old Navy’s 2004 History commercial (ha, we still win!). Highly recommended, check it out.


Entry filed under: Television.

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