Today, you can pretty much watch a digital copy of anything you want. It’s the age of Netflix and DVR and high-definition cable TV, and by the small chance you can’t find it, there’s enough technology out there for you to create it yourself.
In 2008, Gustavo Reis decided it was time to open a school that focused not only on math, but also on building true, long lasting relationships between teachers and students. His goal was to use empathy as a key to the teaching and learning process. As a result, Mathematica Et Cetera was born. When it began, it offered regular math courses to prepare students for “vestibulares,” the university admission exams mandatory in Brazil, where the school is located. It also provided support for students already attending school, with features including private tutoring at all levels. When enrollment started to pick up, Gustavo decided to introduce a media presence to Mathematica Et Cetera for additional learning materials.
His idea to create a production studio for these purposes began in mid-2010. After some searching, Gustavo found the perfect place to rent – an old dentist’s office.
“When I rented the space, it had a lot of furniture from the previous occupants: a couple of dentists,” he says. “I called my woodworker, and we managed to adapt cabinets, drawers and shelves, which we still use today. Some drawers are pretty narrow, as you would expect to find them in a dentist’s office, but we got used to them!”
Once he had his studio set up, Gustavo set out to find the right program to produce the media he needed. Enter: BoinxTV. Gustavo chose to use the broadcasting program to produce a web show he calls “Math Happy Hour,” a weekly live discussion of the world of numbers through puzzles, games and teasers. The first show brought in nearly seventy live viewers, and since its introduction, it has become a cyber-hit. To date, the record number of simultaneous “Math Happy Hour” viewers was set in January 2013 when the show received 1,136 connections on Livestream.
“I am a strong believer that technology enriches learning if, and only if, it is used to promote connection,” Gustavo says.
Based on that mantra, “Math Happy Hour” is the king of learning enrichment. As Gustavo continued to produce each show, he discovered new functionalities that he slowly incorporated, until he reached the end results of today: professional looking shows produced on a teacher’s budget.
“I keep discovering new BoinxTV features, useful layers and workflow improvements even after almost three years of using it on a regular basis,” says Gustavo. “Being able to work with multiple cameras and screen sources, using TouchOSC on iOS and OSCulator on OS X to remote control all functions using an iPad, using Bastian's lab work with the video sender layer and Syphon to lower CPU usage while streaming live ... the list goes on and on.”
Gustavo’s online classes have amassed a large number of fans throughout all of Brazil, and many have sent messages showing their gratitude. With the help of Gustavo and the programs at Mathematica Et Cetera, they have reached their goals of receiving an admission letter to their choice university or even simply increasing their grades in calculus. Gustavo hopes to continue this level of success with the help of Boinx.
“We will continue to use BoinxTV as a standard tool in our video studio,” he says. “All our live broadcasts will continue to be free and open to everyone, with no login required. Our online presence will certainly continue to grow, especially as the development of our online learning program picks up steam.”
To learn more about Gustavo and the programs offered at Mathematica Et Cetera, visit http://mathetc.com/. With Gustavo’s help, you might just be the next math genius to start your own educational BoinxTV show!