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Tips to be Creative

I've been rethinking learning and see how innovations can happen. I love books and see the potential for eBooks. That is, until I learned about Richard Mason's book History of a Pleasure Seeker. Mason is a prolific author who writes his original manuscripts by hand in a journal the size of an iPad. When he saw the iPad, he visualized how his book could come to life -- not just an eBook or iBook. It took two years, but this is the way I wanted books to be. One reviewer wrote:

"The History of a Pleasure Seeker app is exactly what a book app should be! You can read or listen to the book (or both at the same time) and enjoy the little extras (extremely well produced extras, I might add) without having to put the book down."

He included ways for his readers to ask him questions, paragraphs can be read to you, you can visualize text, and more. Mason is a writer and changed the way he saw how his words could be represented to his readers.

History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason

Anyone can be creative because we all possess mental processes that include decision making, language, and memory. Richard Mason is a creative writer, but anyone can change how they see the written word. I am doing research on cognitive science and neuroplasticity. You can change your brain. All we have to do to boost our creative potential is to break down the established ways we view and interact with the world. Allowing yourself to see things differently encourages creativity and looking for ways to be innovative.
  1. Creativity is a Way of LifeObserve: When you are trying to come up with a new project or idea, study how others do something similar and the problems they might be having.
  2. Become an Expert: Focus on something you are interested in and learn as much as you can. Then share what you find.
  3. Step out of your Comfort Zone: Do something outside of the ordinary for you. Sign up for a class doing something you always wanted to do, read a different type of book than you are used to reading, learn a new language, go on a trip to somewhere you never thought you would go to. New experiences change your brain and might open up ideas you never thought of before.
  4. Be Willing to Work Alone: Sometimes working in a group and brainstorming stops the creative process. If you focus on your ideas and play with them, you just might come up with something yourself. Then share it.
  5. Play and Have Fun: Balance in your life is good for you. If you only work all the time, you will start resenting what you are doing. If you stop and play, you can come back refreshed and maybe have new ideas to work on.
  6. Daydream: It is amazing how the mind works. It doesn't stop even when you sleep. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Pause and reflect on what you have been doing. Then imagine things that are just almost impossible.
  7. Reflect: Keep a journal or write a blog. You never know what ideas come to you as you start reflecting on your thinking. Then share your ideas in social media. It might be interesting to see if any of your ideas are retweeted.
  8. Share your Ideas: If you come up with something novel, share it. Find others who will give you constructive feedback. They may give you ideas that go in a completely different direction that will make your ideas even better. You may get ideas that will not help you at all but confirm the direction you are going.
  9. Challenge Yourself: Sometimes you are onto something and just keep doing it because you started it. Stop! See if this direction is going to work. Maybe you need to stop and start a new project or idea and put that other idea to rest for a little to come back to later.
  10. Express Yourself: Take a break to sing a song, dance a dance, or draw a picture. If that doesn't get you going, then just get up and move. Go for a walk. Your brain works best if you move and stimulate both sides of your brain.
  These are my adaptations of tips shared in Scientific American Mind July/August 2012 and added a few of my own. I believe that anyone can change their brain and think in new ways. They can learn in new ways if they open their minds and just imagine things in different ways.
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Notability App - An App You Will Love

Notability App   Notability powerfully integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing so you can take notes your way! This week you can get Notability for 80% off - for 99¢     Ginger Labs I am starting to use Notability instead of Pages or Word. I highly recommend it and at this price, it's an app that everyone should try. If you miss the special deal, it is still a special deal. Notability is the perfect note-taking companion for iTunes U! Liberate yourself from piles of paper and books by keeping this data in Notability. Our full-featured and easy to use tool set enables all types of annotating and data capture. So what does it do?   Full-featured Handwriting
  • Capturing ideas easy and awesome with smooth ink.
  • Use the zoom window to quickly draw every detail.
  • Check out the palm rest to protect your notes from unwanted marks.
  • Copy, move and even re-style the color and width of any ink.
  • Drag-and-drop thumbnails to reorder notes while adding or removing pages as needed.
  • Choose a paper to fit your style and use a variety of pen colors and widths to create beautiful notes.
  PDF Annotation
  • Annotate PDFs.
  • Record, type or handwrite on anything.
  • Share your annotations with anyone using email or Dropbox and more.
  Advanced Word-Processing
  • Try the features like styling, outlining, and spell check as the perfect tools to get the job done quickly and accurately.
  • Use bullets, bold, italic, underline, font presets, cursor controls, and more, seamlessly to help you create rich notes.
  Linked Audio Recording
  • Link audio recordings automatically to your notes.
  • Review your notes, then tap a word to hear what was said at that moment.
  • Use advanced audio processing features to create brilliant recordings in any setting.
  • Use the recording feature to capture your own voice for memos, presentations, or speech practice.
  Auto-Sync
  • Auto-sync your notes to back up in the cloud.
  • Easily collaborate at work or school sharing ideas and notes on the fly.
  Media Insertion
  • Enhance your notes by adding pictures from your photo library or from the iPad camera.
  • Insert web clips, figures, and drawings to compliment your notes.
  • Crop, resize, and draw on images to make them perfect. Your text will automatically flow around them.
  Library Organization
  • Organize, protect and share your ideas and notes.
  • Drag and drop notes into a subject and use a password to keep notes secure.
  • Auto-sync your notes to automatically upload to Dropbox, iDisk or WebDAV.
  • Import notes, PDFs, and RTFs from the cloud or web.
  • Share notes via Email, Dropbox, iTunes File Sharing, and AirPrint.
  When I review apps, I want to find apps that meet multiple needs. Notability does everything students will need to keep notes and share with their teacher and peers. So if you get a chance, download Notability to try while it's at a great price. Go here to download: Ginger Labs Ginger Labs
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It's all about Apps: One That's Free Today!!

Since I am being asked to recommend apps for schools and districts, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some reviews of interesting apps. I also am finding that some apps are free for a short time. Here's a fun app: Dr. Seuss Band that is free just for one day: Today at Oceanhouse Media Dr. Seuss Band Oceanhouse Media Anyone any age will love this. You can build your own wacky Dr. Seuss-like instrument and then play it by pressing the appropriate buttons. This is the Dr. Seuss equivalent of the Rock Band/Guitar Hero games combining hand-eye coordination with musical fun and it works very well, although it might be tough for younger kids. There are in-app purchases with Dr. Seuss songs. Get this app today and then see if you want to purchase anymore apps. I'm thinking that they can all be unlocked just by completing certain accomplishments in the app. From iTunes: Experience the excitement as Dr. Seuss Band transforms your device into a vibrant, energetic musical instrument that all ages will enjoy! Jam along with playful Seussian melodies or create your own whimsical masterpiece. As you play, you'll unlock new instruments, silly effects and catchy songs. Contains over 120 combinations of sounds, so you'll always have something new to discover!   Features:
  • 2 Ways to Play - Go for high scores in the Music Game or use Free Play to compose your own tunes.
  • 10 Original Songs - Play along with the soundtrack from The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss's ABCs, Hop on Pop and more!
  • 5 Unique Horn Instruments - Play Seussian versions of the Trumpet, French Horn, Clarinet, Trombone and Flute.
  • 10 Crazy Horn Effects - Customize the sound of your horn by adding fun effects like a Fish Bowl, Train Whistle, Reverb and more!
  • Mix and Match Horns - Swap parts of the horn while playing to create over 120 Horn Combinations!
  • 3 Difficulty Levels - Choose Easy for beginners, Medium for experienced players and Hard for experts.
  • 26 Unlockables - Achieve high scores to unlock Songs, Horns and Effects.
  • Gamecenter Leaderboards - Compare your high scores with the competition.
  Additional features:
  • Beautiful 3D artwork inspired by Dr. Seuss
  • Whimsical music and sound effects
  • Suitable for all ages
  Some of the criteria I use for reviewing apps:
  • age levels
  • age appropriateness
  • skill and reading levels
  • skills attained
  • independent learning
  • content or standards met
  My Dr. Seuss Band review:
  • children of all ages who love Dr. Seuss
  • visually intuitive
  • increases music abilities
  • encourages independent learning and collaborative play
  • meets NETS for students on creativity, collaboration, and independent exploration
  I encourage you to try this and download it today. If you get it for free, you own it forever. How cool is that? Get it here: Oceanhouse Media