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Tag: iPads

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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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Using iPads in the Classroom (Edubloggercon session)

Working on iPad

What works is the power of no power. Devices last 10+ hours without a charge. Portability and ease of use. 1:1 initiatives may cause a problem with the purchase of iPads, because of the investment in laptop labs. Apps are either free and are available and can be shared with 30 devices. Unfortunately the cost may be prohibitive: $699/device. Consider the low end iPad at $499. This is a great investment to get kids to read. One comment was about the cost of apps for the Droid are free where for iTouch and iPad most educational apps cost – wants to wait and see if the Droid will create an iPad device. China is already knocking off the iPad with Android. 2012 Negroponte is creating the X03 as an iPad knockoff for 1:1 global netbook for $100. Apple started a revolution with the bar set very high. It will be very interesting to watch what the next generations and knockoffs will be like in the next few months or so.

Comments:

  • Used to use iPhone to follow online course and now iPad is a larger iPhone. Keyboarding was a t first a challenge – now no problem.
  • Ability to finally move into differentiated instruction
  • Much better than a traditional textbook
  • Multi-touch changes how school is done -
  • Laptop is used for production mode: iPad is easier to read – do iPads motivate kids to learn to read? Step in the door to motivate students to read, to learn music, to learn a language.
  • iPad launches quickly while waiting for a laptop to load.
  • First generation device – along with knock-offs will be coming.

Questions or concerns with the iPad:

  • How do students hand in work?
  • Not able to edit in Google Docs, Google Sites, and Wikispaces.
  • As a teacher how would you use the iPad in your classroom? Follow on twitter about educational apps Poundedapps. Examples of different apps teachers use:
    • National Geographic
    • Blogpress
    • Dr. Zeuss’s ABC
    • PBS apps
    • Pocket Universe
    • Me Muves
    • NetGeo
    • Instapaper – takes articles
    • SimpleNote
    • Animoto
    • Dictation by Dragon
    • Sonic Clicks

When you use iPads, use $2 silicon cover to protect from dropping. Don’t worry about fingerprints.