Do you have trouble remembering what you learned?

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As it turns out, the problem might not be what you’re learning, but how you’re learning. We each have an inborn learning style and when we learn using our personal style, we can absorb more in a shorter amount of time.

Common ways that people learn are by seeing/picturing (visual learners), hearing (auditory learners) and by touching or experiencing (kinesthetic learners). As you read the descriptions below, think about which best describes you. Once you’ve identified your learning style, use the tips provided to make the most of your learning.

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Using Nursery Rhymes to Boost Your/Your Child’s Creative IQ

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Children are growing up quickly these days – some might argue too quickly. By the age of 9, many children will own their own mobile phones. To be successful in today’s rapidly changing, global economy, children need to rely on a new set of skills. The reality of life in the 21st century, particularly given the rapidly changing technology landscape and global economy, is that skills associated with creative problem solving are in great demand. As a parent, you have the unique ability to foster the creative thinking skills your child will need to be successful.

Creative thinking is about getting away from the obvious, the safe, and the expected to produce something that – to the child – is new. By encouraging your child to develop an arsenal of original and unique ideas to solve problems in numerous ways, you will help her realize her creative potential. A simple way to encourage these important ideation skills is to start by posing open-ended questions. In facilitating Creative Problem Solving workshops, I have found that nursery rhymes are fertile ground for ideation.

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Why Adults have a More Difficult Time Being Creative than Children

Children in Jerusalem.

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This week at the dinner table my husband and I were having a conversation and used the word “coherent.” Our 4-year old heard this word, but didn’t understand what it meant. Looking to participate in the conversation, our 4-year old said, “Hmm, coherent. That must be located near Cohasset because they both start with “coh.” Little did he know “coherent” is a state of mind while “Cohasset” is a coastal town in Massachusetts (smile).

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Creativity and The Brain

Colourful Thinking?

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Is creativity about nature or nurture? Turns out, creativity can be attributed to both nature and nurture. While we are born with unique ways of being creative, that doesn’t mean we are stuck with what we inherit. Studies on the brain and neuroplasticity suggest we are able to rewire our brains based on the experiences we have. By adding different experiences, we can create a rich stockpile of artifacts to draw creative inspirations, connections and ideas. Want to learn more about the brain’s role in creativity? Take a look at this short presentation titled,  Creativity and the Brain.

Do You See a ‘Merry Go Round Going Upstairs’? You Can by Trying this Creativity Technique

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From time to time I like to test out new creativity techniques on my kids before I use them with clients. It is a great way to work out any kinks, as well as, a great source of entertainment and learning for the kids. I find if I am able to explain how to increase the quantity and quality of ideas by using a  creativity technique with a preschooler, then it is easy enough for an adult.

A little while back I began thinking about learning styles and how each of us has a preferred method for interacting with and processing information. In thinking about visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners (those who learn by physical activity), I worked to devise a creativity technique that tapped into a variety of learning styles.

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How Google Boosts the Innovation Quotient by Failing Quickly

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Google is renowned for encouraging creativity. Consistently ranked as one of the most innovative companies, Google has managed to create a culture of risk taking, which by the way, is positively correlated to both the level and frequency of creativity. As a rule, the company does not aim for 100% perfection at launch. Whether the product is GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth or others within their innovation stable, Google’s mantra is to innovate quickly, design iteratively and to improve continuously.

According to Marissa Mayer, Vice-President of Search Product and User Experience at Google, the question is, “Can you learn enough from the mistakes that you’ve made and the users to iterate very quickly?” Mayer followed this question with an example.

With the launch of GoogleNews, engineers and product managers were “locked in a dead heat” in terms of which final web site feature to complete before launch. Half the team wanted to sort news by date and the other half wanted to sort news by location. In the end, Google chose not to perfect the product in lieu of getting GoogleNews to market quickly. Once launched, users became the tie breaker. Within hours Google received 305 messages from users with 300 asking for sort by date. Though Google launched with a less than perfect product, the company was able to rely on users to tell them where to spend their time and iterated their way to the best solution. To view the video of Marissa Mayer’s full presentation see Marissa Mayer at Stanford University.

Creativity and the Story of the One-Legged Stool

stool sample

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I woke up the other night with a memory from childhood. From an early age, I remember thinking differently than other kids. I believed there was something wrong with me; that I had an affliction of some sort. Now I realize it wasn’t an affliction, but creativity.

When I was in elementary school,  I remember debating with one of my teachers about a three-legged stool. My teacher made a point about teamwork and used the analogy of a three-legged stool to support his argument. While I agreed with his teachings on teamwork, I questioned the fact a stool had to have three legs. I knew a stool could have one leg, or even more than three legs. Anxiously, I raised my hand and suggested a stool didn’t necessarily need three legs to stand. But, I was not allowed to explain my reasoning.

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The 100th Day of School: Creativity Lessons from a 7-Year Old

Bendy Straw Rocket ShipMy son came home the other week with a homework assignment. To celebrate the 100th day of school, his teacher asked each student to represent the number 100 in a creative way. His teacher provided suggestions like drawing a picture, or gathering 100 small objects and presenting them in an unexpected manner.

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Book Review: The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook

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An older book, but invaluable nonetheless! Written by two industry insiders, The Toy and Game Inventor’s Handbook is a step-by-step guide through toy design and game licensing. In this nonfiction work, the authors provide background on the toy industry, discuss blockbuster toys, look at how to get started in the toy industry, review legalities of toy design, and list opportunities for toy inventors. Sidebars and callouts are used to highlight pertinent information and advice from the professionals. The appendix contains profiles of toy inventors, as well as, lists of companies seeking toy ideas and a glossary to toy terminology.

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Creative Ways to Teach Math

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You might ask, “Is there a creative way to teach math?” I remember the days of learning multiplication tables by rote. Things are changing…for the better. A version of this was originally posted on Quora. With the great positive feedback, I thought it would be good to share on Daily Creativity. The Quora question was, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” My answer…

I believe creativity in the classroom has more to do with individual teachers more than anything else. As a creativity practitioner from time to time I work with teachers and classrooms to incorporate creativity into the curriculum. One of my experiences involved working with my son’s kindergarten class to teach skip counting (counting by 3′s, 5′s, etc.).

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