Think about why the sky is blue

Thursday is the day we investigate creativity.  Where does it come from?  How do you get it? What good is it?  Who needs it? When does it make a difference?  All good questions. Just as good as the title here, why is the sky blue?

I watched a TED talk the other day and in browsing the other videos, found this one.  Although his idea was for innovation in education for schoolkids, it seems to me that his concepts could just as easily be applied to adults who yearn for a more creative spark.

The video is below, so be sure to watch it; but not before you read the entire article about it.  In the article, Kate Torgovnick May has distilled the ideas down to 5 easy steps.

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Want to boost your creativity and be a better collaborator? Think about why the sky is blue

Jul 27, 2017 

Stretch your mind and strengthen your relationships with this simple exercise borrowed from schoolkids. Education innovator Sugata Mitra shows how.

It’s probably been a long time since you lay on your back in the grass, looked up and wondered, Why is the sky blue? Or since you took the time to consider a question as difficult as, Where does the universe begin, and where does it end?

In 2013, education innovator Sugata Mitra received the million-dollar TED Prize to develop an online learning platform for schoolkids, based around big questions like these (TED Talk: Build a school in the cloud). But the big secret is: It’s actually fun for adults. By tweaking Mitra’s idea, you can get in touch with your inner child — while building important skills. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Set aside an hour to recharge your curiosity.

At the heart of Mitra’s School in the Cloud is a simple method known as a SOLEsession. SOLE stands for Self-Organized Learning Environment, and it capitalizes on two incredibly abundant commodities: curiosity, and information on the Internet. A session begins with an open-ended, thought-provoking question — for example, What would happen if insects disappeared? or, Why do languages die out? Kids spend 40 minutes doing online research in groups of four or five, sharing one computer and jotting down their findings. Then all the groups come together for 20 minutes and discuss their discoveries.

Why should a busy adult take the time to pursue a blue-sky question like this? Because most of us spend our days living in our own information silos, and it’s good to step outside of them. In pursuing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, you’ll undoubtedly learn something new — or maybe you’ll revisit a subject you’ve avoided since high school (hello calculus!) and shake the cobwebs off your old learning, or reignite a passion you’d forgotten about. In doing research for the session, you’ll be forced to consult multiple sources and quickly find credible information — skills that are essential for critical thinking. And in the process of working with others, you could pick up tips, whether it’s a keyboard shortcut you never knew existed or a great YouTube channel to follow.

Step 2: To come up with a question, think big — really big.

By the time we’ve reached adulthood, we’ve long since stopped posing knotty, complicated queries — there are just so many more pressing professional and

Read the rest of this article here.

Here is the TED video referenced in the article.

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