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Empower Teachers and Parents

Ortal Green Author Interview

Think Unique introduces parents and educators to the idea of teaching creative thinking as a necessary life skill to help prepare them for the future world. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I am a Design Thinker who studied Computer Science and worked at the forefront of technology for many years. My work experience in the Hi-Tech industry is diverse. I worked for large companies such as IBM research lab, creating algorithms for future technology; I also worked for different start-ups that developed technology that disrupted the market. This knowledge and experience helped me see that with the rapid advancement in technology and the development of machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation, the type of jobs we humans perform are changing. Computers now do many tasks that we used to do in the past, and new jobs are popping up daily. Who could have imagined, ten years back, that an e-sport couch would be a profession, an uber-driver, or a social media influencer?

Looking at where our world is heading, two things were obvious to me –

We don’t know what job types will be there in 10-15 years. Therefore, many children in primary school today would work in jobs that haven’t been invented yet.

As we work alongside computers more, we must develop our superhuman skills. The skills that are unique to us and computers can’t replace. These skills, to name a few, are creative thinking, problem-solving, and an innovative mindset.

Consequently, to succeed in the 21st century (in whatever path you choose and whatever career children will decide to pursue), children today must develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

As a mother of three children, I felt the need to do everything I could to set up mine and other children, from around the globe, for success.

One of the ways for me to do so is to empower teachers and parents to help their students and children develop their thinking capabilities and become excellent problem solvers.

Therefore, I wrote the book “Think Unique” to guide educators on how they can create an environment that develops these crucial skills in their classrooms.

How much research did you undertake for this book and how much time did it take to put it all together?

I wrote “Think Unique” after many years of following my passion. I have spent many years exploring, researching and learning Design Thinking, creative thinking, and problem-solving.

As part of my desire to help others develop these skills, I have worked with many adults, educators and children, teaching them Design Thinking to develop their innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

I have spent many years in classrooms, working alongside teachers and teaching children Design Thinking. For many years, I have been training teachers on Design Thinking as a framework for teaching and learning.

These years of going on my journey and mentoring and teaching others how to develop their thinking capabilities have helped me develop a deep understanding and knowledge of this topic.

This journey led to the birth of “Think Unique”.

What is one thing about education that you think is misrepresented in the media?

There are many conversations about the need to change our education system. These types of discussions have been going on for years now. Many people talk about our outdated education system and the need for politicians and bureaucrats to re-design our education system to suit the needs of the 21st century.

While today, many agree that the current system is not serving our children, we can’t afford to wait for governments to change this system.

And there is no need to wait for policymakers to slowly change existing policies and drive a top-down transformation of this massive education system. In fact, there is no time to waste: our children need a different kind of education now.

What is misrepresented in the media is the idea that this transformation needs to happen from the top down. The idea that governments and bureaucrats are the ones who need to lead the required changes to provide our children with the learning environment they need to thrive.

In reality, re-designing and enhancing our education system can and needs to start with the teachers. Teachers have the power to bring their classrooms to the forefront of education and provide their students with the learning experience they need.

They can deliver their curriculum differently. Educators can choose to use a framework for teaching and learning that provides our children with the learning environment they need.

Teachers have this power. They have more autonomy than they think. They have more choices than they might believe. Even within the many constraints of our education system, educators have the power to teach differently.

And this is what I do. I empower teachers to amplify their impact and create an innovative classroom learning environment.

I show them how they can deliver the curriculum they need to adhere to in a meaningful and authentic way.

I guide them on how they can facilitate learning that empowers children to become excellent problem solvers and change makers.

What is one thing that you hope reader take away from Think Unique?

I wrote “Think Unique” to empower readers to become innovative problem solvers. Therefore, I hope that “Think Unique” readers will learn from my book that creative thinking is a skill anyone can develop and will follow the path I provided them to develop their innovative thinking.

Through their “Think Unique” journey, I hope they will become excellent problem solvers and help others develop their unique thinking.

As per research performed by Dr George Land and Dr Beth Jarman, we are all born creative geniuses, but most of us lose this skill as we grow up and go through our education system. However, the good news is that we can develop this skill and become creative geniuses again.

I wrote “Think Unique” in a way that empowers readers to become creative geniuses again.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Do you wish you could do something unique with your curriculum?
Do you want to inspire your students and help them experiment and think without boundaries, but aren’t sure where to start?
If you want to create a unique and fantastic environment for your students, Think Unique is for you.

Creativity and innovative thinking are too often seen as not essential or icing on the cake. That’s simply not true! Creativity is a way of thinking and processing information. It is a way to expand your student’s thinking capabilities and develop their love of learning.
Moreover, turning your classroom into an innovative environment means creating an exciting and fun learning space. And we all know that children learn best when they are having fun.
Creating the right learning environment for your students is important. With Think Unique, you can take your classroom to the next level and turn it into the most creative and inspiring learning community ever!
Think Unique combines the creative thinking and innovation process that drive start-ups and organisations’ success with the principles of Project-Based Learning. By adopting this approach, you bring the methodologies used by the best innovators and thought leaders of our time to your classroom.
With this book, you will:

Develop your students’ 21st-century skills
Provide them with a voice
Build up their confidence as excellent problem solvers
Open their world to infinite possibilities!
Think Unique provides you with an innovative framework you can use for any subject, including STEM, Math & Literacy.
It is your step-by-step guide to making learning more engaging, more relevant, and more creative. You will find strategies that you can put into practice right away. You’ll learn how to inspire your students, plan engaging lessons, develop your students’ 21st-century skills, and create your most unique curriculum ever.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just getting started, Think Unique will help you develop a creative curriculum for your students and put it into action.

My Mission In Life Has Been To Help

Jocelyn Jones Author Interview

Artist provides readers with a step by step guide that will help them awaken their higher self. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve been a teacher and a creative consultant for some 30 years. My mission in life has been to help. I feel like we’re at a precarious time in history. We’re exhausted by the pandemic, terrified by our political landscape, overwhelmed by global warming and despondent at man’s inhumanity to man. It’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed by a 24/7 deluge of epically bad news delivered by a media hell bent on keeping us afraid. When people are scared, they are easily manipulated.

All this noise keeps us from remembering to practice basic human values. It’s as if we’ve forgotten the importance of courtesy, kindness, honesty, and doing the right thing.

I wanted to write a book that shared not only my own experiences and lessons, but a book that offered some simple techniques to help people slow down, still themselves, and get in touch with their higher consciousness. I want to help folks discover their purpose for being here, take better care of their lives, and experience the joy of living a life of their own creation.

I wanted to share the tools and guidance I give to artists that can help anyone summon inspiration at will.

I appreciated all the personal experiences you shared in this book. What is one potent piece of advice someone gave you when you were younger and how did that help shape your growth?

As a troubled teen, my father asked me (with genuine interest) “Jocie, if you could have anything in the world, barring all obstacles, what would that be?”

To answer – I had to present the question to myself. This seemingly simple task was life changing. It made me realize; not only was it possible to pose an internal question, but I found myself waiting for an answer. An answer that came slowly – not from the head but the heart.

I have used this questioning process in various ways throughout my life and my art. Asking a question and then patiently waiting for an answer that makes my heart beat a little faster. This simple practice will empower you with the capacity to summon inspiration at will.

What were some key ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

I believe that there is an artist in everyone and that consciously creating our own life is not only our responsibility but our most essential work of art.

I believe the application of simple daily practices can help us live in the present moment and connect to our best self. I believe we are the result of what we practice.

Lastly, I want the reader to understand that posing questions to our most intimate self about what we want, how we’re doing, or what we might like to change in our life, is an essential component to a life well lived.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There is an art to living, which begins with the capacity to still yourself and listen to the counsel of your own heart.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Following Your North Star

Following Your North Star is an invaluable self-help book that focuses on several different aspects of self-improvement. Across ten chapters, the author uses personal experience and spiritual advice to teach readers how to discover their true inner selves, their passions, and their perfect life paths. With journal and activity prompts, this book helps readers learn to nourish their minds and bodies, handle interpersonal relationships, identify their own ‘North Star’ – the guiding light of passion in their lives – and cultivate a life that is truly fulfilling.

This is one of the most enjoyable self-help books I’ve read this year. The book contains a lot of practical ideas and actionable advice. The author provides some great advice about how to organize your priorities, cope with your emotions and experiences, filter external input, and achieve the goals that will make you happy. I recommend taking in each chapter slowly and taking the time to do the journal and activity prompts to actually get the full impact of the advice; if you do that, this book has the power to positively impact your life in a big way.

This book will appeal to readers who are spiritual as the guidance is written with them in mind and the advice provided throughout the book is geared toward helping you improve both your physical life and your spiritual life. If you go into this book with an open mind, there is definitely a lot of wisdom to glean from it regardless of your religious stance.

The journal and activity prompts make this an engaging self-help book that I really enjoyed. I felt that some of the information is repeated for emphasis between chapters and some of the anecdotes throughout the book share a lot of information.

Following Your North Star is a personable, helpful, and an overall pleasant self-help book. Author Michelle Donice provides readers with practical guidance that will nourish, and improve, their mind, body and soul.

Pages: 132 | ASIN: B0B5MK1N43

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Artist: Awakening the Spirit Within

Artist: Awakening The Spirit Within is a life-changing book by acting teacher and writer Jocelyn Jones. The book covers many different topics within the few key ones that revolve around us as humans, art and how we view it, and the freedom and spiritual uplifting that comes with it as well as the law of attraction.

Jones is an acting teacher who comes from a family of artists with her father being Broadway actor Henry Jones, her mother being a photographer, and her stepfather a writer. She has taught many different people throughout her life from world-renowned actors to people who have never set foot on stage before coming to her classes. The book is written from her informed point of view and includes life lessons that she has learned as well as many different techniques, exercises, and meditations that she uses in her classes that are helpful for everyone, not just artists and actors.

In this enlightening book the author talks about goals, spirit, knowing that we know, happiness, and our vibration and connects that with her own life and different tales of Hollywood in a beautiful way. The author teaches readers that we first and foremost need to find peace within ourselves and know that we are one with the spirit to go on and live a life on a higher vibrational frequency.

Since the book is quite literally an homage to the muses, myths, and anything and everything spiritual and creative Jones’ simple yet elegant style of writing compliments the topics she covers perfectly. Reading this book is a lovely experience as it was a pleasure reading something written with so much love and passion. The way she writes about art and artists is touching, and will resonate with anyone who has ever been moved by art. The writing is easy to follow and the author’s passion and knowledge is evident throughout the book.

In the book, Jones mentions that you may find this book or it may find you because it needs to find you. So true. I found myself reflecting on what I read for hours after I put the book down. Being an actor myself, this book resonated with me on many different levels and opened my eyes to many things connected to my craft. I recommend this book to actors, artists, musicians, art lovers, and anyone who wants to feel free, happy, and more at peace with themselves.

Pages: 267 | ASIN: B0B2VDH84H

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Viglets – Time, Infinity, Eternity

Viglets III: Time, Infinity & Eternity is the final installment in Viggo P. Hansen’s series dedicated to what he has dubbed, humankind’s only hope for salvation in our deeply troubled world that is rapidly succumbing to computers and apps. Following on from Viglets Two which explored the happiness and joy of being dumb, we are transported to an analysis of the concept of time and essentially the human race against it.

This has the blueprint of brilliant poetry: Imaginative. Creative. Descriptive. The first pages greet you with an illustration named ‘Time in a Bottle?’. It was the vivid, descriptive imagery that lacked in the first and second Viglets books. The image immediately pulls the attention of the reader by eliciting an almost psychedelic thought provocation. Its position was tactful, working recall memories of related experiences in the reader.

Included in Viglets III are yet again, interactive exercises. Hansen has done well to improve these activities; they are clearer and more encouraging. They are complemented by laying the foreground for the reader to consider their own beliefs, values, and morals.

An obvious difference in Viglets III is the mischievous tone and upbeat rhythm in comparison to Hansen’s previously cynical outlook on the development of the human race. The metaphoric symbolism was drastically better used. The notion of the relationship between the purpose of life and time was philosophical and exquisitely flowed powerfully into Hansen’s signature free verse poetry and varying stanzas. The sincerity is felt through the lines.

With a sub-theme of faith – particularly mythical gods, fallen angels, and self-trust – the seeds are planted inconspicuously enough that the reader cannot help but think deeper about what each of the ten sections means to them. Highly recommend it for those who enjoy a thought-provoking read on the elements that make up the daily life of humans.

Pages: 90 | ASIN : B079587BR8

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Viglets: Ode to Dumbness

While Viglets One provided insight and blessed relief from irksome events that befall us all – at one time or another, Viglets Two – Ode to Dumbness is exactly what it sounds like: a dedication to Dumbness in general and Dummies in particular. A clever spin on the ordinary dictionary definition, this read smashes the stigma attached with success and failure through intricate verses of poetry and narration.

In what is referred to as the ‘Dummy BERP’ (those in business, education, religion and politics) the book explores the happiness and joy of being dumb, in some ways dubbing it a human right. A particular highlight was ‘Professional Dummies’ and the clever analysis on themes of education, industry, taxation and physical appearance. Hansen throws in a witty perspective on gun laws and continues his distaste for technology.

Divided into twelve parts, Hansen continues his signature writing style which favors free verse poetry and stanzas with various poetry lengths. Once again, we see creative exercises appear throughout the book and an almost satirically humorous tone color the pages. There is a fantastic consistency and flow in this installment. A clearer and well incorporated theme with a relatable and realistic outlook covering everything from the likes of work and politics to heritage and knowledge that allows the reader to engage with Hansen’s hypothesis.

For readers who want a break from real world chaos to energize their own happiness by poking fun at themselves. With a step-by-step guide on how to create Viglets, Hansen helps to bring the reader back into perspective and rejoice in the good company of billions of others who are experiencing the same wonderful thing – being dumb.

Pages: 84 | ASIN: B07958DQF7

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Finding Happiness In The Dark

Finding Happiness In The Dark is an insightful self-help book with actionable tools and pragmatic tips that will help readers find their genuine self and discover authentic happiness. The book covers issues such as depression and other mental illnesses in a raw and real way. What I found compelling was the way in which the author does not shy away from these difficult topics, but instead faces them down with information, experience, and sober guidance. Author Kenneth Liddane shares his own experiences while putting the focus on the overall human experience. The book doesn’t just focus on mental health struggles but rather on the journey we call life and the fact that we are faced with constant ups and downs.

Liddane’s knowledge and experience as a holistic counselor and mind coach shows in his writing and in his thoughtful approach to helping others. The author dives into the conscious and subconscious mind, perception, and concepts that are crucial in psychology but also crucial in understanding ourselves and the people around us. Liddane helps readers to identify obstacles, both internal and external, that effect us negatively and provides ways to overcome them.

This is an inspiring book and the author’s writing makes the text feel like you are speaking to a sympathetic life coach. I appreciated how concise this book is, wasting no time to dive deep into topics, but what I really appreciated about this book was how easy it is to understand.

The author states that the ultimate goal of this book is to provide knowledge and support so that anyone can learn to accept all aspects of themselves. Once you can accept all aspects of yourself you can gain a greater understanding of your own subconscious mind, and learn to work with it instead of against it.

Finding Happiness In The Dark is an enlightening guide that will help readers reach their full potential. This book can be a powerful tool for readers who struggle with with negative thoughts, and struggle with finding happiness.

Pages: 112 | ASIN: B09BW1LX16

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If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School

If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School is the kind of book you need as you lead your everyday life. Bailee Walker covers everything you need to know as an adult. The book is about the lessons that were not taught in the classroom. Reading this book will make you realize that life is not just in black and white. You get to understand why some things work while others do not. Bailee Walker takes you through the reality of life, making you realize that you might have been living in a fantasy world. I like how the author is brutal with the truth, but also gentle when offering solutions to life’s problems.

While reading this book, you get the sense of what the author is talking about without much struggle. You get to learn that the universe knows how to balance things and that everyone’s destiny is mostly determined by the path they take. This book has lessons on technology and computer literacy, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, decision making skills, basic human interaction, politics, the justice system, education, social media and everything else. Reading this enlightening book is similar to learning about a dozen subjects in one class. The subjects’ covered are in the hundreds, but they are all smartly organized. Bailee Walker divided the book into three sections, with each section having particular subjects for discussions.

I enjoyed reading this informative guide mostly because of how the topics were arranged. Bailee Walker included news pieces and stories in the book. The news that is covered is eerie, disturbing and interesting. Having the news items gives one the impression of following a story that has a life lesson at the end. Bailee Walker’s stories are easy to read because they are brief and well summarized. The author went above and beyond to look for tales that will make readers reflect on what society has become, and how the masses react to issues. This book is excellent reference material for people that are looking for inspiration as they face daily challenges in life.

I recommend If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School to readers for straight to the point advice that’s given in simple language so that it is easily understood. The author used real life stories that people can connect with. Bailee Walker provides practical and actionable tips that will help readers navigate the muddy waters of life.

Pages: 931 | ASIN: B09LNH61J6

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