Inspiration's Version 6
Inspiration, a cross-platform hybrid CD software program, is an exciting and powerful visual learning mind tool. Inspiration's visual learning techniques help students clarify thinking, reinforce understanding, integrate new knowledge and relationships, and identify misconceptions. Its webs, idea maps, causal diagrams, and concept maps help students, parents, and teachers brainstorm with clarity and style, organize and reorganize quickly, plan, pre-write, outline, diagram, and summarize with enthusiasm and flair. Presentations using Inspiration can include clip art, animation, notes, Web hot links and much more.
Inspiration's Version 6 was introduced to and used by undergraduate and graduate students in five classes at New Mexico Highlands University School of Education. Within the first hour after being exposed to a demonstration, all students were eagerly experimenting and learning to use Inspiration. The undergraduates are pre-service teacher education students, and the graduate students are teachers, counselors and administrators in New Mexico schools. The classes included undergraduate educational psychology, undergraduate and graduate computer applications in education, and graduate educational research interpretation classes.
All students were required to employ Inspiration in developing visual summaries of chapter assignments, class presentations and lesson planning. The students remained exceptionally excited about Inspiration and delighted in sharing it with their own students and families. Never before have I seen students vying to present versions of their assignments, and vocally adding links and content to the schemas of others.
My students expressed very positive evaluations of their Inspiration experiences. "It was incredible in helping me to synthesize chapter information. Not only did I understand it, I also remembered it." Another graduate student remarks, "Inspiration 6 is one of the most awesome tools I have had, and it's so much fun to outline chapters." An undergraduate expressed, "The Inspiration 6 software was great. As a logical/mathematical learner, I had a tough time with a conceptual/relational flowchart-type summary. This software helped me to see ideas and relationships differently. My chapter summaries were more thoroughly thought out and my retention of the material increased."
Students interacted with Inspiration individually and in spontaneous groups. Groups initiated competitions with other groups in striving for artfully pleasing and parsimonious uses of Inspiration. All of Bloom's cognitive domain levels are engaged in using Inspiration. Many technology standards were met. Inspiration belongs in every classroom -- elementary through college, as well as in the set of mind tools used by parents, students, teachers and professors.
Dr. Douglas R. Knox
School of Education
New Mexico Highlands University
Contact InformationInspiration Software, Inc.
Platform: Mac or Windows
This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.