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The visual learning software tool Inspiration was developed and is published by Inspiration Software, Inc., located in Beaverton, Oregon. While it is predominately used in the classroom by students in grades 6 through 12, many adult learners, as well as educators and other professionals, find it useful for a variety of tasks including web site planning and project management. It is most widely known for its use in building graphic organizers, such as concept maps, diagrams and webs, which is done in its Diagram View interface. The second of the two interfaces is Outline View, a traditional hierarchical outline format. Although you can work in either view independently of the other, work done in Diagram View also transfers to Outline View, and vice-versa. Usage in the classroom in cross-curricular, and the company provides many extras in the form of examples and templates for using this tool in various subject areas by grade level.
Inspiration comes with:
- 65 ready-made templates to help users get started.
- More than 1000 built-in, searchable symbols to represent concepts and ideas. You can also use your own pictures, from files or off the Internet.
- A one-click transfer feature for moving work to word processors to continue the writing process.
- A RapidFire tool for use during brainstorming.
- A hyperlinking function for incorporating Web sites and files in research and portfolios.
- Video and sound integration, for incorporating multimedia.
- The Site Skeleton function which converts diagrams to HTML.
- Visually-integrated notes in Diagram View.
- The Word Guide dictionary and thesaurus, and an auto-spell checker.
- Inspiration Web Resources for use with an Internet connection, which provides access to:
- more than 1 million additional symbols via a search function
- 50+ Curriculum Packets, which contain supplemental instructional units via templates and exemplars for high school-level language arts, social studies and science
- on-demand training videos covering Inspiration's commonly used features.
- Audio and speech tools useful for multiple learning styles and accessibility.
- The ability to draw and write directly on interactive whiteboards and Tablet PCs.
- Syncing capability with Inspiration for Palm OS and Inspiration for Pocket PC.
Inspiration Software, Inc. also publishes Kidspiration, a visual learning tool aimed at younger students in the kindergarten through 5th grade range, and InspireData, a data collection and analysis software tool aimed at students in grades 4-12.
- MacWorld article on Inspiration 7 
- Mel Levine, All Kinds of Minds 
- Golden Triangle PC Club review of Inspiration 7 
- University of Wisconsin List of Uses for Inspiration 
- SuperKids Software Review of Inspiration 
- Learning Village review of Inspiration 
- Innovation Tools review of Inspiration 
- LD Resources on Inspiration 
- From Now On, education technology journal review of Inspiration 
- ISTE book about using Inspiration in writing 
- School District web sites about using Inspiration:
- Computer-based study strategies using Inspiration 
- Recommended software at ASU 
- TOOLS FOR THE TEKS: INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM Article recommending Inspiration in every classroom 
- Apple.com education site list of complementary curriculum products 
- ERIC (http://eric.ed.gov) paper on Concept Mapping in the Classroom with Inspiration Software 
- University of Calgary professor's essay on using Inspiration 
- Education Oasis review of Inspiration 
- MacWorld review of Inspiration 6