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Introduction

Inspiration is a MacWorld World Class Award-winning idea development tool. It helps to brainstorm and diagram concepts, create flow charts, lay out parts of a project, create outlines.

Ideas can be created and organised in both graphic and outline forms.
Inspiration® is used by students grades 6 to adult to brainstorm, plan, organize, outline, diagram, and write. This program can be used across the curriculum for brainstorming, webbing, diagramming, planning, critical thinking, concept mapping*.

Kidspiration™ inspires students K-5 to see, organize, and develop their ideas. It helps emerging readers learn to plan and organize for writing.

(*)“Mind maps" are an efficient way to generate, plan and organize ideas based on associations. Creating a mind map, you start with putting a symbol with the main idea in the center of a page. Then you add key notions, questions and answers spreading from it in the form of branches. The notions are organized in a hierarchical order.

Pictures, colours and different symbols help to make a mind map really easy to read and remember. As a result you get a structured graphical map, with key words and pictures.

Mind Mapping is widely used in the fields where correct perception of information is vital.

In education it is useful both for teachers (to prepare lesson plans) and students (to think over essays and projects).

Benefits for Teachers and Students

Inspiration strengthens critical thinking, comprehension, and writing across the curriculum, in language arts, science, social studies and anytime students need to structure research or other thought processes.

Inspiration's integrated diagramming and outlining environments work together to help students comprehend concepts and information. Educators use Inspiration to customize instruction, achieve standards, assess student progress, and energize learning. Students can use Inspiration to tap creativity, build new knowledge, analyze complex topics, and improve organizational skills. Educators use Inspiration to customize instruction, achieve standards, assess student progress, and energize learning.

Kidspiration helps students K-5 see, organize, and develop their ideas. Using the proven principles of visual learning, young readers and writers build confidence in organizing information, understanding concepts, and expressing their thoughts. They can explore new ideas with thought webs and visual mapping.

K-5 students can use Kidspiration to:

- Brainstorm ideas with pictures and words
- Organize and categorize information visually
- Create stories and descriptions using engaging visual tools
 -Explore new ideas with thought webs and visual mapping
- Expand their ideas into written expression from the thought webs and maps.

Pedagogical background

Research in both educational theory and cognitive psychology tells us that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to think, and how to learn.

Visual learning techniques teach students to clarify their thinking, and to process, organize and prioritize new information. Visual diagrams reveal patterns, interrelationships and interdependencies. They also stimulate creative thinking.

Visual learning techniques help students to:

Clarify thinking: students see how ideas are connected and realize how information can be grouped or organized. With visual learning, new concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood.

Reinforce understanding: students recreate, in their own words, what they've learned. This helps them absorb and internalize new information, giving them ownership of their ideas.

Integrate new knowledge: diagrams updated throughout a lesson prompt students to build upon prior knowledge and internalize new information. By reviewing diagrams created previously, students see how facts and ideas fit together.

Identify misconceptions: just as a concept map or web shows what students know, misdirected links or wrong connections reveal what they don't understand.

Tools

In Inspiration you can find the following tools:

- Diagram View - students easily create and use concept maps, webs, and other graphical organizers.

In the Diagram View you can:

- Capture ideas as quickly as you think with the RapidFire™ tool.
- Add as little or as much text as you want — symbols grow automatically to record your thoughts
- Illustrate ideas and convey meanings by inserting symbols from the web or other applications using the insert graphic, drag & drop, or copy & paste functions
- Show relationships between ideas with the Link tool.
- Explain relationships between ideas by adding text directly on the links.
- Differentiate among ideas with colours, shapes, patterns, shadows, fonts and style.

 Outline View - students can quickly prioritize and rearrange ideas, helping them create clear, concise essays, reports and more. This tool allows to transform an Inspiration diagram into a traditional hierarchical outline. With the integrated Outline View, students instantly transform their thoughts into the foundation of written projects.

The result is clearer thinking, more creative projects, better organized writing, and improved student performance.
In the Outline View you can:
- Organize topics by dragging - subtopics move automatically.
- Plan projects and track ideas using the Checklist feature.
- Develop topics into a written report using notes text.
- Export your outline to popular word processing or presentation programs

 In Kidspiration you can find the following tools:
- Picture View - provides a no-barrier way for kids to represent ideas using symbols. A library of over 1.200 student-friendly symbols inspires kids to explore, think and create.
- SuperGrouper - an interactive way to group and arrange thoughts and symbols.
- Writing View -  integrated with Picture View, helps students connect their visual thoughts to words.

 

Audio - gives students the chance to hear their work read aloud or record their own words. All menus, buttons and other text are audio supported as well, helping children read and navigate.

Toolbars - with the colorful and intuitive toolbars, kids will be able to use Kidspiration on their own almost immediately. And, ther easy-to-follow navigation allows kids to express themselves freely.

 

Technical requirements
Macintosh®
Macintosh or Power Macintosh
System 7.1, 8.0, 9.0, OS X
2 MB available RAM
640x480 display, 256-color display
5 MB available hard drive minimum,
30 MB for full install
CD-ROM drive (for installation)
Windows®
486 processor or higher
Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME, XP
8 MB RAM
640x480 display, 256-color display
5 MB available hard drive;
20 MB for full install
CD-ROM drive (for installation)

Target age
From Primary School to University

Acknowledgements

The above informative material is adapted from the Inspiration®'s website.

Click on the names below if you want to submit a presentation:
patrizia corasaniti
maria rosaria chiummo:



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