You can hear this review on the MacReviewCast Episode 134. This week I thought I would take a look at an excellent software package my daughter has been using on her iMac, Inspiration 8 from Inspiration Software.
When school started this fall, my 6th grade daughter, Sam, came home bragging about this program she was using at school that sounded a lot like a kid friendly mindmap program. Now I know you must be thinking, how could an 11 year old be excited about such a thing but, indeed, the kids are. That is because the folks at Inspiration have figured out a way to make these tools fun and easy to work with.
Inspiration has both outline and diagram views that allow the kids to work in a linear or more free-form basis. It is loaded with education friendly templates. Nevermind the obligatory organization chart: This thing has important stuff like history reports and science projects. The built in dictionary and thesauras even help them step up thier writing skills.
It helps you gather, sort, and analyze information and then organize it for presentation or report. Man do I wish I learned those skills when I was 11.
The application is useful for planning and organizational skills, critical thinking, communicating clearly, and analytical skills. If the kids have fun while they do it, they won't have any idea just how much good it is doing them. You've heard enough from me though. I have a guest reviewer who wants to share her thoughts on the program.
Allow me to introduce Samantha Sparks
Hi, my name is Samantha and I am doing my review on a program called Inspiration 8. It was released in February of this year. You can build diagrams, graphic organizers, and concept maps. You can add pictures and arrows. It features 65 templates to get you started. You can also add media.
I found out about it at school when we had to do a family tree on it. It was pretty easy once you know about two of the main buttons. I recommend using rapid-fire which is a button for brainstorming. It is a lot faster. Overall the program is very easy to catch onto.
I use it still for school purposes. I just recently did a report that required a family tree. My Social Studies teacher gave us a handout of a template of the tree. I started and then realized that I could make it a lot easier and better on Inspiration. I have the ability to start it at school in lab and import my unfinished copy onto my thumb-drive. I can then just finish it at home. It makes it a lot easier.
As I said before, it comes with a lot of templates already so I usually pick one of those. You can make bubbles different shapes, colors, and sizes. You can also insert hyperlinks. It can be on a mac or a PC. The program overall just is so easy and it makes projects look quite nice.
The one thing that I don’t quite like the fact that when insert a new bubble, the arrow automatically shows up with two points on each end. You can’t just set a setting for the arrows and just apply it to them all. I have to manually highlight each arrow and change them.
I would highly recommend this program to people who make diagrams or concept maps a lot. You can do something very similar to this on word but I think it is worth it to buy and use this one instead.
A license for Inspiration will cost $69. I know that is pretty high but teaching my daughter the skills this program offers makes it a bargain in my book.