Inspiration is a software program that enables teachers and students to develop a wide range of concept maps and graphic organizers. Inspiration is a great tool to help students to visualize concepts and ideas in a non-linear way. Essentially, you begin with a main idea and can then add supporting details or subtopics as additional "bubbles." You can make connections between multiple ideas on a map and easily add, delete, and rearrange concepts, ideas, and connections. For example, rather than outlining the causes of the American Revolution or listing the character traits of Stanley Yelnats, students can create graphical webs that help them to visual connections and relationships in a way that statics outlines will not.

Inspiration can be used to prepare organizers for your class or enable students to develop their own webs. It can be used in any content area in a variety of ways. It's one of the most flexible tools that I'm aware of to be used in the classroom. The best way to understand the software is to look at and edit some of the samples included with the software or to just jump in and create your own. To explore the examples included with the software, open Inspiration and click on Templates from the launch screen. You can then click the dropdown arrow next to the content area of your choice and then click on any example that interests you. To open additional examples, just click on the File menu at the top of the screen and select Open Template.

Additional Resources:

To download a trial version of Inspiration for your computer, click here.
For resources to get you started including a quick tour, click here.
To visit the Inspired Learning Community where educators share lesson plans and examples, click here.