i9_homepage.gif Inspiration

Using Inspiration Software

Using Inspiration Software

Out of all the programs used during SE 300, the Inspiration Software is a very unique tool. Not only is it useful in the classroom across all content areas, but it is fun to create and edit. The Inspiration Software is a type of mapping which creates visualization for the user by allowing them to organize information on the screen. This can be useful for teachers during lecture as they incorporate a timeline or hierarchy into a PowerPoint presentation. Or they can use the Inspiration Software for assignments. For example, students can be assigned to create a timeline overview of each unit before it begins during class. A problem still exists with Inspiration because it is not available to all students or teachers and must be purchased with a small fee.

Inspiration software can be used to create a web that was comparing and contrasting two different symphonies. This web was used to create a lesson plan for a middle school or high school band class. Learning about music history is very important (even in a band setting) because that is most likely the only music history students will get unless the take another class or in college. Also, learning about famous symphonies is very important for any music student to learn about. Creating a web is a fun way to learn about two different symphonies and how they are similar and different. This method of using Inspiration could also be comparing and contrasting books, authors, composers, historical figures, wars, etc. This software could be used in many different classroom setting, no matter what the subject matter is. Also, it is a very fun tool to use, and students would really enjoy it.


Using the Inspiration software is a creative way to introduce the teacher to a class on the first day of school. For example, it could be used in EF304 to contain links presenting information about personal experiences. It serves as a good way to introduce students to teachers and teachers to students. It is definitely a good addition to a future classroom. In addition, there are countless ways the Inspiration software can be used in Physical Education. For this particular class (SE300), PE students created a web which contained the proper techniques of four components of softball: pitching, throwing, catching, and hitting. The information could be enlarged on the web by presenting player positioning (field background in the gallery on the Smart Board), the history, and the rules. Any sport could be used on this software. In addition, students could create their own web regarding a topic of the teacher's choice or one that it teacher approved. The Inspiration software is a fun and creative way to educate students on various concepts.

Inspiration can also be used for organizing a lesson plan, especially one that is covering a plethora of material and may take a couple of days to get through. Your students could also use Inspiration for taking notes, give them a copy of the inspiration organizer, essentially giving the notes for the class. Inspiration can be used as a means to visualize the complex lives and the effects of a composer. Inspiration can also be used to organize your assessments and gradebooks.

In general, Inspiration software is a great program to help students organize their information into a great visual display and then with the click of a button they can have an outline version. Outlines are tedious and troubling so, using Inspiration can make a hard concept simplified.


Back to top


Inspiration can be used in the art classroom to create visual webs for the students to understand art subjects. Art is a visual subject and using inspiration involves creating, higher level thinking, and making connections between a single object in art (A genre, an artist, a work of art, etc.) and information that contributes to that single concept. Inspiration webs are a tool that can facilitate larger understanding of a work, its historical context, its medium, the art movement itself and more in a visual way that literally shows students the flow of information. In these examples we have expanded a type of art, printmaking, and a genre of art, Abstract Expressionism, using the Inspiration software. In both examples the Inspiration web becomes a very useful tool to expand a singular idea in art into a broad understanding of the term and what comes with it.
Back to top


Inspiration is to FACS what GoogleSketchUp is to IT. The inspiration program is the easiest way to make a family tree. Units on genealogy can be up to two weeks long because creating the family tree or genogram is so time-intensive. However, the Inspiration software can cut that time in half. Student should spend 3-4 days collecting and organizing their family history. Once that has all been gathered, making a 3-tier tree in Inspiration only takes one day. When creating genograms, all the necessary symbols are in even the most basic Inspiration software. Instead of having students spend three days cutting and gluing paper, a teacher can book one day in the computer lab and have the files all saved electronically. With the use of a Smart board or just a projector, students can easily present their project to the class.

Genealogy is very important in child development because when teaching this class we have the students label their family tree and to see if there were any hereditary traits that could possibly be passed on. This is a great way to keep the genealogy clean and organized. FACS can also use this as to make an outline at the beginning of the class and then use it as a discussion starter for the rest of the class period. Take for instance when we talk about pregnancy. We can make a web discussing types of birth, how it has changed in the year, new technology. We can have the students tell us these things while we make the web and then as the teacher refer to it as we discuss the topic.

When discussing family types, such as nuclear, blended, single parent, adoptive, foster, or guardian students could categorize qualities that are associated with each type of family, students could then have arrows to between qualities that are similar, in order to compare and contrast the family types.

I have used inspiration in the past and always found it to be very user friendly. That is one of the things I like most about it. It is a great way to organize information, show knowledge of something and also makes for a good story boarding tool. I think students and teachers can find useful ways to use this program.

I think students in FACS foods classes could also use the Inspiration software in the planning process of menu development. They could start with the theme of the meal and branch out the different menu items. From there, they can insert the recipes and divide up tasks as well. Similarly, when learning about My Pyramid students could also use it to track what they have eaten over the course of the day. They could have a category for each food group and then branch out from eat category listing foods that belong to that group. They could also create a chart that would explain the daily required amounts from each group and examples of them.

Back to top

Foreign Language

Inspiration is a good tool for foreign language teachers because the program allows us to organize vocabulary and grammar concepts in an easy to understand concept map. I think that students would benefit from this because it allows the students to learn visually rather than just copying notes. Inspiration is also a good tool because it allows the teacher easily stay on task and organized when teaching a lesson.

Inspiration is also a good tool for the students to use because they can easily make vocabulary maps. They can use the program to group their vocabulary words and then come up with connections for the words. They are also able to put pictures in the map in place of the words which may help the students remember the vocabulary. Words sometimes do not translate directly, so this can help show relationships between an English word and a word in another language. Connections make learning vocabulary easier.

Back to top

English Language Arts

As with other subjects, Inspiration is very helpful in the English classroom. Teachers can use it to present ideas and show the students how concepts link together, and students can use it for brainstorming for writing assignments. The tools available on Inspiration allow students to put their ideas in concept mapping form and outline form, which is helpful for students who learn visually or in writing. Inspiration can be used easily during a lesson to show students how things are connected, and even how they differ.

Students can demonstrate their knowledge of a short story, novel, or poem simply by making one of the organizers with the Inspiration software. Traditionally, students would have had to answer questions on a test to assess their knowledge. Now, students can create their own organizer to show how they understand main ideas, characters, setting, themes, mood, vocabulary, or any areas the teacher wished to assess. Using the software would also be much more engaging than a test, and it would give students more freedom to show all of the information they really know and understand as opposed to taking a conventional exam.

Brainstorming is a key skill in Language Arts. Sometimes students have a difficult time in coming up with ideas of what to write or how to organize their thoughts; Inspiration can help. For instance, students can make a collaborative Inspiration project to brainstorm ideas in groups or as a class. Students can likewise use the program to organize their jumbled thoughts and ideas into a logical format for a paper, essay, or story.


Back to top


Inspiration is also a great program for mathematics teachers. For example, I used Inspiration to create a hierarchy representation of the different types of numbers (such as reals, rationals, irrationals, integers, whole numbers, complex numbers, etc.) and their relationships. Using this technology (the interactive hierarchy of the Inspiration software) aids in organizing these complex ideas during classroom discussion/instruction. There are so many different types of numbers which are related to some types of numbers but not others. To help explain/show their relationship and classification, the Inspiration software displays the complex array of numbers in a format that helps students understand the relationship between them better. With the hierarchy giving students a visual picture of the relationship between the types of numbers, it is easier for them to understand how numbers are connected to each other. This visual graph will also aid in the students retention of how the numbers link together. I also used this hierarchy as an end of class activity to assess what the students learned after I taught them about each type of number. They had to come to the board and fill in the connections (on the lines between the bubbles of the hierarchy) between the different types of numbers that they learned about. The program could also be used to assess students on different type of shapes. For example, the students would have to make a concept map of quadrilaterals. This would help represent the similarities and differences among the different types of quadrilaterals.

One math lesson I created using Inspiration dealt with the three basic number properties. I thought that Inspiration was the perfect technology to use for this type of lesson because it allowed the students to see the similarities and differences between each of the number properties. I think that comparing the three types helps students see what is different between them, as well as what is the same. Clearly understanding these things will help the students develop a better understanding of the material and know why the different properties are used for different things. Also, Inspiration served as a review at the end of the lesson I created as well. After using it to teach the lesson, I asked the students to come up in the end and write examples on the lines between the bubbles. Asking them to apply what they learned in order to produce examples will show whether they really understood the material or if they need more instruction on a certain aspect of the lesson.

I think that not only could the Inspiration Software be used in a mathematics classroom, but I also think that it is both easy and self explanatory to use. My biggest fear coming in to the Technology class was that I would not be able to pick up on all of the different technology software that we would use, but the Inspiration Software was super easy to learn to use, and it did not take very long to create a lesson that would be used in a classroom. I think that this is one of the softwares that I could definitely use in my classroom on a regular basis.

Back to top

Using the Inspiration program has saved me many hours of heartache when trying to wing a project or composing an assignment. Music educators can use this software to orchestrate projects and assignments for their students. The students can organize their thoughts, know exactly what is expected of them, and have a basic understanding of how to go about completing the assignment. By the time the students have finished organizing their thoughts they can have the major and most difficult parts of the assignment completed. There are numerous templates that can be found in the program that the students can use. Assigning something with the Inspiration is a great way for students to learn what all the software has to offer.

Inspiration may also be used to simply show students how different parts of music history are related. I used it in a lesson plan for jazz. Students may create a diagram that shows all of the different kinds of jazz, when it formed, and what key characteristics are related to each type. Students may later write an essay explaining the different types, or musicians. Inspiration really helps students understand how things are related in music because they can visually see it right in front of them.

Along with composition and history, Inspiration can help explain the functions of anatomy (for the singer). For example, a student could map out a diagram of the muscles and cartilage of the throat, and how they relate to each other.

The templates are not as music friendly on this program as on other programs. But the nice thing about these templates is that they can be easily modified. For instance taking a resume template, the information can be filled out for a different person, or some items can be changed to deal more with music. This program would be ideal for working with learning about composers or different musical periods.

Back to top

Physical Education

I think Inspiration is a great tool for physical educators. Inspiration can be used to connect fundamental skills with sports, techniques with sports, and many other ways. The teacher can also use this program for muscle groups and their importance on the body, nutrition plans and their effect on the body, exercise methods and what muscle is being affected. Inspiration is an awesome tool for future teachers. Cory Taylor

I have found the Inspiration program to be especially useful in physical education. Aside from fitness and nutrition, it can be a great tool for relating relevant teaching cues to sport skills and techniques. Skills can be linked to another, each broken down into several smaller components. Most sports skills have at least a loading phase, an execution phase, and a follow-through phase. These phases can be visually linked from a sport skill, allowing for easy to find teaching cues on that particular technique. Not only is Inspiration a good teaching tool, but it can be used to help keep things organized and plan out lessons. I also found Inspiration helpful for physical education. A lot of sports use similar skills and techniques so this program enables students to demonstrate similarities and differences.
Inspiration is a wonderful tool for creating webs in a classroom. It is an easy program for teachers and students to use. A main topic can have as many links as necessary stemming from it. To start a link, insert a picture from the program or from almost any other source. On the side of each link is a small tab to access inserted information, which can consist of text or a link to a webpage. The program is a plus to have for vocabulary words or to enhance concepts. The availability of Inspiration for hand held PDAs can give visual learners a way to make their own webs in any subject. Using this program is a teaching strategy which sparks the interest of students and aids in teaching any subject. A good example of this would be for a paper for health. You can demonstrate to the students how to brainstorm by using this software. I would use it for a eating disorder project. You could breakdown what kinds there are, and then break each one down further.

The Inspiration software is an amazing tool to use in any subject area because of its versatility. You can create blank web worksheets about whatever topic is being covered. Students can then fill these web worksheets in either during a lecture, or as an activity that they must complete on their own. It can also be used as a study tool for an up coming test. The students can create a web with their own graphics and pictures which would help visual learners to study vocabulary or to understand a sequence of events; therefore Inspiration is a great tool for students with learning or mental disabilities. In addition to this, students can use the web worksheets to compare and contrast composers, important people, events, and anything else, throughout a unit. Inspiration also allows the user to print sections, which is useful for students who are absent.

Teachers can use this software to create a web for students to fill out about a new vocabulary word. There can be circle for students to fill in that have examples of the word, synonyms, their own definitions, etc. This is a more efficient way for students to learn about a new vocabulary word that they will be more likely to remember. This can be done as an individual activity, group, or even as an entire class. This is a perfect activity that allows the lesson to go beyond just learning the definition of the word. Students can get antonyms, synonyms, and even contextual value.

Inspiration software is great to use when brainstorming in the classroom. Students can also use this software when they are trying to write a paper. For example, if students are asked to write about a life changing experience, the class could brainstorm together, and the teacher can quick-fire their ideas on to the screen. Students then get a visual stimulation and will better understand the subject of the paper. The software is not difficult to use, and they could quickly put their ideas on a mind map. Inspiration also allows the students to use their creativity. You can use a wide variety of color or graphics in a mind map. You can cover a wide variety of topics using a mind map-anything you can think of. It can be used for any subject in school, on the job; the possibilities are endless. You could also use this software as a way to review or draw concepts together. It would allow you to connect ideas and see a bigger picture. It is great software.

Another area of Inspiration is Kidspiration. This is a more child friendly version that would be ideal for elementary students grades K-5.

I used inspiration to create the food pyramid. I had the kids choose from a list of good foods and bad foods, which they had to place in the right category of the food pyramid.

For physical education, I used inspiration to map out all the skills that pertain to a certain sport. This way, the kids can see all the skills that will be used, but they can also see the proper techniques of each skill. For P.E. you can also use Inspiration to show the different stations, what muscles the students will be using, and the rotation.

Inspiration can be used in Physical Education (and health). Students could be shown the different skill connections of different sports. They could also combine and use skills from one sport and apply it to another sport. Also I can use inspiration as a way to show techniques of a sport. I can break down the techniques and skills so the students are able to better grasp the concepts. I can use inspiration as a map to show what the class will do and where the class is headed during the semester. Another use of this program is that I can use it for a fitness unit. I can organize it as workout stations. This way the students will know where they need to be and what is expected of them.

For Physical Education and using the Inspiration software, I had students use the software to create an exercise plan for a week. This made is simple and easy for them to read. I had them tell how many days a week they would exercise and what they would do each day. They had the categories cardio, upper body weights, lower body weights, and interval training. This left students with an easy to read plan and it prepares them for the future when they need to know how to exercise on their own.

Back to top


When teaching a lesson in biology, chemistry or any physical science class, the terminology and organization of information can be difficult for student to comprehend. Inspiration is a great tool that allows each student and teacher to put a unique twist onto his/her document created. The flexibility that Inspiration offers is great for high school students because this allows them to use their creativity and relate the content to their personal interests.

We like Inspiration because it allows teachers to take an entire course, such as biology, and either gives an overview of what concepts are involved, and/or expand upon a specific topic in biology. For example, biology teachers teaching a unit on ecology can show how energy is transformed, the difference between living and nonliving organisms, habitats for each organism, etc. Inspiration allows students to fill in a concept map and see their unit overview broken down into topics. If students want to build upon the more broad topics such as how energy is transformed, they can then go back to their Inspiration document that they created and expand onto their concept map based upon what they learned. Another way biology and science can benefit from this software is when teaching a unit on the Scientific Method (inquiry) portion of a lesson. This allows students to see the Scientific Method and they can write examples out to the side of each process.

Inspiration is also beneficial to chemistry teachers. Learning the properties of the elements found on the periodic table can become very confusing and hard to keep organized. A chemistry teacher can create a concept map using Inspiration and then allow students to fill in the information about each element or, the students could create their own concept map on a few elements and have each student create a new document for the different elements. Inspiration is a great tool for those teaching and/or learning in the field of chemistry.

Physical science teachers and students also benefit from Inspiration. When learning about any subject in the content of physical science, students can become bored and/or tired of note taking. Inspiration allows teachers and students to create a concept map about geological cycles, topics in meteorology, physics, etc. If students can create a document in Inspiration and then have their classmates expand on these documents, I feel that the class will work cooperatively and be able to achieve the learning goals for that lesson. An example of how Inspiration could help students learn physics is by having the students create a mind map on the different types of optics. Students will not learn about the different mirrors and how images are shown on the first day of the lesson, so this could be done throughout the period of the unit. This allows students to start off with the broad topic of optics and then expand onto their maps with examples of mirrors (concave and convex) and examples of the images along with reasons. For this content, there may not be as many "written" bubbles, but images that help students to see the process of specific cycles and functions.

Any science major and/or unified science major will be able to benefit from Inspiration. This is a tool that is not content specific and it allows teachers and students to use their creativity.
external image chemistry-mind-map-jane-genovese.jpg external image dwa7_overview_scientific_method2.gif
external image tax_interpret.gif
Back to top

Social Studies

When making time lines or historical connections Inspiration would be a useful tool. The program can be used to organize and connected important people and events. Inspiration would be a great visual aid in lecture and discussion as well as a tool that students can use. The note feature allows additional details or fun facts to place with a point on the organizer. Inserting photos and graphics allows students to make additional connections. A web of civil war can have pictures of the generals and major players as well as notes on significance. There is also a hyperlink feature that allows additional outside sources to be viewed. This program would be beneficial to classroom instruction because making connections and information relevant can be difficult. Inspiration can help students organize dates, facts, and people into meaningful relationships.

Another great example of using Inspiration is in connecting main ideas or understandings with the facts of the material. For instance, in dealing with the Enlightenment you could use Inspiration to make a diagram giving the understanding of "The writers of the U.S. constitution used main ideas from Enlightenment thinkers" then showing examples of the ideas, which thinker putting forth the idea as well as a picture to illustrate the person.

Inspiration is also great at making trees to show hierarchies. If used correctly the Inspiration Software can be used very easily in a Social Studies classroom. However, a secondary teacher should warn people that Inspiration can be very childish if not done correctly, and this might result in the students not wanting to do the activity because they think it is beneath them.

Inspiration is also an appropriate tool in Social Studies, or any subject, for the teacher to present the learning goals students will be expected to achieve. In Block III Social Studies class, Inspiration was used to create a concept map illustrating the two main learning goals for the unit, the essential questions associated with those goals, and the specific questions students would be responsible for answering in order to demonstrate that they had achieved the understandings. Its a misconception that social studies is composed of papers and multiple choice tests. This program gives us an opportunity to dispel these rumors. Inspiration is a great tool when trying to understand how events affect other events. I imagine an Inspiration project centered on the French Revolution would never end, it has so many international implications. These implications are very important when trying to learn history of any nation.

The use of the Inspiration program can help students interact with the material and presents the information in a different way compared to the usual paragraphs in a textbook. I create a web diagram about the Cold War that will help my students comprehend the development of it and help in the further explanation as to how that war still affects the world today. The Inspiration program will help me engage my students in the material that I'm covering in class whether it be the Great Depression or World War II. I have not seen any of my cooperating teachers use this program but, I would use it if it was available at my school as it can help my students succeed in becoming good, decision-making individuals.

Inspiration was used to create was a web that compared and contrasted Athens' democracy with United States democracy. A template from the program was used. This was an excellent format for this lesson. Students could not only list different aspects, but they could then put in connection on the lines to designate points of the legislative, executive or judicial branches. Inspiration software can also be used as an interactive visual aid for speeches.

Back to top


As a Spanish Education major, I think that the Inspiration Software can be a great asset to have in the classroom. Being able to have fun while creating and brainstorming for a project is something that we want our students to experience. Beginning a project can be difficult for anyone, but with Inspiration, students can make a very easy to read and fun to create web of ideas for their project. This program also can be good for visually showing vocabulary and how words relate in English and Spanish. Also, grammar and conjugation charts can easily be read by using this software.
*One drawback to this software is that it can be somewhat expensive.

Back to top