Magazine article Teach

[Inspiration 6.0]

Magazine article Teach

[Inspiration 6.0]

Article excerpt

Published by Inspiration Software Inc., Inspiration (Version 6) is an idea and information organizing tool-"concept mapping" on a computer-that allows the user to create, develop, and organize his ideas and information for any type of written project, research, or study. The program can also be used as all assist to understanding concepts and organizing the thinking process.

Inspiration allows you to do "mind mapping" on your computer. When you open Inspiration, you are presented with a blank work screen and the tools are arrayed along the top and side of the screen (very similar to a browser layout). Whether you are new to the concept of mind mapping, or are familiar with it using pen and paper, it is worthwhile to start with the tutorial to learn the program's operating capabilities. It turns out that all the functions are worth knowing, if you want to get the most out of the program.

When you open the main screen, a circle is presented on the page. You start by typing your central idea (i.e. name of book, science concept, an assignment question, etc.) Your written text will appear in the circle. You then add more circles and write in your additional ideas or information. As you place each additional circle on the page, a connecting line will automatically appear. If you wish, you can rearrange the connecting line. Before you know it, you will have a visually laid out presentation of all your ideas that you can then work with.

If you want to get you ideas down really fast, you click on the "RapidFire" button-when you hit the return key, what you just typed will automatically appear in a newly created circle and be connected with the circle that you are typing in. This enables you to get a lot down very quickly in a visually organized way, without having to take time to place the graphics on the screen.

Once you have completed your initial map you can, with one click of the "Arrange" button, have the whole diagram instantly reconfigured. You also can easily reorganize or add more content, change connections, and add pictures (there are over 1200 clip art images that you can easily drop in).

Inspiration will also instantly convert the written text in your visual diagram into a written outline that will look like a table of contents with every idea in your diagram properly sub-headed. If you are preparing to write a report, for example, the table of contents appears instantly, and if you choose, you can draft all your written content right on the outline page. …

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