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17 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

Inspirational Organization

Last summer two individuals from Inspiration came to showcase Webspiration. As an iPad Evangelist, I queried, “Do you have an app?” At the time they did not. Unfortunately, while we have Inspiration & Kidspiration loaded on most of our district computers, the software is often left untouched. Knowing that this software could be an integral part of mind-mapping and robust story-telling, this lack of use makes me a bit sad.

Inspiration Maps (and Inspiration Maps Lite) come at the perfect time in the iDevice explosion to meet the needs of our mobile learners. If you love Inspiration Software, you have to check out the Inspiration app. The app is intuitive and familiar and boasts a current library of 29 templates. Templates range from Analogies and Biographies to Character Analysis and Lab Reports. Inspiration is the perfect tool to support the writing process in the iClassroom. The available templates provide a framework for guiding brainstorming and outlining and allow students the ability to expand on their thoughts, knowledge, and research to build deeper understanding.

The ability to toggle between outline and diagram mode appeals to multiple learning styles. Inspiration has truly addressed the needs of mobile learners by adding multiple features to export diagrams and outlines as well as build off of them in other apps.

As I try to only showcase purposeful and productive use of the iPad and I still have Mobile 2012 on the brain, I thought I would use the Inspiration Maps app to showcase my Mobile 2012 iLearning journey utilizing the Plot Analysis Template.

My Mobile 2012 iLearning Journey Plot Reflection

 

After reading the user reviews, I will concede that there are some features that are lacking in the current version of Inspiration Maps:

  1. Exporting and a way to sync/interface with the desktop version of Inspiration.
  2. The lack of exporting the graphic version of the diagram with other apps rather than simply the outline.
  3. The ability to export as a PDF.
  4. A feature to wirelessly collaborate on the same document or a way to beam/blast map templates to other users (ala iCardSort app).
  5. A user created Inspiration Diagrams template repository accessible to all (ala iCardSort decks).

 

BUT… the beauty of Inspiration being a mobile app is the user feedback… Need a specific template or feature? Simply email the developer. I truly believe that Inspiration Maps (as all apps) is a fluid work in progress and am thrilled with its current features and hopeful of what it has to offer in the future.

 


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

Gratitude & App-reciation

During our TCEA 2012 workshops and seminars, Yolanda Barker and I handed out cards with promo codes on them for the following apps. I would first like to say that we do not endorse apps or products that we do not APP-SOLUTELY LOVE and USE. We would feature and mention the apps regardless of their appy donation(s). That being said, I would like to take a moment and thank the app developers for their gracious donations to our TCEA 2012 participants. I know everyone APP-RECIATED the schwag.

App-reciation Collage created with Turbo Collage app

 

  1. Puppet Pals Directors Pass: This app is a main staple in the techchef4u kitchen and can be utilized to create animated videos to support any content area at any grade level. (See Samples).
  2. To me By me: This “surprisingly educational” app allows users to write a letter to their future self to be delivered on a specific date. The app is perfect to practice letter-writing and goal-setting.
  3. Tacky Wales Create: This app is fantastic to teach parts of speech and creative writing. (See Samples).
  4. iCardSort: This app is a MUST for any classroom. It can be used in multiple settings (e.g. individual, cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole group) and has so much functionality (users can customize the background and decks in a variety of ways as well as wirelessly beam/blast decks to other users) and versatility (can be used in multiple content areas and grade levels). (See Samples).
  5. Explain Everything: This is by far the best paid app for screen-casting! You can import documents and presentations from Dropbox and Evernote and then annotate and narrate over them. Explain Everything also offers multiple export options that do not require logins! (See Sample).
  6. La Di Da: Created by the makers of Songify, this app allows users to speak a selection and transform it into a song. Clearly “surprisingly educational“, users can practice foreign language, speeches and soliloquies, and create innovative media to support any content area’s project. (See Samples).
  7. Root-1: Root-1 donated the cool “Begin Your Quest” eco-friendly shopping bags and have created the “surprisingly educational” app, StoryLines for Schools. The app is a modern day telephone game. Users choose a vocabulary word or quote or generate their own, pass the device to another student who must draw a representation of the word/quote, and pass it to yet another student who must decipher what the drawing is. The app can be used to support vocabulary, themes, events, and concepts in multiple content areas. Root-1 also makes a few other wonderfully free and educational apps: Word Joust K-5, Word Joust 6-8, xWords, and Word Kung Fu in beta (coming soon).
  8. Inspiration Diagrams: Inspiration Diagrams donated an iPad cover for each of our 3 workshops. I had the pleasure of being a beta tester for Inspiration Diagrams. The Lite version will be released in March and the full in April. The possibilities for support and integration of the writing process are endless. The current version of the app has 11 templates ranging from Cause and Effect and Book Report to Fiction Reading Notes and Chronology. The app still mimics Inspiration software in the outline and diagram views but boasts new features such as Send to Dropbox and iTunes. I am very eager to see what the final product will look like.
  9. Matt Barker: This is Yolanda Barker’s husband. He graciously donated his CD to our participants. While his music is copyright free and he welcomes those who seek to modify and integrate it into their own projects, I am sure he would love to hear how it is being used in the classroom or other settings (share your thoughts with him). Matt is also the artist behind “appy hours 4 u” intro, outro, and voice over and plays live at a few local hangouts in San Antonio.
  10. Coach’s Eye: This was a late edition to our schwag. Coach’s Eye is from the makers of ScreenChomp and Camtastia and offers countless classroom integration possibilities. The name is a bit misleading as it was originally created for coach’s to instantly review and analyze their player’s videos. The app allows users to record or import video, slow it down, narrate and annotate over it, and even export it! Imagine recording and reviewing a science lab, public speaking event or debate, or even  weather patterns on a field trip.

 

Please give these people and app developers a nice round of APP-LAUSE! Thanks Again!