INSPIRATION MAPS

Emily Ritchie, Graham Shular, Jennifer Vicencio, Arthur Au-yeung & Jenifer Kim

WHAT IS INSPIRATION?

Inspiration® 9 is an online resource and application that allows students and teachers to create a variety of visual representations. These representations can be used to demonstrate concepts in many different subjects.

Inspiration® 9’s slogan is as follows: “Comprehend. Create. Communicate. Achieve More.”

The software allows students to easily demonstrate their understanding and knowledge. The software provides cross-curricular templates

WHO CAN USE INSPIRATION?

Inspiration® 9 can be used in a variety of ways, and there are specifically five templates for use in a history classroom. When students are learning about specific events in history, something like Inspiration® 9 can help them organize their thoughts surrounding that event. When students are required to analyze civilizations, issues and changes in history, this software can be used to represent their findings.

WHEN CAN INSPIRATION BE USED IN A HISTORY CLASSROOM?

Inspiration® 9 can be used in a variety of ways, and there are specifically five templates for use in a history classroom. When students are learning about specific events in history, something like Inspiration® 9 can help them organize their thoughts surrounding that event. When students are required to analyze civilizations, issues and changes in history, this software can be used to represent their findings.

WHY USE INSPIRATION IN A HISTORY CLASSROOM?

Inspiration® 9 would be useful in a history class for both students and teachers. Having the option to express all of the information that has been deemed important in one graphic organizer is a clear way to do so. History is not always the most interesting subject for all students, so allowing them the opportunity to use something like Inspiration® 9 to demonstrate what they have learned provides them with a chance to do well in a subject that they are disinterested in.

HOW CAN INSPIRATION BE USED?

As it has already been stated above, this software can be used in a variety of ways and our main interest was how it can be used in a history classroom. Inspiration® 9 provides students and teachers with the ability to insert images of historically significant individuals, as well as hyperlinks to video clips that demonstrate significant events throughout time. Using Inspiration® 9 to examine a historical time period can be useful for teachers and students if there are a lot of individuals being discussed. Another interesting thought is that teachers can prepare an Inspiration® 9 template ahead of time and as students gain information about a topic or event they can insert their information into the previously created template.

Connection to Theory: CONTENT

Without this application or without the use of technology, students are able to create their own graphic organizers. However, the inspiration application allows students to easily create concept maps, diagrams, flow charts, and various other graphic organizers to organize the content learned.

This application allows students to visualize and see the connections and relationships between various concepts and content.

To organize information for a research project.

To visualize the cause/effects, similarities/differences, and advantages/disadvantages of an event or situation.

To illustrate key events and figures

To help analyze historical influence.

To think critically about the content knowledge.

Connection to Theory: PEDAGOGY

Provides students with a tool in which they can generate concept maps that help organize information that would otherwise be overwhelming to them

Numerous symbols to choose from that can help students represent their thoughts more accurately and reduce the chance for confusion

Vibrant colours allow for students to effectively identify connected thoughts and reduce mental cluttering of ideas

There is a variety of different types of concept maps that students can choose from, allowing for varied methods of brainstorming and organization; this will be effective to a wide range of different learners

Teachers can use this program to increase the efficiency of concept mapping with students and alleviate the stress that some students may have when tasked with creating something organized and appealing to the eye

Some learners who have difficulty with visualizing abstract ideas and trying to create a concept map from a blank paper can benefit from having this program help generate the graphics that facilitate their learning

The concept maps created by this program can help break down blocks of text into specific terms and connections that can be better processed by the learner

Cognitive Psychology Connection

Chunking is a method where memory capacity can be increased and made more efficient. The use of this program can help students engage the chunking process and draw connections between items they have to remember. This can help students who may not know how to go about memorizing content by providing them with a means of complimenting the natural processes in the brain.

"By organizing the stimulus input simultaneously into several dimensions and successively into a sequence of chunks, we manage to break (or at least stretch) this informational bottleneck." (Miller, 1994, p.351).

This theory of chunking can then be transferred to what can be done on the Inspiration app as complex connections and concepts can be "chunked" and sequenced, thereby expanding the ability of the brain to store information into the working memory.

Miller, G. A. (1994). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 101(2), 343-352

*SPEC ED

SAMR

Augmentation - Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement

The task of creating a concept map or timeline is something that can be done and merely a paper and pen task. However, once students have access to the inspiration app, then the task has become functionally better making it an augmentation.

Modification - Tech allows for significant task redesign

The task of creating concept maps or timelines may only be an augmentation through the use of the inspiration app, but once the app allows for the inclusion of video clips within the assignment, there is a clear shift towards modification of the task and even a redefinition as there can now be a digital component to the task that would once be inconceivable with the previous technology (pen and paper).

USING INSPIRATION ON THE iPAD

Features:

  • Built-in templates supporting subjects across the curriculum
  • Record and attach audio
  • Transform diagrams to outlines and vice versa
  • Personalize with images, colour, shape, arrows, and backgrounds
  • Use images from the web or the iPad camera
  • Attach notes to any item
  • Add hyperlinks
  • Diagrams save instantly
  • Add written or audio instructions to any document
  • Import and export Inspiration Maps
  • Share files with other applications on the iPad
  • Share files with other iPads via Dropbox, AirDrop or iTunes

EXAMPLES

Grade 8 (Canada 1890 - 1914: A changing Society)

Did Canada really become a more multicultural country during the 1890-1914 period?

The Royal Proclamation of 1763