Inspirational App!!

Monday, May 6, 2013 by Rachelle Pinault

This year in the Cohen Center, along with the introduction of our brand new content Complex Systems, we have added the use of iPads. In Complex Systems, the students are challenged to discover how five species interact and effect each other’s populations in the Gulf of Maine. We introduce the concept of creating and using a System Model, which can help the students not only organize their thoughts and ideas, but can also help them answer questions about the system itself. Questions like, "What if the average temperature of the Gulf of Maine changes?"

Each team of student scientists is given an iPad, referred to as their science notebook, to make this System Model. Throughout this school year, we have tried out several Apps on the iPads that would allow the students to make connections and add evidence, but many of them had aspects that were either not visually appealing or not user friendly. Recently, we were introduced to the Inspiration Maps App created by Inspiration Software, Inc. and it has turned out to be exactly what we were looking for!

Here is what the App was designed to do:  (Description from iTunes)

Students build their knowledge by creating diagrams, maps and organizers that help them brainstorm, plan, organize and build thinking skills. Tap to transform visual work into outlines that export for writing. Use Inspiration Maps to:

- Brainstorm new ideas and capture insights
- Analyze information
- Understand cause and effect
- Organize projects
- Organize thoughts and topics for writing
- Take notes
- Study for exams

Here is what our Inspirations layout looks like before and after a team of students created their system model.

We have found this App not only to be incredibly user friendly, but aesthetically pleasing as well. We believe that it has the capacity to be used in many ways and for many topics, and could be very useful for teachers and students in all grade levels.

If you have used this App in your classroom, leave a comment and let us know!

If you are interested in learning more about how you can use Inspiration Maps in your classroom, check out their website and try Inspiration Map Lite for free.

comments powered by Disqus