Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Inspiration 6

Inspiration 6

Spring 2000 Software
Ages: 8 & Up
Price: $69.00
Review:
If you're familiar with mapping-out ideas on paper, starting with a single notion or word and branching associative thoughts and sub-thoughts from it, you already have a sense of what this visual learning tool provides students on the computer. By encouraging children to gather information, sort it, analyze it and apply it, this show-me program helps them develop ideas and organize their thoughts right before their eyes when tackling reports, research or just brainstorming. Now in its sixth version, Inspiration looks confusingly Spartan on the computer screen compared to the dazzling animations and graphics, the high-quality sounds and talk-you-through tutorials now practically standard in educational software today. That’s because other than the tool bar across the top and the click-n-drag symbols and photographs library palette (some 1250 in all) along the left side, this no-nonsense program begins as a blank sheet in search of a good idea to develop. But without a guiding adult or teacher on hand, it can create as much confusion as good ideas until students get the hang of it. Several template modes help to develop and mutate core concepts, including concept mapping, idea diagramming, and hierarchical outlining. This version also includes more graphic enhancements and images than ever, drawing capabilities, notes-taking and text writing, even hyperlinks to relevant on-line Web sites—anything and everything to evolve the idea and organize the mind. Does it? Probably better in the classroom than at home.
Don Oldenburg   ©2000 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Inspiration Software, Inc.
800-877-4292
http://www.inspiration.com

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