Inspiration® 7 one-hour presentation
Overview: This presentation is generally used at conferences in a fifty-minute to one-hour time slot. It gives background on Inspiration Software, Inc., Inspiration, and visual learning techniques and their benefits. Please feel free to revise these materials for your audience and time allowance.

If you have any questions or need additional materials, contact us at . If you have questions on how a specific Inspiration tool works, you can use the Help menu or consult your Getting Started Guide for answers. An electronic version of the Getting Started Guide can be found in your Inspiration 7/Inspiration Documentation folder.
  1. Introduction
    Over the next hour we're going to explore visual learning techniques and how they inspire students in all curriculum areas. We're going to walk step by step through Inspiration and see some of the new features of Inspiration 7.
    1. Inspiration Software, Inc.
      Inspiration is published by Inspiration Software ®, Inc. the leading developers of visual thinking and learning tools for students and educators. Founded in 1982, we develop, publish, and distribute premier visual thinking and learning tools for students and educators. Our award-winning products are used around the world and in over 60% of school districts in the United States. Our mission is to support improvements in education and make a positive difference in students' lives by providing software tools that help students learn to think.

      Inspiration, the premier tool to develop ideas and organize thinking, supports improved achievement for students grade 6 to adult. Kidspiration is specially designed to help K-5 students build strong thinking skills with visual learning.
    2. Introduction to visual learning
      Inspiration is used across the curriculum--primarily in language arts, social studies, and science--for a variety of visual thinking and learning activities, including concept mapping, outlining, webbing, brainstorming, and more.

      Visual learning is one of the most effective means for teaching thinking skills. Visual learning methodologies help students absorb knowledge and think meaningfully about a subject as they:
      (Each bullet below links to an example diagram. Open and show each example to illustrate the technique and show an Inspiration classroom example.)
      1. Brainstorm to generate ideas and develop thoughts
      2. Web to show how different categories of information interrelate
      3. Diagram to graphically represent content and its components
      4. Plan to express large volumes of information in a concise format
      5. Think critically to visually analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas
      6. Map to illustrate relationships between ideas
      7. Organize to clarify thoughts for writing
      8. Outline to create a structured format for information
  2. Step-by-step demonstration
    1. Mention updates
      Before we go ahead and start looking at Inspiration, I'd like to share some exciting news about our recently released update. We've added a one-click transfer feature that gives students the power to open their Inspiration documents in a word processor of their choice. And, we've also added 10 new templates! We'll be discussing our updates in a little later.

      First let's see how Inspiration can be used across the curriculum.
    2. Welcome to Diagram View
      With an interface that's identical on both Macintosh and Windows platforms, Inspiration is easy to use in any setting. Inspiration opens in Diagram View where we process, organize, and prioritize information visually. Everything is right at our fingertips. The Diagram toolbar across the top offers easy access to key program features. On the Symbol palette, there are over thirteen hundred symbols to visually represent ideas and information, and we'll look at how you can create your own symbol libraries and bring new symbols into Inspiration. Along the bottom, the tools on the Formatting toolbar let us instantly change colors, fonts, and styling.
      1. Adding new symbols
        1. Main idea
          Diagram View opens with one symbol centered on the screen. It's easy to get started--we just type! Let's enter the topic, Career thoughts , into the Main Idea symbol. As students today are often required to explore and plan career ideas, we'll use this as the foundation for our project.

          With the Main Idea symbol selected, type Career thoughts.
        2. Create tool
          There are many different ways to add new symbols in Diagram View. Let's build off our main idea by clicking the Create button. This adds a linked symbol in the direction we choose. I'll create a new symbol to the upper right of our main idea, and type Interests into our new symbol.

          With the Career thoughts symbol still selected, on the Diagram toolbar, click the upper right point on the Create tool. Type Interests into the new symbol.

        3. RapidFire™ tool
          Another way to add symbols is with the RapidFire tool. RapidFire allows us to capture ideas and record them quickly--it's great for brainstorming. Let's brainstorm about things we like to do. With this symbol selected, click on the RapidFire button. The red lightning bolt indicates the tool is turned on. Now type Computers … and hit Enter … Type Work with data … Hit Enter … Type Math … Hit Enter … Type Astronomy … and click the RapidFire button again to turn it off.

          With the Interests symbol still selected, on the Diagram toolbar, click the RapidFire button. Type Computers and press Return or Enter. Type Work with data and press Return or Enter... Type Math and press Return or Enter... Type Astronomy and press Return or Enter. On the Diagram toolbar, click the RapidFire button again.

          1. Subtopic Quick Control
        4. Point and type
          Point and type is an easy way to record thoughts that don't yet fit into our current focus. Just point anywhere on the diagram, click the mouse button, and start typing. A new symbol is automatically created. Let's think ahead in our career plan and add a Possible occupations symbol.

          Click in the space to the left of the Interests symbol. Type Possible occupations into the new symbol.

        5. Using the symbol libraries
          Inspiration's symbol libraries provide a wide variety of pictures and images to represent concepts and ideas. We can also create symbol libraries and fill them with images from clip art, the Internet, and other programs.

          There are several ways to locate the perfect symbol. The Select Library button gives us a category list. Each category has several libraries.
          1. Drag and drop
            Since we're looking at Possible occupations , let's go to the Word-School category and open the Careers library. Using drag and drop, we can simply grab a symbol from the palette and drop it into our diagram. The stethoscope symbol represents a career as a doctor. Let's click on the symbol, drag it out beneath Possible occupations , and drop it on the screen.

            1. Resizing symbol
              We can manually change the size of any symbol in our diagram. Just click on the symbol and drag any corner. Let's make the stethoscope symbol a little smaller.
          2. Replacing symbol
            Symbols already in the diagram can also be replaced with images from the Symbol palette. This time, let's go to the Science category and select the Space library. Now select the symbol to be replaced - click on Astronomy - and then click on the new symbol - the Galaxy symbol in the library. Astronomy now has a great visual cue--an image of the galaxy.
          3. Resizing symbols
            We can manually change the size of any symbol in our diagram. Just click on the symbol and drag any corner.
      2. Linking symbols
        We've been working with symbols, the shapes and images that represent our ideas. Let's look now at links, the lines and arrows that connect our ideas and tell us more about the relationships between them.
        1. Link tool
          The Link tool makes linking symbols easy. Let's select Career thoughts, and then click the Link button to activate the Link tool. Our link begins at our selected Career thoughts symbol. Then we'll end the link on Possible occupations .

          Select Career thoughts. Activate the Link tool. Link Career thoughts with Possible occupations. Click the Link button again to turn it off.
        2. Draw link
          We can also use the mouse to draw links between symbols. I'll click on Possible occupations , click on one of the diamond handles, and drag to the stethoscope. When the connection points appear on the second symbol, and drop the link there.

          Draw a link between Possible occupations and the stethoscope.
        3. Link text
          When selected, each link has a text box. Adding text on a link helps define the relationship between two symbols. Let's type medical field on the link between Possible occupations and the stethoscope.

          Select the link between Possible occupations and the stethoscope. Type medical field on the link text box.
      3. Adding notes text
        Notes let us add details or start the writing process in Diagram View. Now in Inspiration 7, notes are visually integrated to bridge the gap between Diagram and Outline Views.
        1. Note tool
          Let's add a note to the stethoscope symbol. Select the symbol, and then click the Note button on the toolbar. The new note is ready for text. We can express thoughts, document research, describe content, and add other information while still working in a visual environment. I want to do some research on this possible occupation. Let's go ahead and type Research education, salary, and working conditions. into the note.
        2. Note Quick Control
          When we add a note to a symbol, a Note Quick Control appears. The Quick Control can be used to open and close the note by simply clicking on the icon.

          Click on the stethoscope symbol. Click the Note Quick Control to hide the note. Point out the change to the state of the Note Quick Control. Click it again to make the note visible.
        3. Detach note
          Because people work in different ways, notes are flexible. We can easily move a note to any open place on the diagram. When we first select a note, the gray handles show the note is attached. As we drag the note away from its symbol, these handles change color.

          Click in the note title bar. Drag the note to an open spot in the diagram and drop it.
          1. Move symbol without note
            When detached, we can move the symbol and note independently. To reattach a note, drag it close to the symbol until the boxes fill gray.
      4. Adding hyperlinks
        It's easy to gather, manage, and present information from multiple sources with the Hyperlink tool.
        1. Hyperlink tool
          1. To web page
            We can insert a hyperlink to a web page simply by typing the Internet address, or we can format selected text as a hyperlink. We could even add a hyperlink to an email address.

            Let's add a hyperlink. We'll select the text in Possible occupations , click the Hyperlink button on the toolbar. Here we'll select Web site and type in the URL - . This is the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics web site that opens at the Occupation Outlook Handbook, 2002-2003 Edition. The text in our symbol now contains a hyperlink to a resource where we can find more information on our possible careers.
          2. To file
            To tie research and other resources into projects, we can add hyperlinks to any file of any type. Clicking Select File lets us navigate to the file we want to attach to our document.
      5. Saving a diagram
        Of course, whenever we work on a document, it's a good idea to save it on a regular basis. We'll find the Save command under the File menu. Inspiration 7 documents can be saved in the Inspiration 6 format so anyone can open and work with them using this earlier version.
    3. Switching to Outline View
      So far, we've been expressing our ideas in a visual format. Inspiration also has a fully integrated Outline View. This means that every diagram instantly translates into an outline, and then back again, with one click.

      In Outline View, we can effortlessly organize, prioritize, and manipulate information. Here, Inspiration structures our work into a traditional hierarchy, building the foundation of a written projects. Our symbols are now topics and subtopics. The notes text we added in Diagram View appears directly beneath its topic. And, even though we did not assign a name to the stethoscope symbol, Inspiration has labeled the topic Doctor automatically. This feature is called Picture-to-Topic.

      Just like in Diagram View, all the tools we need are readily available. The Outline toolbar across the top offers quick access to topics, notes, hyperlinks, and more. Running along the left side of the outline, the control columns make it easy to organize information. Quick Controls allow us to control project notes, subtopics, and recorded audio with a click of a mouse. And, the handy, accessible options on the Formatting toolbar invite us to customize our work. F inally, the Zoom tools let us adjust the size of our outline on screen.
      1. Adding new topics
        1. Topic tool
          Let's add a topic to explore some of the volunteering our students do. With Career thoughts selected, let's click the Topic button. There we'll type in Volunteer experience .

          With the Career thoughts topic selected, on the Outline toolbar, click the Topic button. Type Volunteer experience into this new topic.
        2. Subtopic tool
          Now we'll add a subtopic. With our new topic selected, this time we'll click the Subtopic button and type Tutor .

          With the Volunteer experience topic selected, on the Outline toolbar, click the Subtopic button. Type Tutor into this new topic.
        3. Subtopic Quick Control
          We can use the Subtopic Quick Controls in the control column to hide and show our subtopics.

          Click the Subtopic Quick Control next to the Volunteer experience topic to hide the Tutor subtopic. Click it again to make the subtopic visible.
      2. Adding notes text
        Notes text in Outline View allows us to expand on ideas, or actually start writing a paper or report.
        1. Note tool
          To add a note, with Tutor selected, we click the Note button, and type I used to tutor in reading and math .
        2. Note Quick Control
          Sometimes it's helpful to hide notes text and work with only the higher-level organization of the outline. To hide a note, click the Note Quick Control for that topic. Notice how the Quick Control has changed color. This shows that there is a hidden note for that topic. Click it again. . . . the note reopens.

          Click the Note Quick Control next to the Tutor subtopic to hide the note. Point out the change to the state of the Note Quick Control. Click it again to make the note visible.
      3. Organizing ideas in the outline
        1. Right tool
          As we review our work, we may discover that a topic should really be a subtopic. To change the hierarchy, select the topic and click the Right button. Let's select Math and click the Right button to move it under Work with data . And then click the Left button to move it back out.
        2. Move topic
          We can easily move topics around to rearrange the outline. Just select the topic to be moved ... and drag it to its new location. The black line shows where the topic will drop. Notice that the subtopics moved too.
    4. Returning to Diagram View
      These are just some of the basic functions found in Outline View. Because Inspiration's outlining and diagramming views are integrated, a s we organize and develop our outline, Inspiration instantly translates these changes in Diagram View. Let's click the Diagram button to return to Diagram View. Now we can see that all of the changes and additions we made in Outline View are reflected in our diagram.
      1. Organizing ideas in the diagram
        1. Arrange tool
          If we want Inspiration to automatically arrange our diagram, we can use the Arrange tool. We'll go ahead and click the Arrange button on the toolbar.

          The standard configuration is Top Down Tree. Other options to explore are available. Once we've made our choices, click OK to arrange the diagram.
        2. Zoom tools
          The Zoom tools in the lower left corner allow us to make our diagram larger or smaller on the screen. We can also click the percentage box and select the percentage we want ... or click Fit to Window to have Inspiration automatically resize our diagram to fit at maximum size in our window.
      2. Formatting the diagram
        1. Symbol colors
          Color helps distinguish ideas and identify groups of related symbols. The Formatting toolbar has everything we need to instantly change colors, fonts, and styling. Let's change the colors of the Possible occupations symbol and its subtopics to differentiate them from other sections of the diagram.

          To select multiple symbols, hold down the Shift key, then click on the symbols.

          First, we'll change the fill color, or color inside the symbols. With the symbols selected, click the Fill Color button, and then select a new color. Now click the Line Color button and pick a new color for the lines around the symbols and the links between them.

          Just as we changed the colors of the symbols, we can also change the colors of a note.
      3. Changing Application Properties
        Under the Utility menu we'll find Application Properties where we can customize the appearance and performance of Inspiration. We can turn off or on various Inspiration functions.
        1. Using Audio
          Let's start by exploring Inspiration 7's new speech support capabilities. With speech support, students and educators can tap into multiple learning styles. In Application Properties, we'll click to turn on the tools under Audio: Talking Interface, Record Sound, and Listen Tool.

          On the Utility menu, select Application Properties. Check the boxes for Listen Tool, Record Sound, and Talking Interface.
          1. Talking Interface
            The talking interface increases accessibility for all learners by automatically reading the text in program menus and buttons. When on, we simply hold the mouse button over a tool on the toolbar to hear its name read back to us.

            On the Diagram toolbar, hold the cursor over a button until the computer speaks. Move the cursor to the Symbol palette. Hold the cursor over several of the symbols until the computer speaks.
          2. Listen Tool
            With the Listen tool, we can hear our work read aloud. We'll click the Listen tool to turn it on, then click a symbol or note to hear it read. Let's click Career thoughts.

            On the Diagram toolbar, click the Listen button. Click on the Career thoughts symbol and have computer read the words. Click the Listen button again to turn the Listen tool off.
          3. Record
            And, we can add to our diagrams and outlines by recording words and sounds. We click a symbol, go to the Tools menu, select Sound and Record. Once a sound is recorded, and Audio Quick Control appears on that symbol. Just click the Quick Control to play the sound.

            Select a symbol. Under the Tools menu, select Sound, and Record. Click the Record button and say a sentence. Click Stop and then Save.
          4. Return to Application Properties
            Before we continue, let's go ahead and return to Application Properties and turn the Talking Interface function back off.
      4. Transfer
        Now let's talk about our new feature that I'd mentioned at the outset, the Transfer tool.

        On the Diagram toolbar, point to the Transfer button .
        1. Transferring in Diagram View
          After working in Inspiration to brainstorm, organize, and outline, students can open their work in their favorite word processor to finish the writing process and prepare their papers for publication.

          With our Career thoughts project open in Diagram View, I'll just have to click the Transfer button.

          On the Diagram toolbar, click the Transfer button.

          (If more than one word processor exists on your computer, a pop up prompt will ask you which one you would like to open your project in. If only one exists on your computer, the document will open on its own)

          Here you see my new document opens with my diagram and outline displayed, making it easy for me to continue the writing process I'd already started in Inspiration. And everything here is live, meaning I can go in and add or remove information just as I would with any other word processing document.

          I can also transfer my work from Outline View

          Just tell without showing.
      5. Some final touches
        1. Spell tool
          A quick click of the Spell button in either Diagram or Outline View ensures spelling accuracy
        2. Help system
          The Help system is the place to find answers for any "inspiring" questions. It provides all of the information found in the Getting Started Guide , in an easy-to-use searchable format.
        3. Page Setup and Print
          Customized printing options are available under Page Setup. Page Setup options allow us to customize how a document prints. We choose layout, specify margin settings, and add headers and footers. Print Preview lets us view our work before we print. Then, we just click the Print button.
    5. Extras
      1. Using the templates
        Inspiration 7 sparks creativity with inspiring new ways to design and use templates, the fastest way to integrate visual learning and Inspiration into your curriculum. 50+ classroom-ready templates in language arts, social studies, science, planning, and thinking skills help you enjoy Inspiration success right from the start.
        1. Open template
          To open a template, simply go to the File menu and select Open Template. Select the template you want to work with and click Open.
        2. Template Wizard
          Teachers can also create customized templates to use as a starting point for a special project or assignment. First, create the project or document, and then using the Template Wizard, we can go step-by-step to save any Inspiration document as a template. The Template Wizard lets us determine how the document will open on screen. Then we can easily change the symbol defaults, link style, fonts, and more.

          When we save our document, Inspiration automatically opens the Inspiration Templates folder, but we can choose any location, including a server where students can easily access these projects. We can even set the newly created template to be our default. When we choose this option, all new Inspiration documents are based on the chosen template.
      2. Exporting diagrams and outlines
        Once we've created an Inspiration diagram or an outline, we can export it for use in a variety of other programs. To save a diagram as a graphic or image - or even as HTML - look to the File menu and select Export.

        From the File menu, select Export. Show the options and click Cancel.

        In Outline View, there are also a variety of export options. We can choose to publish as a single web page ... or we can plan and start building an entire web site using the Site Skeleton export. The Site Skeleton export instantly transforms our diagram into the foundation of a web site, complete with a clickable site map. Each symbol becomes a separate page in the web site. The notes text appears as the text on its symbol's page. Links become hyperlinks between pages. Hyperlinks we created to other web sites are also active.

        There are several ways we can export outlines as HTML as well. They can be a single web page ... a single web page with a separate, clickable, table of contents … or multiple pages with a table of contents. With this option, the main idea becomes the title of the table of contents and each of our first level topics is a separate web page. All of the subtopics and notes text are now page content.
  3. Conclusion
    Using Inspiration, we've seen how easy it is to create inspiring visual learning projects for all curriculum areas. As students work visually, they gain a deeper understanding of concepts, strengthen organizational skills, tap creativity, and develop very important critical thinking skills. By building a visual framework of ideas and information with Inspiration, students are able to expand their thinking while learning how to learn.
    1. Additional good information to share
      1. Flashes
        If you've enjoyed seeing how Inspiration is used, you'll want to sign up for Flashes, the official newsletter of Inspiration Software. You can sign up for it at our web site - .
      2. Achieving Standards with Inspiration 7
        Achieving Standards with Inspiration 7 offers practical, content-rich lesson plans for grades 6-12 in language arts, social studies, and science. Designed to address state and national standards, each lesson makes it easy for you to integrate visual learning activities into your teaching plans with confidence. Easily modify and customize each lesson to support your specific objectives and your individual teaching style.

        Find more information on Inspiration 7 resources here .
      3. Exploring Inspiration 7
        Exploring Inspiration 7 is an interactive training CD designed to make it fast, intuitive, and exciting to use Inspiration right from the start. You'll find step-by-step instruction, real-world teaching examples, and a helpful visual learning overview.

        Find more information on Inspiration 7 resources here .
      4. Purchasing information
        Inspiration comes on a hybrid CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh in single copies and volume licenses for schools and districts. Volume licenses also have Teacher Take Privileges. That means that teachers can have copies of Inspiration installed at home for planning and training purposes. There are also upgrades available for those using previous versions of Inspiration.
      5. How to contact us
        Inspiration Software, Inc.
        7412 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy., Ste. 102
        Portland, OR 97225-2167

        503-297-3004 or 800-877-4292
        503-297-4676 (Fax)
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