Visual Learning with Inspiration and Kidspiration


Visual learning is an instructional method in which ideas, concepts, data and other information are associated with images and represented graphically. Concept mapping is a good example of visual learning. A concept map provides a way of representing or organizing knowledge by showing relationships that exist between concepts. It illustrates how knowledge is organized and helps identify the way we think and see relationships between entities. Visual learning can help students improve academic performance and achieve success across the curriculum. Out of many concept mapping software, Inspiration is by far the most popular one and is widely used in schools. Inspiration integrates dynamic diagramming and outlining environments to help teachers and students organize ideas and information. Students can use Inspiration as a graphic organizer tool for brainstorming ideas, concept mapping, outlining, and organizing thoughts. They can quickly create a mind map, an idea map, a tree chart, a concept map or a flowchart diagram, for a visual display and then convert it to an outline view for a more traditional perspective. Also, teachers can use Inspiration to plan student lessons, meet curriculum standards, and enhance critical thinking skills.

For the past several years, I have been teaching the concept mapping with Inspiration in the Computer Applications in Education course for teacher education students. Most of my students find Inspiration is a powerful and interesting visual learning tool. In addition, they see how easy it is to use Inspiration to brainstorm, plan, organize, outline, diagram and write. With Inspiration, teachers can easily create a concept map to help their students gain a better understanding of concepts to demonstrate their knowledge and improve their performance across the curriculum. Teachers can use Inspiration to help students develop their critical thinking strategies.

For younger learners in K-5, Kidspiration is an excellent visual learning tool. Kidspiration is very easy to use and is designed for younger learners. Kidspiration provides an easy and a fun way to apply principles of visual learning that can help K-5 students view and understand relationships through brainstorming ideas with words and pictures. Students can use Kidspiration to build graphic organizers by combining pictures, text, and spoken words to represent certain thoughts and information. Younger learners can develop early literacy skills by using the writing tool in Kidspiration and create stories and descriptions using engaging visual tools. I think both Inspiration and Kidspiration are powerful visual learning tools. They can help students visualize, think, organize and learn.


About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in Educational Technology, Software Tools, Technology Integration. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Visual Learning with Inspiration and Kidspiration

  1. Lisa McBeth says:

    Inspiration is a great educational tool. I learned about it in It-365. I like how the concept maps help me organize my thoughts. I have actually used concept maps to study for finals in college. Concept maps will definitely be used in my classroom to help my students organize their thoughts, study for test, do a family tree, etc. When I worked as an assistant in an elementary Special Education class, we read the students the story of “The Three Little Pigs” and then we did a flow map of the story. I was surprised at the details that the students remembered about the story. It was a great learning experience for the students as well as for this Assistant.

  2. Heather Whisenhant says:

    Inspiration and Kidspiration is my absolute favorite software out there now for school. They are wonderful educational tools and I learned all about them in my It 365 class and actually used Inspiration in one of my assignments for the class. I love the way you can create concept maps and study with them. They are wonderful aids. Some of my children at the YMCA have used Kidspiration and they love it just as much as I do. They tell me that it makes it easier for them to create study guides and projects. Inspiration has also helped me create study aids for myself here in college.

  3. I think that Kidspiration and Inspiration is great for students. I feel that it would be helpful especially with the diagrams. I did not know what I know now about the program, and I must say that I am glad that I learned it all from It-365.

    I just cannot wait until I show this to my future students and show them the opportunity to explore the same way that I learned, and I want to thank Dr.Yuen for teaching this to me.

  4. Tawana Alexander says:

    I was thrilled to receive one of these Inspiration disk in class. I remember working on the concept map; I believe that this will be a useful tool in classrooms. I agree that the Inspiration software, teachers can easily create a concept map to help their students gain a better understanding of concepts to demonstrate their knowledge and improve their performance across the curriculum. Teachers can use Inspiration to help students develop their critical thinking strategies. I have a nephew who loves being on the computer. I may give him one of my software’s. He is twelve years old; I believe he would love this as a gift. I recommend that every teacher have this software in there classrooms. This software may be used for any subject.

  5. Nicole Whiteman says:

    I had neer even heard of Inspiration or Kidspiration software before I entered IT 365. However, I must say that it was one of my favorite programs that we used this semester. I think it is avery useful tool for both inside and outside of the classroom. It is good because it can be used by teachers to develop a presentation for the class or the students can develop their own presentation. It is a fun and easy program and I know that it will come in handy when I enter my career as a teacher.

  6. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  7. shenettab says:

    I was just introduced to Inspiration and Kidspiration a couple of weeks ago, and I would like to say that it’s very powerful content mapping software. It is a visual tool, which by far is the best way to learn anything. Content mapping is by definition providing a way to represent and present knowledge by showing the relationship between concepts. There is a great YouTube video about how to use Inspiration software. A teacher is presenting the software in a timely fashion. It is a great video and would recommend to all that need to learn Inspiration. It is very popular and a powerful too to use in education.

    I was very excited to see that there is an easy to use content mapping software that teachers and students can use. It helps students and teachers organized their ideas and put it in a form that is easily transferable. It’s considered a graphic tool, which is even better because students can use this tool to map out ideas. Like I said before, it is a visual tool, what better way to map out an idea?

    I use to hear about the software, Inspiration, when I was working in the school district. I really didn’t know what it did or can do for teachers and students. I would like to see it used more in schools. It can be used for problem-solving, critical thinking, and all types of criteria that have complex theories and concepts. Students can combine pictures, text, and audio, as well as, teachers.

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