www.inspiration.com/webspirationclassroom Retail price: Individual educator
pricing starts at $19 for five months; volume pricing available for school
subscriptions with more than 40 accounts.
By Carol S. Holzberg
Webspiration Classroom is the Web 2.0 version of
Inspiration’s popular brainstorming, visual thinking, and outlining
learning tool. This Flash-based subscription service
provides Web-based concept mapping, diagramming, and
outlining for students in grades five through 12.
Quality and Effectiveness: The collection of more
than 1,400 pictures can easily make abstract ideas more
concrete and help link prior knowledge to new concepts.
Kinesthetic learners will appreciate how interactive the
process of creating diagrams can be with the use of
the service’s many tools. Developing writers will value
Webspiration’s help in organizing, sorting, arranging, rearranging,
and revising connections in existing work.
Ease of Use: Users familiar with Inspiration won’t have
any trouble transitioning to the Web-based Webspiration
Classroom. Teachers and students new to Webspiration
Classroom will appreciate its many training videos.
Creative Use of Technology: The service is optimized
for sharing work. Several users can work on a document
simultaneously without their edits conflicting. Inspirationlike
tools add symbols and pictures from external files, link
ideas, insert hyperlinks, and create outlines. The built-in
chat function permits synchronous discussion, and a builtin
Message Center lets users send and receive messages.
Teachers can post assignments to a special Assignments
folder that all students can access.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment:
Though Webspiration documents are stored in the cloud,
they remain private unless they are shared. Documents created
in the service may be downloaded from the Web for
use in Inspiration or Microsoft Word. Teachers can easily
develop and distribute assignments; receive completed work
from students; review and comment on work received; and
return work to students, complete with feedback, in a timely
manner. As Webspiration is Flash based, there is currently
no app for iPad.
¦ Inspiration provides good training
¦ Students can work independently or
collaborate on group projects.
¦ Teachers can create and distribute and
provide timely feedback.
Webspiration, like its sister application, Inspiration, is an
excellent tool for brainstorming, planning, organizing,