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Inspiration Maps VPP

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Inspiration Maps VPP App Poster Image
Mind-mapping tool lets kids easily create visual organizers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Inspiration Maps is a versatile tool for organizing information in a variety of ways, a skill kids will find invaluable in school and in life. It also helps kids analyze information, integrate new knowledge, and think critically. Kids can use their brainstormed mind maps to create outlines and vice versa. 

Ease of Play

The tap-and-swipe gestures of the iPad work well with mind maps. Help screens are text-heavy, but kids will learn as much from exploring. Undo and redo buttons fix mistakes.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Inspiration Maps is a mind-mapping tool that helps kids visually organize ideas. They can create diagrams, maps, organizers, brainstorms, and text outlines. Outlines can be converted to maps, and maps can be converted to outlines. Users can share creations by emailing, printing, or saving to iTunes, Dropbox, Photos, or the app (as PDF or PNG files). The Lite version, which is free, lets kids create up to five mind maps with no sharing options. This app is a must-have app for kids who have executive functioning issues. The app helps kids with organization as they add material to their graphic organizer. Kids can add photos and color-code their bubbles, which benefits the visual learner.

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What's it about?

The desktop software version of Inspiration has been used in classrooms for a decade. Kids can create visual representations using shapes, clouds, imported images, colors, and text. INSPIRATION MAPS on iPad puts the software in kids' hands, where they can use touch-screen gestures to create their maps and share them by emailing, printing, saving, or exporting them to the desktop or Web versions of Inspiration. Kids can create text outlines and convert them to diagrams or start with a visual mind-map and convert it to a text outline. Dozens of templates are included to get kids started organizing ideas for writing assignments, planning speeches or essays, thinking through groups projects, and more.

Is it any good?

Mind-mapping is a strategy that helps kids learn and remember information more efficiently. Inspiration Maps makes it easy for kids to brainstorm, plan, think, and remember information. They can be as creative as they want in organizing their ideas. The iPad version works beautifully, with tap-and-swipe gestures to create the parts of the map. Background and object colors, text sizes and fonts, and images all are customizable. Work can be saved and reopened easily to continue editing. Sharing is easy, too. Kids can print their maps, adding a professional look to a presentation or report. The free version, Inspiration Maps Lite, allows the creation of up to five mind maps, but it doesn't offer sharing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Inspiration Maps is a helpful tool for middle and high schoolers. Try the free version, which allows kids to create five free maps, to see if it works for your child's work and learning style.

  • Encourage kids to use Inspiration Maps to plan and organize their writing or to organize information to review for a test.

App details

For kids who love writing, graphing

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