[Athen] Inspiration Brand Software

Aldrich, Holly haldric2 at lesley.edu
Thu Apr 23 11:56:46 PDT 2015

Hello, ATHEN List,

Our office is currently looking into updates and changes for our assistive technology and educational software. We are considering purchasing an Inspiration software package such as WebspirationPRO, Webspiration Classroom, or Inspiration. We are hoping that the visual thinking, organization, and concept mapping aspects are especially useful for students with various types of disabilities. We also see a number of students from the College of Art and Design for whom the creative and aesthetic aspects might be helpful. If you have any experience, insight, or recommendations with the Inspiration brand, I would love to hear from you! Below is an explanation of what we are considering.

Ideally, the specifications we would like to target are

1. The Inspiration suite of tools, images, and document formats - available on WebspirationPRO, Webspiration Classroom, or Inspiration

2. Web-based access from any computer through an account login - available on WebspirationPRO and Webspiration Classroom

3. Volume account licensing for our student base - available on Webspiration Classroom and Inspiration

4. Tools meant for higher education and/or the workplace - available on WebspirationPRO and Webspiration Classroom

5. Options for real time group and collaborative work - available on WebspirationPRO and Webspiration Classroom

By this breakdown, it seems like Webspiration Classroom fits all of our specifications. However, the standard version is Webspiration Classroom Managed. This means that it works much like a Learning Management System such as Blackboard. In addition to the learning tools included with all Inspiration products, it has workflow management tools (instructors posting assignments, students submitting their work, grading, message centers, etc.) and a centralized administrative platform for management of student and teacher accounts.

We wouldn't really need this type of managed service because we already use Blackboard, and we aren't really interested in providing accounts for instructors. This would likely cause complications for students, instructors, and tech staff.

There is a Basic vs. Managed option for Webspiration Classroom to consider. With the Basic option, account codes are provided to individual students who then set up and manage their own accounts. This approach lacks the centralized administration and control of the managed option and seems to be a good solution when managing the accounts is less important, but paying for access for students on a volume basis is more important. I understand that the Basic package is not typically offered, but it could work best in this case.

I would like to make the most informed and appropriate purchase choice, and sorting through all of these differences has been interesting. Here are some questins for you.

1. Do any of you work with students using Inspiration brand software?

2. Is Inspiration still usable beyond K - 12?

3. If you use WebspirationPRO or Webspiration classroom, how useful are the features of any time/anywhere access via online login and group and collaborative work?

4. Alternately, are there any other programs for visual learning and outlining that you would recommend?

Thank you all for your consideration and thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!


Holly Aldrich, M.S., CRC
Disability Access Specialist
Access Services for Students with Disabilities
Lesley University
11 Mellen Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617.349.8655 voice
617.349.8544 TTY
617.349.8558 fax
haldric2 at lesley.edu

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