Cube: Inspiration 8

Software:  Inspiration 8

Powered by the proven techniques of visual learning, Inspiration 8 supports multiple learning styles with three unique environments for creating diagrams, outlines and mind maps. Using Inspiration, students develop critical thinking, planning and organisational skills for lifelong learning and achievement.

Face 1:  Market Focus

  • Although Strategic Transitions, the parent company of Inspiration 8, markets the software to all ages.  I’d say the main market demographic that they appeal to is the K-12 segment. Although they clearly state that it is meant for students age 10 to adult.  Inspiration is similar to CMAPS the minding mapping software that we currently use at UBC. 


Face 2:  Types of Offerings

  • Inspiration is Infrastructure based.  Inspiration can deliver graphical organization of content through creating visual representation of the course material.  The software allows students to make and create their own connections to the material that they are learning.  As the learn new concepts they plot them in their concept map.  Within these concept maps they can embed hyperlinks to websites, wikipedia definitions, pictures, video etc.  This multimedia graphical display enriches the overall education experience. 


Face 3:  Who is the Buyer?

  • In our district (SD36) the buyer was the curriculum planning and support branch of the district.  They purchased a district wide license centrally for Inspiration a few years ago.  Then they made it available to high school in the district for free.  This central branch of the district has been heavily promoting the software throughout the district.   It is up to each school to use the software through guides or facilitators in the schools.  This form of a buyer is probably similar to other parts of the country where Inspiration 8 is marketed in.


Face 4:  Global Markets

  • A major component of their market is wired Anglophone Countries.  There head office is located in Aurora, Ontario.  But they also provide software to international markets as well.  There products are available in multiple languages; English, French, Spanish, and German.  It seems they are mainly marketing their software to developed nations in North America and Western Europe.  These global markets have a lot of money to spend on education.


Face 5:  Development of the Market

  • Inspiration has great potential around the world.  Large markets are available in Asia.  It might be worth while to develop software for the Chinese and Japanese market.  Chine is an up and coming market.  Although these markets might also have local companies which provide the same software.  In countries like India and China many post-secondary intuitions provide education in English.  This might a great place to market Inspiration 8.


Face 6:  Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

  • Inspiration 8 is just one piece of the puzzle.  It is not a platform to teach e-learning but a tool to add to the e-learning environment.  Because of this there are probably many competing software packages out there. Old technology is also a competitor.  Inspiration’s graphical organizers can also be duplicated with a pen and paper.  Thus the competition is the old technology.  And if schools cannot afford to purchase this software, students can still get the educational benefit of creating mind maps on the board or a piece of paper.  Although it is hard to embed links and pictures into a static piece of paper. 


1 Ian Doktor { 10.06.09 at 6:17 am }

Interesting summary. In general I’m a fan of Inspiration, however I think you rightly pointed out that there are many old-style ways to accomplish the same thing. In fact, I often think those old-style ways are easier to use. They require less technical skill and can be readily applied anywhere.

However, from the point of view of an EVA I still think this would be a good investment. Its a reasonably well established company, with a solid product and good market potential.

2 dawinder mann { 10.07.09 at 5:00 pm }

Thanks for the feedback Ian. I’m also a fan of Inspiration and I’m currently in the process of training staff at our school on how to use it effectively in the classroom. I believe our district invested their resources in the right product.

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