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Inspiration or Gliffy?

i drkhturner
Category: Technology
Date: 30/05/2012
Tags: graphic organizers, teaching, learning

The programs Inspiration and Gliffy both offer students and teachers the ability to create graphic organizers.  There are similarities and differences between the two, however.  Which do you think would be most useful for teaching and learning? 

posted by drkhturner | suggest edit


The better tool


The better tool


add your argumensts in favor or against the issue

arguments supporting the issue
arguments against the issue

Inspiration would make a better tool.

posted by drkhturner | suggest edit


-It is visually more appealing for a younger audience

-It is designed specifically for teaching in a classroom setting

-It caters to a diverse students individual need

posted by Katherine Alvarado | suggest edit


Gliffy would make a better tool.

posted by drkhturner | suggest edit



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I actually like Gliffy however, I prefer Inspiration for teaching adolescents how to use Graphic Organizers. Gliffy seems to be more of a tool geared to a corporate audience (I could have used this in the past). Inspiration seems to be more geared toward students. For example, Gliffy has several tools that are used on the corporate level. It's network diagram tool, floor plan chart and JIRA plugins are thing I have used in the past. Although I'm sure that you can customize Gliffy to use in the classroom, it would take an extra step and additional time to teach students how to use it for their purposes. As a teacher, I would want the focus to be on the material being taught and I wouldn't want to get bogged down with trying to teach kids how to use this tool. With Inspiration, I have access to more student oriented graphic organizers (Concept Maps, Mind Maps and Outlines). As mentioned in the arguments below, the site and the tool overall seems more student friendly. Since the types of Graphic Organizers are laid out on the site in a methodical manner, I can even prepare a quick lesson on each type of organizer and when to use them. I really like Gliffy however, for our intent and purpose as teachers I think Inspiration would be a better tool.

Posted by gfeliz2 on 15/06/2013 at 11:01 AM

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I find myself agreeing with both Deena and Ashley in that Inspiration would be a more effective tool in catering to our younger students who are within the age bracket of (13-17). I saw Gliffy having a more formal and straight-forward feel as opposed to Inspiration. As Deena points out, it seemed to be geared towards an older audience such as college students or even business people. The appearance of the flow charts seem more appropriate to use to conduct business presentations. Inspiration offered a more vibrant, colorful and exciting method of learning. I personally found myself being fond of the brainstorming webs. It contained an example of a historical time period and the aspects relevant to the period. The visuals make it appealing and memorable. Inspiration has its perks in visual appeal and would work for students whose learning strengths align with visuals. Gliffy, on the other hand, while the format of its organizers seem rather full, has a more standardized design but I think it's types of graphic organizers seek to spark critical thinking. However I did like the new concepts and ideas Gliffy offered that Inspiration did not such as SWOT Analysis ( which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). While this is a more in depth thinking, I would appreciate it to help stimulate more critical thinking for students especially in a social studies classroom. It requires a more in depth look into the subject and I'd find the SWOT useful when writing an essay because it helps organize different thoughts. Analysis is a crucial skill needed in historical studies and cases and as a Social Studies teacher, I think this map would help students sharpen their analytical skills. Both Gliffy and Inspiration have their strengths but I'd see Inspiration a greater fit for students to help remember quick facts, dates or terms when studying a historical time period; the visuals just make it fun and easy to remember.

Posted by Simran Kaur on 17/06/2012 at 11:33 PM

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Ultimately I'm in Support of Inspiration: Although, Inspiration has bright, pastel colors with curriculum integration and templates for all disciplines Gliffy seems to have more of an edge that would serve well in a college or graduate school classroom such as with Flow Charts, impeccable Venn Diagrams, and real life floor plans. Gliffy's realistic edge may appeal to the pathos of many students who want to see their novels come to life as Meg remarked. I think Gliffy can be an instrumental tool for a high school economics class where the teacher is focusing on the unit of Supply and Demand through Business Processes or a Network diagram which displays the component of a car for an engineering class. Gliffy is definitely more of an advanced program that is geared towards an older, more mature audience. I can see a college profess or using this program in comparison to a high school teacher. Personally, I would like to start small with a basic, fun, and exciting program such as Inspiration because the diagrams, idea maps, concept maps, mind maps, graphic organizers, and process flows will allow me to demonstrate a plethora of unique presentations. One day I can create a character map for King Lear, while another day I can create concept maps and Venn Diagrams to compare two characters with one another such as the Byronic hero Rochester from Jane Eyre with the moralistic St. John. Inspiration even has structured outlines for students who struggle with their writing. This program will give students an alternate way of learning. Gliffy doesn't offer tools for creating essay. Instead Gliffy is focused on the parts rather than the whole by displaying technical charts which contain parts such as the cells of an organism and how the lipids function. The only part I would try to incorporate into my lesson plans is the Floor plans which can be tweaked into 19th century England with a look inside an old, gothic style mansion. If Gliffy allows me to create a SIM-like simulated world where I can add props and decorate the interor, choose period style clothing, and find characters that look like the ones in the novels, than it would be a sure fire hit! However, on a daily basis Inspiration's concept maps will make learning fun for my students. Although, only "82% reccomended that graphic organizers like concept maps should be used frequently, only 59% admitted that they used them often. This disparity may be due to the perceived difficulty of preparing them in advance" (Fisher

Posted by Deena Adriana Soni on 17/06/2012 at 08:10 PM

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I agree with Deena that Gliffy is seemed to be set for an older audience. Inspiration is good to use for students who are younger and less experienced with graphic organizers to begin with. However, it can be taught to a middle school crowd if implemented the right way. Gliffy has different types of graphic organizers to use. I feel that if taught well and portrayed well for the students, it gives them a bit of an autonomy where they can choose what type graphic organizer works better for them.

Posted by Ashley W. on 17/06/2012 at 08:46 PM

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Graphic organizers are not difficult to create. They are pertinent prereading strategy tools, allow students to organize their thoughts through concrete schemas, serve as a nontraditional way to retain vocabulary words, and they provide connections between what the students already know and the content information that they have to know. Those who have looked down upon graphic organizers don't know what they're missing or haven't picked ones that they like! Graphic organizers "have been shown to be of great assistance to students with learning disabilities. These tools can scaffold information to assist students in constructing written products" (102). Students with special needs or those who are struggling with English can find graphic organizers as a useful way to synthesize texts without overburdening them. English language learners can build comprehension in learning a topic in this way instead of stressing over the daunting task of writing a five paragraph essay. Moreover, Inspiration's use of graphic organizers can lead students to create valuable presentations that will allow them to retain information for a lifetime, If you're a high school teacher, Inspiration should be a mandatory program within your curriculum. What do you have to lose!?*

Posted by Deena Adriana Soni on 17/06/2012 at 10:22 PM

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I agree with everyone's views on how Inspiration seems like a better graphic organizer tool to use in the classroom.I feel that it is simple enough for students to operate as well as diverse enough to accommodate to every student's learning styles. Both tools are good graphic organizers to utilize in the classroom and I agree with Meg that Gliffy was very wordy and busy and geared more towards business. I believe Inspiration was made more to fit the classroom and the best part was that it was easy enough for students to be able to use it. The graphics on the tool seemed very child friendly that can be very attractive to students. I feel that Inspiration can be used in any classroom setting whether it be for an English class or a Science class. In Improving Adolescent Literacy, it clearly states that "graphic organizers promote interaction between students" (103). I feel it is important for students to be able to create their own graphic organizers after they learn how it works and how to create one on their own. Inspiration seems to express that belief in their design of the tool.

Posted by Ashley W. on 16/06/2012 at 12:28 AM

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I had a hard time choosing between Inspiration and Gliffy because, in some ways, Gliffy is more advanced. Gliffy has the venn diagram, which I think is an extremely useful and effective graphic organizer. I also loved the different versions of the venn diagram that Gliffy offers, the classic as well as the cirlces inside each other. I think Gliffy's other unusual graphic organizers such as the floor plan would be interesting to explore in the classroom (perhaps to bring settings and action plots to life). However, Gliffy seems to be geared towards business whereas Inspiration is clearly geared towards the classroom. I voted for Inspiration because it is more visually pleasing, organized and clear. Fisher and Frey stress on page 103 of their book that graphic organizers must be quickly and easily comprehended. They are meant to synthesize, summarize and elucidate difficult texts or ideas. Gliffy's charts were generally very busy and complex. As Deena mentions, Gliffy's graphic organizers are very wordy and busy, which I think ulimately makes their content less accessible. I also found Inspiration's presentation of their graphic organizers to be much more useful for teachers. Each organizer comes with an explanation and helpful tips on how it might be applied throughout a lesson. Inspiration's designs are also more dynamic than Gliffy's, offering features such as popping color, perspective, and artistic images and lines. Gliffy seems a bit dry and uninspiring, especially for students who might be motivated to work on graphic organizers because of Inspiration's more inventive features.

Posted by megconnolly on 15/06/2012 at 10:21 PM

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The venn diagram is the only tool from Gliffy that I noticed we have used in class. Gliffy seems to be more polished and geared for mathematics or science in the sense that it's mostly diagrams and charts. This could work well in these subjects however, I believe overall, Inspiration is more versatile with more graphic organizers, concept mapping and mind mapping. For social studies and note taking I very much like the outlining ability. I found it to be clear and easy to understand as well as explain, for future students. In the respect of so many organizing options that truly vary in style, I agree with Katherine that it would be more helpful in catering to different students needs. The readings in chapter 6 of Fisher and Frey specifically mention the Inspiration program for teaching social studies with concept maps helping students to clearly see the ideas laid out in front of them. Important dates, names, places and such are easily organized in this way and I believe can be forwarded or downloaded/printed as a study assist for home.

Posted by Josh Michael on 14/06/2012 at 06:55 PM

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I agree with Deena, I also believe that Inspiration provides a more effective teaching tool then Gliffy. They are both good softwares because it helps create graphic organizers easily by a click of a button. What makes the Inspiration software better in my opinion is the fact that this software is specifically designed as a teachers tools so that teachers can use it has a visual aid in designing a graphic organizer. Gliffy was specifically designed to use as a graphic organizer regardless of where you are planning to use it. I also like that Inspirations graphic organizer can be transformed into different types of diagram. This is an effective tool for teachers because it gives them the opportunity caters to different student's individual need. For example there might be some students who might understand ideas illustrated in a Diagram View, while others might understand those some ideas if it was illustrates in Map Views or simply just outlined. According to Gliffy's website you pretty much just work with what you have. There website promotes the fact that you can create many different types of graphic organizers but it does not say whether you can transform your completed graphic organizer into a different type. While you are constructing your different diagram Inspiration is creating an outline of your ideas. This gives teachers the ability to see easily if their diagrams idea are being expressed in an organized manner.

Posted by Katherine Alvarado on 12/06/2012 at 11:11 PM

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The program that I believe will be the most beneficial for students and teachers is the Inspiration program which allows students and teachers to design graphic organizers and outlines. In Chapter 6 of Improving Adolescent Literacy: Content Area Strategies At Work, Ms. Acuna uses the Inspiration Program by designing "a concept map of pertinent information following the directions from a pop-up menu on the screen." (114) While students tell the class and teacher about their prior knowledge on the topic, the information is constructed into a concept before their eyes. It sounds like magic, but Ms. Acuna is directly engaging the students metacognitively by allowing them to think about everything that they have learned from this topic. The concept map can also be transformed into a tree diagram, flow diagram, and cause and effect graphic organizer instantly by the click of a button. It is visually appealing to the students because it probes them to have the desire and zeal to create their own graphic organizers with their own unique touches. The concept map created from the Inspiration program clarified misunderstandings that students had right on the spot! It is also the perfect tool for expository writing. Students were able to summarize what they learned from their graphic organizers as a journal entry to reflect on their thinking. The Inspiration program fuels the age old adage of writing to learn instead of learning to write.While Gliffy appears to be more business orientated for tech savy lovers with floor plan software and wireframe software, the inspirational program caters to students who have a deeply rooted love for exploring their though processes.Min mapping allows for a visual representation of note taking which can help a student explore a topic in depth.Even webbing is a tool that students can use to note down characteristics of the protagonist, antagonist, setting, climax, and theme of a novel. The concept mapping is also a stellar tool for instilling pertinent topics in a student's mind. Gliffy does not have concept mapping that is visually appealing to students, instead the colors are dim and the wording is verbose. Inspiration includes images such as character images from the book Charlotte's web. For visual learners, Inspiration will pose as an instrumental tool for learning!

Posted by Deena Adriana Soni on 07/06/2012 at 10:05 PM

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