Thursday, October 09, 2008

Get Web-Inspired

Inspiration is now a Web 2.0 tool. The past few days I've been playing with Webspiration Beta, which looks a lot like Inspiration but works in a web browser. The best thing about this new tool - it's collaborative. Like wikis and Google Docs, you can share your document and invite friends and colleagues to work on it too.



Above is a picture of a document I shared with some fellow teachers. I was pleased to see Webspiration gives me a couple of different ways to track the changes. You can Show History to see the progression of changes and who made them. Just like a wiki, you can view and rollback to a previous version.


Click on the Show Changes tool in the tool bar and little pop-ups will appear as you move over different parts of the document. These let you know who added that part and when the change was made. This tool can also be modified to show only the new changes since the last edit.

When you Manage Sharing you get to decide if those you invite are collaborators or simply viewers. You can also add tags to your document to help you find and organize your work or work that others have shared with you.

What would I like to see?
I think Inspiration is a great tool and that this web version takes a good tool and makes it even better. To make it work for me in a classroom I'd like to see a way to add student users without having to invite them with an e-mail address. An education version that lets a teacher create and manage student usernames and passwords would be great.

I like that you can import/export documents to Inspiration 8, but I couldn't find a way to export the outlines as a text or Word document. I suppose I could always copy and paste. It would also be nice to be able to have a URL to your document for easy sharing with others.

The great thing about Webspiration right now is that it is FREE. I'm not sure how long it will stay this way but I hope to take advantage of it while it lasts.

Go ahead and check it out and if you'd like to share a document with me, just let me know.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Dennis

Good post. I have been playing with the software too.

I would suggest that you drop them a link to your blog (or at least your suggestions) and you also might with to join the INSPIRED community, (if you have not already!)

I have found the Kidspiration/Inspiration people to be not only quite helpful -- but they really REALLY listen to ideas.

Jen

The Mind Machine said...

D

I agree with everything you mention in this posting. We should send Mona an email from both of us about your ideas for educator accounts.

Ken

Diane said...

Dennis!

Good to see you blogging again. Thanks for the great ideas.
GTA was amazing! I'm glad you told me not to procrastinate. I thought of your summer trip as I took the train to Chicago for the Academy.

Diane Zoellmer

Dennis Grice said...

Jen & Ken

Would love to share ideas & suggestions with Mona or anyone else at the company. Feel free to forward this link on to them. In the meantime you've inspired me to join the "Inspired Community". Thanks.

Diane

It's good to be back. Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you enjoyed your train trip to GTA.

-Dennis

Mona said...

Hi Dennis,
Mona here (from Inspiration Software).... I didn't get an email from anyone, but did run across your blog. Thanks so much this is great feedback.. just what we are looking for! As you know Webspiration is currently in Beta, so all the great feedback on a version that would be good for student use is great - Also the information about sharing documents. Our Webspiration team is busy working on adding functionality and we want to add those things that are most important to people. One collaboration function we got a lot of early feedback on was to better support group virtual meetings, by adding Chat. We will be posting a new version of Webspiration on Thursday or Friday that will have that new functionality added.. Please check it out. Again, please keep the ideas coming...we greatly appreciate them! Regards, Mona

Dennis Grice said...

Mona,

Thanks for the reply and for taking the time to look at my suggestions. I'll definately be checking out the updates later this week. The chat function sounds like a great idea. Speaking as a teacher, it would be nice if the owner of the document had the option to turn the chat on & off.
Is there an "official" channel for feedback on the Inspiration web site or the Inspired Community?

-Dennis