Inspiration Software

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A screenshot of the inspiration software

Inspiration Software, Inc. is an education technology software company based in Portland, Oregon, which provides several visual thinking and learning products for the K–12 education and business markets including Inspiration, Inspiration Maps, InspireData, Kidspiration, Webspiration Classroom service and WebspirationPRO.

Early history[edit]

Founded in 1982 by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company developed its first product for the CP/M operating system to help systems analysts build products to meet business needs. Next, Inspiration Software created a line of products for the Tandy Model 100, the original notebook computer, which was used primarily by outside sales staff, writers and editors.

Product history[edit]


In 1987, the company's focus turned to brainstorming, thinking and organizing tools. The first version of Inspiration was released for the Apple Macintosh in 1988. Subsequent releases included a Windows version, major upgrades and a native Japanese version on both platforms. By the early 1990s, Inspiration made its way into the classroom as teachers started using it to help their students plan, organize and write.

1996 brought a new focus on developing visual learning software to meet the needs of educators and students. Inspiration 5.0 Education Edition was released in 1997. In early 2010, the company unveiled Inspiration 9, the 'ultimate thinking and learning tool to help students grade 6 to adult to comprehend, create, communicate and achieve more.'


In July 2006, Inspiration Software's flagship products were joined by InspireData, the visual way to explore and understand data. Students in grades 4–12 use InspireData to build data literacy skills in science, mathematics and social studies.[citation needed] In September 2007, InspireData 1.5 was released with new and enhanced features to increase data literacy, including more than 100 content-rich databases, the e-Survey tool and database templates to jump-start data collection.


To extend the power of visual learning to younger students, Kidspiration was launched in January 2001. Early 2008 marked the debut of the most recent version of Kidspiration, which uses the same principles of visual learning to help K–5 learners strengthen reading and writing skills, build conceptual understanding in math, and develop thinking skills across the curriculum.

Webspiration Classroom service[edit]

In the fall of 2008, Inspiration Software developed its first cloud computing program, Webspiration, in free public beta as it prepared for the launch of Webspiration Classroom. In the fall of 2010, the company launched Webspiration Classroom, a paid subscription service for classrooms and individuals. This cloud computing program is the first Inspiration Software program to offer collaborative file sharing, commenting and chatting capabilities.


In the spring of 2011, Inspiration Software launched its first cloud computing program for business. This online tool, which was based on Webspiration Public Beta and Webspiration Classroom, is a paid subscription service for college students, business professionals and individuals.

Inspiration Maps[edit]

In the spring of 2012, Inspiration Software introduced Inspiration Maps for iPad. Inspiration Maps brings Inspiration's visual thinking and learning tools to the iPad, in a completely new app designed exclusively for the iPad.

See also[edit]


  • Portland Business Journal
  • Combining Software Games with Education
  • 2002 INC 500
  • MacWorld article (2003) on Inspiration 7 [10]
  • Mel Levine, All Kinds of Minds [11]
  • Golden Triangle PC Club review of Inspiration 7 [12]
  • University of Wisconsin List of Uses for Inspiration [13]
  • SuperKids Software Review of Inspiration [14]
  • Learning Village review of Inspiration [15]
  • Innovation Tools review of Inspiration [16]
  • LD Resources on Inspiration [17]
  • From Now On, education technology journal review of Inspiration [18]
  • ISTE book about using Inspiration in writing [19]
  • School District web sites about using Inspiration:
    • FSDB (Florida School for the Deaf and Blind) [20]
    • East Buchanan (Winthrop, IA) [21]
  • Computer-based study strategies using Inspiration [22]
  • University of Calgary professor's essay on using Inspiration [23]
  • Education Oasis review of Inspiration [24]
  • MacWorld review of Inspiration 6 [25]

External links[edit]