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Pros: Picture-to-text and voice recording engage and inspire emerging writers.
Cons: Kids and teachers may get carried away with excitement about their creations.
Bottom Line: A tool teachers and kids can use in every subject area.
Kidspiration Maps is incredibly versatile. Developing writers can use the text-to-image outlines to organize ideas using images and then see them transformed into written words. Emerging writers can use Kidspiration Maps for pre-writing activities to organize main ideas and supporting details. All kids can create engaging presentations, easily adding images and audio recordings. Teachers can use the dozens of preloaded activities for social studies, science, reading, writing, and math -- either printing them or having kids work directly on their iPads. The SuperGrouper is an amazing activity for early reading and math sorting activities. If you purchase more than 20 copies through the Apple volume discount for educators program, each copy is $4.99.
Kidspiration Maps is a mind-mapping tool designed specifically for elementary-age kids by the creators of Inspiration Maps. The colorful, image-filled organizer helps kids learn to organize and classify information to improve writing and reading. Kids can create graphic organizers like story maps, Venn diagrams, and webs. Outlines can be converted to graphic organizers and vice versa. Kids can share creations by emailing, printing, or saving to iTunes, Dropbox, Photos, or the app (as .pdf or .png files).The Lite version, which is free, lets kids create up to five mind maps with no sharing options, but includes frequent requests to upgrade.
Kidspiration Maps isn't a stand-alone app for learning, but paired with good instruction, it can enhance kids' understanding and engage them in deeper thoughts and stronger writing. The interface is easy to use and visually appealing. There's a lot to impress in Kidspiration Maps -- 1,400 images, the option to add audio clips to the graphic organizers, dozens of really cool activity templates that can be used across the curriculum -- but the image-to-text conversion is particularly exciting. Kids can create a graphic organizer using images and then change it into an outline with words. SuperGrouper is another impressive, versatile tool that teaches kids to sort, group, and classify objects and ideas. Teachers and students both will be excited to use Kidspiration Maps, and the visual organization will help kids learn and remember.