Upgrade of InspireData Expands Tools for Using Visual Learning to Build Data Literacy Skills

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Enhancements include more dynamic ways to gather, plot, interpret and analyze data.

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For students to be successful in 21st century society, they must develop data literacy as part of their overall information literacy skills

Inspiration Software® today released InspireData™ 1.5, the first upgrade to the software for dynamically exploring and understanding data. With InspireData, students in grades 4-12 use visual learning to build critical data literacy skills by actively exploring and analyzing data using Venn diagrams and bar, stack, pie and axis plots to interpret information and draw conclusions.

New capabilities in InspireData include an e-Survey function for easy online data collection, more plot and expanded table options, more than 100 content-rich databases, and expanded teacher tools and resources. Current InspireData users can upgrade their software free of charge by visiting http://www.inspiration.com/idupgrade.

Originally funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, InspireData was developed by TERC and is published by Inspiration Software. TERC is a leading educational research and development lab committed to improving mathematics and science teaching and learning. Inspiration Software is the leader in visual thinking and learning software products and is committed to helping students learn how to learn.

"For students to be successful in 21st century society, they must develop data literacy as part of their overall information literacy skills," said Mona Westhaver, president and co-founder, Inspiration Software. "With the expanded tools for plotting data, content-rich databases and added teacher resources and tools in InspireData 1.5, it becomes an even more powerful tool for engaging students in dynamically exploring data and building critical data literacy skills."

To quickly get started exploring and analyzing data, teachers and students can use InspireData's new collection of more than 100 subject-specific databases, as well as the new database templates that provide a pre-structured way to collect and enter their own data. Or they can use InspireData's new e-Survey tool to collect original data anytime, anywhere. With the tool, they simply create and publish an online survey to gather data and then instantly download the results into InspireData to begin analysis.

In addition to using multiple plots to recognize the patterns, trends and implications of data and animated Time Series to see how data changes over time, students can now display Line of Best Fit to axis plots to show trends and predict values.

At Slidell High School in Louisiana, Glenda Schmidt, a high school chemistry teacher, and her students used InspireData to evaluate data from measuring the temperature and relative humidity in their school's classrooms. She was amazed at the ways the data literacy software tool engaged her students in learning and made the data come to life.

"InspireData is fascinating to watch. It keeps up with how students think," she said. "In today's world, with all the electronics kids use every day, you have to have something that moves fast, and this is it. You don't have to be bogged down to plot something and see a relationship. For them to see and watch the graph form before their eyes is extremely powerful."

Schmidt said as she has used InspireData, she has become more aware of "how flexible, powerful and interactive the software actually is. Because it yields changes in visible results so quickly, it facilitates more questions and much more critical thinking."

To help teachers like Schmidt use InspireData to engage their students in learning and help them build critical thinking skills, Inspiration Software has expanded the collection of standards-based lesson plans that accompany the software. InspireData's new Quick Reference Cards give teachers easy-to-follow instructions for quickly learning how to use InspireData. Additional Web resources provide even more lesson plans that will help their students build data literacy skills across the curriculum.

In addition, new database templates for classroom analysis allow teachers to use InspireData to make data-driven instructional decisions by doing things like tracking student performance over time and identifying classroom trends.

Educators interested in previewing InspireData 1.5 can download free, fully functional 30-day trial copies from the Inspiration Software Web site at http://www.inspiration.com/freetrial.

Free upgrades are available to download for customers who currently own InspireData. An upgrade kit containing hard copies of the CD, documentation and Quick Reference Cards is available for purchase for $19. Single copies of InspireData 1.5 are $79. Special pricing is available for volume purchases and volume updates.

More information about purchasing InspireData 1.5 is available at http://www.inspiration.com/order/index.cfm or by calling 800-877-4292 to talk to an Inspiration Software product specialist or to find a local education software dealer

About Inspiration Software, Inc.
Recognized as the leader in visual thinking and learning, Inspiration Software, Inc.'s award-winning software tools, Inspiration®, Kidspiration® and InspireData, are based on proven visual learning methodologies that help students think, learn and achieve. With the powerful combination of visual learning and technology, students in grades K-12 learn to clarify thoughts, organize and analyze information, integrate new knowledge and think critically. Founded 25 years ago by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company's visual learning software tools are used today by more than 25 million students and teachers worldwide.

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LISA WOLFE
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