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Kidspiration is a wonderful tool to use in the classroom.  I could use my Kidspiration activity in my future classroom every day if I wanted to.  I would basically have to change the pictures so that the students could learn the different letters of the alphabet.  Since kindergarten is the time to learn the alphabet, this Kidspiration activity would be a great way to help the students not only learn the alphabet, but also be able to know what pictures start with what letters.  This is a great activity to teach in the classroom to help the students learn language arts skills, such as reading and writing.  I could print out a handout for each of my students to use during their class, or I could have them work in groups on the computer.  By giving the students handouts, they not only learn the alphabet, but they can also work on their writing skills.  However, by letting them actually do this activity on the computer would teach them better skills using technology. 

I would use Kidspiration because it is another creative way to teach.  It allows the students to learn while also having fun.  Using kidspiration is a way to keep students interested in what the are doing.  I think that students could do this activity individually if I gave it out as a worksheet.  However, if they were working on computers they could work in groups.  Or, if I had enough computers in my classroom they could work independently.  Other activities I could develop in Kidspiration would include, having my students create an "All About Me" page.  This could help the students with their spelling and also enable them to get to know their classmates better.  I could also set up an activity in Kidspiration to help students learn about capital letters and ending punctuation of a sentence, because in kindergarten you learn that sentences have ending punctuation and that the first word should be capitalized. 

Some benifits of using concept mapping are that it is an interesting way to learn for the students.  It also gives the teacher another way to teach, rather than using the chalkboard.  Another benefit could be that it helps students to remember what they have learned since they can create and see what they are actually doing.  Some barriers to using concept mapping would be that not everybody has access to computers, or that there are not enough computers in the classroom.  Also, some students might not like using computers or not know how to use computers. 

I think that using technology for concept mapping gives you many more options than just using paper and a pencil.  It also enables you to change things to the way you want them to be very easily.  Where as with a pencil and paper, you would have to keep starting over,  Using technology also gives you access to ideas and pictures that you can use.  Using technology also allows you to save what you have done so that you could use it over again the next year if you wanted. 

 I think that if the teacher prints out copies of this activity for the students to complete in class, than this activity is at a level 1 LoTi level.  However, if the students complete this activity on the computer it could be at a level 2 LoTi level.  However, if the students are allowed to use the computers on their own and basically do an activity like "All About Me," than it can reach a higher level, like LoTi 3.  I could use Inspiration at this university for a class that has lots of information and notes.  I could use Inspiration to organize and to highlight the most important aspects of my notes.  I think that using Inspiration at this university would also help enable me to remember what I had studied, since I am a visual learner.

If you can not access Kidspiration, click here to view.