To Mary Howard, my students use mindmap to learn words and to develop their talents. They send a photo with text from their iPhone to the mindmap. They translate words with the iPhone. They also use dropbox to sync between mindmap and iPhone.
I have just added http://www.mywebspiration.com to my August Newsletter of free internet tools for teachers. It is not as slick as Inspiration, but with almost non-existent school budgets, this would be a semi-decent substitute.
It was an eye-opener for me the first time I used it, I kept trying to arrange my ideas into neat little squares (like on presentations) and it made me THINK. It's one big canvas with no up or down, it's zooms, it's simple. My students loove it!
Mary, I teach high school, and I use "semantic network" concept mapping to develop students' academic vocabulary and to detect misconceptions and create understandings about the meanings of concepts and how they are interrelated. Semantic Networks are a specific type of map which have both 1) concepts (nodes) and 2) in between the nodes, links which contain verbs and verb phrases to characterize the relationships among the concepts.
Software that does this kind of mapping includes Semantica (the gold standard), Inspiration (Expensive, but very common), and Cmap Tools (useful and free!). I find that I can intervene early when students have a misconception which might otherwise go undetected until later. I'm going to try to upload a .pdf of a concept map I created on Cmap Tools, which is designed to explain my take on what concept maps are all about.