Category Archives: Standard 1: Design

Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning by applying principles of instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies, and learner characteristics.

Mole Mash — aka Spartan Mash


As I reflect on the apps I create throughout this course, I am thinking of them both as an app developer for this course as well as a teacher.  I plan on teaching a little unit of app development in my Intro to Programming course so part of my thinking will be discussing that component.

The Mole Mash app asks the user to click on the mole.  When the user does so, a counter is added so he can see their score.  I learned how to create a counter by initializing both the misses and hits counter and then adding one when the object was hit or missed respectively.  I also learned how to do a countdown timer (by subtracting one).  At the end of the timer another screen (the game screen) was opened.  I couldn’t really figure out how to time it right.  It seems to go too quickly from the gunshot to the next screen.  I really wanted to end the game after the user had 10 misses, but that block of code did not work.  I tried an if/then/else loop stating if the misses counter = 10, then close screen else add one to the counter (if the spartan was missed only).   But, nothing seemed to happen.  Nothing closed and the spartan continued to move.

I wanted to add a more personal component on this app so I adapted it for our Homecoming game.  I changed the image sprite to a spartan and the background to a football field.  The idea behind it was that when you clicked the spartan you actually “tackled” him and the tiger roared.  I sent this on to our staff and for those who have Android devices, they were able to view it and enjoy it.  I have been researching ways to be able to take my App Inventor source code and adapt it for a Mac device (our school is very Mac oriented) but I could not find a way to do it.  There has to be some way as I see the same apps available for both platforms often.

I am starting to have many people in school ask me for apps!  I still have a lot to learn before I can conquer their requests, but I look forward to doing so.






Paint Pot — App Creation 2


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The basics:

In this app, we added on components from the first Hello Purr app.  Things we did in this app:

  • added buttons that changed the paint color of the canvas when clicked
  • added a canvas to draw lines and draw on top of existing images
  • implemented a camera object to allow the user to take a picture and use that image as the canvas background
  • used a wipe method to clear the screen of annotations
  • used a big dot and small dot button to change the size of the pixels

Add ons:

I added a couple of new components to this app.  They are:

  • added an introductory page with an image and a button
  • utilized multiple screens.  When the intro button was clicked, the canvas screen was activated.
  • added multiple color buttons

Things I tried, but did not work….

I tried to add a color palette for the user to choose from.  I couldn’t figure out how to save the color and then go back to the canvas page to use it to draw.  I tried to animate the text on the front page, but that did not work.



Hello Purr — App Creation 1


In this first app, I created a label for the app entitling it Pet the Kitty as instructed. We were asked the change the properties of this label (background and font color). We inserted a button and a cat image to serve as the button’s image. I stretched the label and image to center both items on the canvas. It distorts the image a bit which I don’t like, but overall it looks ok. I don’t like everything left justified. The goal was to have the cat meow and purr (phone vibrates) as if to emulate a cat being petted. We added a meow mp3 file and embedded that action within a block that asked the user to click on the cat. Once the cat was clicked, the cat meowed and the phone vibrated. There was also a block created that made the cat meow if the phone was shaken.

Things added…

As mentioned above, the label, image, button and text boxes were stretched to fit the canvas to appear centered. The second addition I made was to create a text to speech effect. When the button was pushed, the instructions from the text box were communication to the user in speech. I started to add more, but I realized it was better to take one step at a time. This is going to be fun!

The evolution of my app creation

I tend to be one to like to play around with a new tool.  I also tend to play around for hours on end.  Given I have a full time job, I did not allow myself to do that this time.  I am very excited to learn more and more about app development.  In this first exercise I learned about uploading and creating images, buttons, text to speech and labels.  I learned about designer view and blocks view.  It seems similar to software like Alice where the user becomes familiar about the concepts of coding, but has to do very little coding itself.  I am excited to apply this to use in my math classroom as well as in my Intro to Programming class!

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Multimedia Screencast Tutorial

I am a math and technology teacher so this is something I do everyday in my classroom.  This tutorial is a video for my animation class. If students need extra explanation or they are absent, they can refer to the video to gain further instruction.  The intention was to limit the amount of visual and audio interaction with the student.  I tried to limit the text used and explained the images with narration.

Shape Tween – Broadband from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.

Digital Storytelling

In this assignment, we were asked to create a digital story.  The purpose was to explore different tools for digital storytelling.  I will certainly use digital storytelling in my classroom as it allows students to express themselves in a creative manner.  It gives students an opportunity for a different type of assessment.

I am in the process of recreating my school website.  Part of my website is an About Me page that describes me and my teaching experience.  To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to create a digital story about my journey into teaching to put on my website.  I wanted to keep it simple so I highlighted my education and work experience.  I plan to make another later on about my philosophy of teaching.  I felt two and a half minutes was enough information for my first one.

The video is below:

My Journey Into Teaching from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.

Coherence Principle

 What is the Coherence Principle? What are its most important constraints/criteria?

The Coherence Principle states that information included in a lesson that is not necessary to meeting the lesson objectives will lessen the overall learning. The important criteria of the Coherence Principle as stated by Clark & Mayer (2008) are:

  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous audio – There is evidence, according to Clark & Mayer, that background music or unneeded sound effects detract from the overall learning.
  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous graphics – Graphics that are not implicit to the lesson will distract the student from the important in the lesson. It is imperative to use simple graphics with limited text.
  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous words – As with the above two criteria, simpler is better. The key is to keep the student on task to learn the important information as completely as possible.

Describe and/or include one example of successful and one example of unsuccessful attempts to apply the Coherence Principle in actual instruction and training you have experienced, especially as it might be implemented in PowerPoint-based instruction and training.

When a tool first becomes popular, users tend to use all of the bells and whistles until they realize that it is not effective. The most recent example I can think of unsuccessful attempts to apply the principle is actually by me. I created a Prezi to teach our faculty the guidelines we needed to know for our TCAP (standardized test) training. We all have done the training so many times I wanted to try and keep their attention. I added sound effects and motion. It completely detracted from the content. They remembered the sound effects and motion, but they did not remember the important details. Successful attempts? Since then I have tried to keep my Powerpoint presentations very simple with very minimal text and certainly no effects. High school students are very easily distracted and they don’t need any further reasons to not pay attention!

Have you ever seen this principle violated or abused?

I think this principle is abused so often. People (both adults and students) tend to include an extraordinary amount of text on their presentations. It is very difficult to listen to the presenter and read all of the text simultaneously. I find I just stop paying attention altogether as my senses are overloaded. This concept has made me realize that I need to offer a Powerpoint workshop for both students and teachers.

Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to other Multimedia Learning Principles examined thus far in your readings.

Throughout our course, we have discussed principles that have supported the cognitive theory of multimedia. The cognitive theory states that all multimedia used (graphics, sound and text) must support the way that individuals learn. We have discussed the concept that we have two different sensory learning channels. The multimedia used must not overwhelm either channel (auditory or visual) as that will inhibit learning.

Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to fundamental theories of psychology as described by Clark & Mayer in your textbook.

As it applies to extraneous audio, Clark & Mayer (2008) state that adding extraneous audio will not make an otherwise boring lesson interesting. They also state that “Students will learn more deeply from multimedia presentations that do not contain extraneous sounds and music than from multimedia presentations that do.”.

Avoiding extraneous graphics and text is important as it can distract the student from the content they are meant to learn. As the cognitive theory of multimedia states it is important to minimize the overload of sensory learning channels.

What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion.

In all honesty, I am on the fence with regards to how I feel about the Coherence Principle and its effectiveness.

As a student myself, I find that I like directed, simple and well thought out instruction. The bells and whistles are uninteresting to me. However, I find that students of this generation that have so much interaction with highly stimulating games, tv, etc. that they struggle to pay attention if it is not that way. They are so used to do five things at once, that I feel they actually lose attention if they are asked to do one. I certainly need to do some more in class research to come up with a more informed opinion.

Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

I think the main limitation to the principle is that the environment of the student has changed. My learning experience as an adult is much different than that of a student of this generation. How do we adapt for the changing environment?


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA

Hill, A., Arford, T., Lubitow, A., &  Smollin, L. (2012). I’m ambivalent about it: The dilemmas of PowerPoint. Teaching Sociology, 40 (3), 242-256. 

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R.E. (2000).  A Coherence Effect in Multimedia Learning: The Case for Minimizing Irrelevant Sounds in the Design of Multimedia Instructional Messages.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, No. 1,117-125.


Using Multimedia in the Classroom

Using multimedia in the classroom can enhance instruction exponentially if used in an effective way.  The video below describes some benefits of using multimedia in the classroom.  I apologize for some of the stumbling within the video…this was my fourth attempt, so I had to kind of stick with it.

Acceptability Use Policy

Preparing students for the 21st century workplace involves teaching and exposing students to various types of technology they will encounter.  Students should feel comfortable being able to email, share documents, present information electronically, research online, etc.  School districts are providing more and more technological resources in the form of computer labs, laptops, mobile devices, and so on.

Opening up the world wide web for students can open up a can of worms so to speak.  How can we ensure that students are using the technology responsibly?  One measure is to have a very clear and concise Acceptable Use Policy.

The National Education Association suggests that an effective AUP contain the following six key elements:

  • a preamble,
  • a definition section,
  • a policy statement,
  • an acceptable uses section,
  • an unacceptable uses section, and
  • a violations/sanctions section.

Students need to be aware that when using technology in a school, it needs to be specifically for school use only.  Districts have the ability to track all computers history which helps alleviate some of the desire to roam throughout the internet.  The key is to ensuring students use the internet properly is that they are TAUGHT specifically what it means to be a responsible user.  Students need to be expected to uphold that behavior and if they don’t there are consistent and clear consequences.

At the beginning of every year, my school teaches a responsible computing portion of our freshman seminar course.  This provides a means to present our guidelines to all students.  Examples of poor behavior are given and the consequences that follow.  Students are expected to treat others online as they would in person.

Some examples of AUP’s:

  1. SVVSD Laptop Policy
  2. Colorado State AUP
  3. Brush School District AUP
  4. Colorado AUP general guidelines



Getting Started on the Internet: Developing an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).  Retrieved from


Vision Statement

Can you imagine a world without smart phones or computers?  Technology has increasingly become a more important part of our lives.  Because of this, preparing students for the workplace has changed dramatically.  We are immersed in a world where wikis, podcasts, blogs and moodles have become commonplace as a means to communicate. Integration of technology into the curriculum has become imperative to better prepare students for this new 21st century workplace.

Edutopia defines effective technology integration as “seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.”

How can technology integration help students?

Outside of school, students are presented and process information differently than in the past.  Television and the internet have created a very multimedia rich world. Everything is much more dynamic and engaging.

Technology in the classroom can provide a much more engaging learning environment as well.  Students are able to visualize concepts much more clearly with video and applets.  They can take the basic knowledge that they learn and apply it to real world applications in a much easier way. Students are able to use virtual field trips and like activities to transport themselves to other parts of the world to gain a better understanding of the plight of others.

It also can aid students in providing multiple resources for learning.  Computer based quizzes and clicker activities can provide instantaneous feedback allowing them to become more interactive and take ownership of their learning.

How can technology integration help teachers?

As mentioned above, our role as teachers has changed.  It is still imperative that we teach students the basic skills needed to be successful in the world.  However, it is also important that students leave high school feeling confident and comfortable with the different technologies and terminology they will encounter in the workplace.

According to the ICT (Roblyer, p 21) teachers are required to provide three sets of technological skills for students:

  1. Technology literacy:  Students need to be able to adapt to new technology.
  2. Knowledge deepening:  Students can take their prior knowledge to a new level utilizing technology.
  3. Knowledge creation:  Students can create concepts being innovative using technology.

Technology adds so much to a teacher’s repertoire.  It brings a lesson to life.  In the past, we might have taught about the work of Shakespeare having students read and analyze his work.  Today, we can have students create a video depicting the plot of a particular play.  This is just one example that can assess a much higher level of understanding.  In Geometry, students can use an interactive white board to manipulate a polygon to actually see that the measurement of the angles stay the same.  Seeing it to be true is so much more valuable than just believing it is true because it was read in a  textbook.

The future?

The sky is the limit when it comes to utilizing technology.  We are teaching in an exciting time.  Learning has become so much more comprehensive and dynamic.  It is changing the culture of education for the better.


Doering, Aaron H., & Roblyer, M.D. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson

Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from

Tech Trends Assignment

Games have been around for certainly as long as I can remember.  Even the term “game” itself tends to describe a positive and fun experience.  Years ago, I would not have described myself as a “gamer” (still am not really).  Back then (15 years ago), I thought gaming was a waste of time and brain power.  I had one experience years ago that changed my thinking.

As a new teacher, I was asked by students to be a “computer group” sponsor.  So, as with any new teacher wanting to get involved, I agreed.  When I went to the first meeting that day, I encountered not a “computer” group but a “gaming” group.  I don’t even remember what game they were playing, but I have never seen a group of kids (most of whom were not great students) so ENGAGED!!  I could barely get their attention.  My first thought was to turn off the game right away, but I decided to jump in and see what they were doing.  I hate violence in games, but the strategy needed was incredible!  It required a lot of analytical and algorithmic thinking to be successful.  At that point, I remember thinking I need to work with this and use it in my classroom.  Have I?  Well, not exactly.  Time has gone by and I haven’t done much with the concept of integrating game based learning into the classroom.  My hope is that will change.

Alice is a 3D programming environment that helps students visualize the ideas of Object Oriented Programming — objects, functions, methods, etc.  I just started using it in my Intro to Programming class last year as an intro to Java and the kids love it.

The lesson I have created below is not for my programming class, but for my Algebra class.  For my Programming final last year, students were asked to create an interactive quiz in Alice (on any subject).  I created one to quiz my students on systems of equations.  I used it last year and now my students always want to be quizzed in that method.  If I had the time, I would absolutely mix in more games.  It tests the same material but in a much more engaging and interactive way.

Here is a demo of the quiz:

Standards Implementation:
1.1 Analyzing instruction to deliver better methods for presenting material.
3.1 Using resources (Horizon Report) to improve learning.