Category Archives: 1.2 Message Design

Message design involves planning for the manipulation of the physical form of the message.

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.

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.