New Year 2014 (Second Half)


It’s a new year! I want to start by saying how thankful I am to have such hard working students. I was looking at the 937 pictures that were archived on my camera and remembering many good times from the last few years. Again, I have wonderfully motivated students and I have enjoyed the good time with you.

If I could pass on a piece of advice as I am gearing up for the second half of the school year, I would give you the quote:

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Good luck to all as we continue on the road to LGPE (Festival).

Worked Example- How to use Audacity

Link to video about how to start using Audacity. Includes class assignment.

Digital Story- Movie Plot

Here is a digital story about a possible movie plot. I attempted to use an informal tone and a pleasant speaking voice to adhere to the personalization principle. I learned quite a bit about file extensions, transitions, downloads and tracks. I attempted five different softwares before finally being successful with this one.

513- Personalization Principle

Click for VoiceThread.

513- Coherence Analysis

  1. What is the Coherence Principle and its most important constraints/criteria?

When lessons are focused and do not contain extraneous information, they are adhering to the Coherence Principle. Icebreakers or “mental breaks” distract from the topic at hand and cause the lesson to be less efficient. You should not have extra sounds, graphics, videos but should use the fewest number of words and simplest graphics to teach lessons to adhere to the Coherence Principle. Moreno and Mayer state that learning happens when the learner “selecting relevant words for verbal processing and selecting relevant images for visual processing, organizing words into a coherent verbal model and organizing images into a coherent visual model, integrating corresponding components of the verbal and visual models” (2000). The learner cannot be confused by extra information.

  1. 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. Have you ever seen this principle violated or abused? Identify the violations, including citations as needed from your textbook.

Unsuccessful attempt: Our Instructional Lead Teacher included a clip from Saturday Night Live about “More Cowbell” to summarize a Professional Development segment. Everyone was amused, but I cannot remember what the lesson what about. This violated the Coherence Principle because it was extra video that was not essential to the lesson.
Successful Attempt: A “Technology Day hosted by Dell where the moderator talked for 5-10 minutes with minimal slides showing technology implemented in the classroom, then allowed the audience (seated at round tables) to discuss or play with presented idea or technology.

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

So far we have learned to use words and graphics (Multimedia). We have learned how to use words and graphics in relation to placement (Contiguity). We have learned how to combine them specifically as audio (Modality) and audio versus text (Redundancy). This is the next step usually after learning a new thing it to use it too much. This warning of the Coherence Principle reminds us of moderation.

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

Clark and Mayer cite several studies and their results to backup three main ideas: omit extra audio, omit extra graphics and omit extra words. The main idea of omitting extra words can further be broken down to omit extra words added for interest, omit extra words added to expand on key ideas and omit extra words added for technical depth (pages 156, 160 and 168-172). The result was the same for all three; reduce to the essential minimum. Adding extra does not mean higher performance or retention.

  1. What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion. Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

I was surprised to find that added words for technical depth did not raise test scores. I liked the idea of reducing words at first because I have been prisoner to too many long Power Point Presentations. When I began to apply it to my own teaching, I started to dislike the idea. I thought I was helping my students by adding interesting details, but I was really distracting them with, as Harp and Mayer say “seductive details” (Clark & Mayer 169). The only warning I would have is if a student has an IEP or is ESEP, you may have to repeat or simplify key terms as outlined in their documentation.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction, 3rd edition. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.

Harp, S.F., & Mayer, R.E. (1998). How seductive details do their damage: A theory of cognitive interest in science and learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 414-434.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A learner-centered approach to multimedia explanations: Deriving instructional design principles from cognitive theory. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning, 2(2), 2004-07. Retrieved July 12, 2012 from

597- Chorus New Members Podcast

I chose to post this under Media Utilization because it uses media (audio channel) to teach the audience about a topic, in this case how to join Chorus.

597- Reflections of readings for week 2


While reading the O’Donnell, the idea that kept resonating with me was that my middle school students do not know how to write. Let me also say- it’s not that they won’t, it’s that they can’t because they aren’t thinking that way yet. They can write the answer to the question if it is a low-level question and regurgitating the information. However, if there is a call for any analysis or synthesis, then they cannot complete the task. Students can give their opinion, if they have one, about a topic that they care about. But their opinion is usually not rooted in fact or data nor can they persuade the reader.
I think many students, at many levels,  have lost the ability to write for their intended audience. Because there are so many things to read, quality reading material is difficult to find. Therefore, the examples they emulate are of poor quality.
Students need to be taught how to be concise. They need to be taught how to be good listeners, in this case, good readers of other writers’ work. Students also need to learn to defend their writing.
Unfortunately, this article focused on students in higher levels of learning. I would be interested to see their suggestions for middle grade implementation.

In the Lamshed et. Al. Article, I was again struck my the notion of journals. The idea that student spend 5-10 minutes a day writing in their journal! If I only practiced my talent 5-10 minutes a day, I wouldn’t have learned anything! I can see the value of writing a note, like a bookmark, about what occurred that day. But how is that time to improve the writing technique?
I did however like the idea of a group discussion. I wish there was a way to limit each student’s responses, let’s say two comments, until all the members of the discussion had posted before allowing them to post again. However, you can call them lurkers, some students don’t feel comfortable in this age of school bullies posting their ideas for everyone to see.

Lamshed, R., Berry, M. & Armstrong, L. (2002). Blogs: Personal e-learning spaces. Australia: Binary Blue. Retrieved from
O’Donnell, M. (2006). Blogging as pedagogic practice: Artefact and ecology. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 17(1), 15-19. File