Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Did I say 'Alice' was free

Did I say 'Alice' was free.

 "This product includes software developed by Carnegie Mellon University"

What was I thinking? It can't be any good then can it? [tongue in cheek] If we don't have to pay money for it then it can't be industry standard [important to have industry standard for middle school students :+( ] and it will be far too hard to teach the kids. [cheek surface is considerably distorted]. [need saucer of milk]

Had to make a deal with myself about the report writing. I solemnly pledged that if I didn't write my reports now I would write them later. Besides, it is not healthy to write reports between the hours of 3:30am and 7:00am.

Once I had downloaded Alice I unziped it to a folder on my C: drive and then ran the program alice.exe. That will make things really simple for installing it on the computers at school should we do that.

I have done the first Alice tutorial and survived. I learned how to sequence tasks for an object and the basics of the Alice interface.

I have also stuffed around a bit and exported a movie to html. It worked in my free browser after I had downloaded a couple of Java bits (nicely prompted to do this)

Next tutorial uses a scenario of a bunny that gets rudely awoken by the ringing of a mobile phone. In this tutorial I created a new method for the bunny object called 'bunny squashes phone'. I made a mistake in following one of the tutorial instructions and I got the message “Alice thinks that you didn't follow the instructions”. It then told me what to do about it. Noyice. I edited a method in this tutorial as well.

The next tutorial involves making use of user input and the last one involves creating scenes. Too tired to do this now.

I have gone back to theAlice website and noticed that there are lots of objects that can be got and used. Some have multiple parts and and predefined methods. Lots of off the shelf scenarios here.

There is a text book.

Learning to Program with Alice Beta Version, 1/e

Wanda Dann
Stephen Cooper
Randy Pausch

ISBN: 0131424203
Format: Paperback ; 352 pp
Published: 26/07/2004
Retail Price: $69.95 (inc. GST)

There is a new final edition being published next month.

OK so there is some dollars involved here. I'll need to check it out for suitability for middle school students.


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