Alice Carnegie Mellon University offers a FREE programming language along with teaching tools called Alice:

“Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.”

“Alice is a teaching tool designed as a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning introductory programming concepts. The Alice team has developed instructional materials to support students and teachers in using this new approach. Resources include textbooks, lessons, sample syllabuses, test banks, and more. Other authors have generously joined our efforts, creating additional textbooks.”

Scratch There are separate programs geared toward college, high school, and middle school students and can be downloaded for your use today! Another FREE good programming opportunity for younger students can be found via MIT‘s Scratch. With these offerings combined a school district can offer programming opportunities K-12 at minimal cost!!!

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Comments
  1. Neil,

    I love Alice. I heard about it when I listened to Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. He was one of the minds behind this whole project. I even downloaded it and am attempting to teach my kids programming… 🙂

    If you have not heard Randy’s last lecture you should REALLY do that! He talks about the genesis of this idea and a whole lot more!

    http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/

  2. nhokanson says:

    Thanks Jeff! I listened to Randy’s speech last October – My blog post on it: https://nhokanson.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/professor-randy-pausch-“last-public-lecture”-entitled-“really-achieving-your-childhood-dreams”/ – and that is when I first heard of Alice. I just haven’t had time to explore it. One of my colleagues reminded me of it yesterday and we are looking at its possibilities. I’m sure you have been busy yourself with all the responsibilities on your end. A ward mission leader position keeps me busy in my spare time too, but it’s all good! 🙂

  3. I’ve been teaching both Scratch and Alice to grades 4-5 lately. The kids love them both. I’ll be writing a lot about them:

    http://briccetti.blogspot.com/2008/03/teaching-scratch-and-alice.html

  4. For those instructors who wish to learn more, email bconover@sju.edu to receive the free Alice Newsletter for up to date news from the Alice Team. Almost 1200 instructors are now part of the newsletter!

  5. kidslike.info says:

    At Kids like . info, you can find a comparison of Alice and Scratch,
    http://www.kidslike.info/computer_programming_educational_programming_languages
    2. Alice
    POSITIVES
    Alice is a good second step after your child has learned Scratch. You can also start a child (beginning around age 7) on Alice and skip Scratch.
    *. It has most features of a real programming language, including functions
    * The large number of graphics that come with Alice means you can make professional looking “movies” very quickly
    * It is easy to add your own sounds
    * Alice is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
    NEGATIVES
    * There is no widely known webiste where you can share Alice projects
    * There are few beginners tutorials
    * Does not teach text based programming

  6. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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