Adventures in

Alice Programming

Duke University, Durham, NC

Alice Programming Header Graphic

Workshop Schedule June 22-23, 2011

This is a two day followup workshop on Alice for previous Alice participants to come together to learn about new Alice materials and to talk about how they are using Alice at their schools.

Wednesday, June 22, Day 1

  • Workshop from 10:30am - 4pm with half hour lunch break. (5 hrs)

  • Welcome/Introductions (pdf) (pptx)
    Gave an overview of the work we have been doing at Duke the past three years.

  • Subscribe to the Alice listserv. For teachers only, a great way to ask questions and get answers about what you and your students are doing with Alice. One teacher recommended not getting in digest format, as you may not get attached Alice worlds.

  • Link to Alice page that describes how to build 3D models (not easy) and also to the newest Alice models

  • Presentations/Discussions by students and participants
    • Nate Schuler - He teaches Alice in AP Gov and European History. In both courses, students work with Alice for 9 weeks and have certain requirements that have to be in their Alice world. His students start to learn Alice as he goes through about a 45 minute tutorial with them. He has developed a rubric. He wants to be able to do better "vocal narration".
    • There was some discussion about whether you could make an object that you cannot drive through (for collision detection.
    • Collision Detection. Liz mentioned that there is a Alice function "threshold of object" that checks if you are anywhere near the boundry box of the object.
    • Melissa demoed her worlds: Multiplication table, Matrix multiplication band Permuations.
    • Someone asked if there was an addition game where you would show 3 objects and 4 objects and then show the sum is 7 objects.
    • There was a discussion on randling sampling. Create a world with people who have additional new properties (such as gender). Customize each person and add them all to an array. Randomly call a number and have a person appear (something like 45% of the time female and 55% of the time male).
    • Heidi talked about her course which is an elective course that uses just Alice. She mostly works with at risk kids.
    • Peggy showed her Distributive Property world.
    • Frances mentioned she had trouble installing Alice so she has not done much of it. Next year her school will be a one-to-one school, each kid will get a Mac laptop. She wants ideas on how to use Alice. She wants to do something with Photograph.
    • Susan Demoed the Camera Angles worlds a teacher did from the 2008 workshop. It is on this page.
    • Liz showed her three science worlds including the barchart object she created. She also demoed her Treasure hunt adventure game and the Pinata game. These are all on the tutorials web page.
    • Linda teaches Spanish at high school level. Looking for ways to use Alice.
    • Chitra demoed her ice cream shop world and her toystory world.
  • Ideas
    • On tutorial website, for a particular tutorial, link to tutorials that you need to do as prerequisite.
    • Need to create an Alice general guide or link to one someone else has created. Might include basics with arrays, describing what are the new methods/functions that come with them.
    • Need a tutorial on working with numbers. Mention the "int as a string" that will display a decimal number as an int. Possibly create an invisible object with lots of math functionality that you could drop into any world.
    • Include in the general tutorial how to do accents in foreign languages.
Tuesday, June 23, 2011, Day 2
  • Workshop from 9am - 4pm with one hour lunch break. (6 hrs)
  • 9:00am VCL Discussion - Richard Lucic
    • Link to VCL site
    • What software is available for K-12 students to use? How many students can use the software at the same time.
    • How does one get software installed for use? What is the cost? How does licensing work? For example it would be helpful to have access to the most recent version of Microsoft Office.
    • One person mentioned that it would be helpful if students could take online exams on it. For example a national spanish exam.
  • Kathleen talked about how they use Alice, mostly in clubs during the day. Students can take a club once and a club meets once a week for 4 weeks. She said this coming year, Alice in included in a list of possible presentations that students can pick from to use for projects. She said it would help if she could make a video/screencast of some of the tutorials. We may be able to use Camtasia to make a video of some of the basic getting started tutorials. The Video could be made into chapters (break into shorter parts if it is too long).
  • Tom and Don talked about how they have been using Alice with both High School students and College students and they showed several demos. Some of their Alice worlds are very short about a particular topic. One student project was a "cat"apult and one was a penguin memory game. They use Alice at the high school level in a full course.
  • Joe Mack talked about some of the work he has done teaching programming and science to kids.
  • Fill out Survey form. Hand out Certificates
Misc Items
  • Ideas for worlds to build
    • Angry birds like game that will focus on the sling shot and shooting. Or create a world where you try to shoot a cannon.
  • New objects to make
    • Buildings with rooms inside, doors and windows that can move.
    • Can you make an object (rectangular box) that uses collision resolution so that you can't move through walls?
    • Dice with 6 sides
    • Card object and or deck of 52 cards.