Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At the Alice Conference

This two weeks is very exciting for me!  I love technology and believe we need more of it in the homeschool community.  Sure, there are lots of online classes, but what I am referring to is computer science, not simply using the computer as a tool.

A friend of mine works in technology for the local school district and often sends me links to new tools the district gets access to.  I’m so happy she thinks of me and does that!  About six months ago, she sent me a link to a program called Alice.
Alice was developed by Carnegie Melon as a free tool to teach students 3D programming in a visual platform.  What is exciting about this is that Alice creates an environment where students can move code and see the results quickly and easily.  Much more inviting than the old text-based programming.

So, long story long, I got on an email list to learn more about Alice.  Instructors from around the world post to this list.  It so happens Duke University has a prof that not only teaches Alice to college students, but holds summer conferences for teachers at the middle and high school level.  She encouraged me to apply, and I was picked to go.  Thus, here I am!  So, what did we learn Day 1? 

Here’s the video of the outcome of our first program:

Here’s what the code looks like:

Very exciting!  Yes – you can teach your kids to do this too!

My plan is to bring this information back and teach homeschooled students Alice at our local co-op.  In addition, I’m going to post the lessons I develop to this blog so that all homeschooled parents have the opportunity to include Alice in their homeschool.

Interested?  Stay tuned!  I’ve got nine more days of classes and am excited to see and share the results!


  1. Hahaha! Love the little astronaut. Very cool. I'll have to show Nick. Have fun

  2. Very awesome! I am finally going to learn how to use Alice. So glad you went


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