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richard
04-12-2007, 08:11 AM
Hi All,

I'm a secondary science/IT teacher in Australia and think you have created a great development environment and community here!

I wanted to use Alice for an introductory programming course but unfortunately couldn't find any suitable resources. So I developed a unit of work to fit my needs, it still needs work but should be a good foundation to improve upon.

In the spirit of freedom I'm giving the unit back to the community under a CC licence. Naturally its designed for my school requirements and possibly not yours. However, the liberal licence should allow you to tailor the unit to meet your needs.

Here it is: http://tinyrock.com/resources/29714/Programming-Module

It is viewable on the site as iPaper or downloadable as PDF and DOC.

There are also a stack more of my teacher resources at http://tinyrock.com/resources

Would love some feedback or collaboration to develop this further. Hope you find it useful.

Cheers,
Richard

tinyrock.com (http://tinyrock.com) - My Site
Termites (http://tinyrock.com/termites) - Free seating plan software

DrJim
04-12-2007, 12:10 PM
A nice link - thanks. :)

How did your students respond to the introduction to Ruby?

lanceA
04-12-2007, 06:31 PM
richard -
GREAT link. If you are interested in how others have formulated their curriculum try http://www.aliceprogramming.net/. You will find other teachers input at that site. There is a wealth of information for developing syllabii, etc.

Good luck and thank you for sharing.

lanceA

richard
04-12-2007, 06:34 PM
A nice link - thanks. :)

How did your students respond to the introduction to Ruby?


Thanks :)

Short anwser: great with significant scaffolding by the teacher.

Long answer:

Since the teachers who will be teaching this unit have no programming experience and little computer expererience I needed a development environment where the teachers could act as facilitators rather than the traditional chalk and talk. Additionally, most of the students are from a low socioeconomic area with limited access to computers or the internet outside school (its tricky because 30% of the students are IT selective!). At the current time Ruby dosn't have suitable resources, the most suitable was Learn to Program, by Chris Pine.

Initially, Ruby was the platform but no matter how I modified my teaching methods the students still found it frustrating. This is definitly not a fault of the language, its fantastic and I use it for most of my own projects now, but its a poor first exposure to programming in my opinion for the same reasons that C is.

That said, the students who make it to the extension lessons just love it, the challenge is high enough to maintain their interest and the syntax clean enough to avoid most of the frustrations inherient in other languages. However, they still need lots of hand holding and scaffolding of activities. Although Ruby has a clean syntax, it makes uses of some concepts that are useful and obvious if you are already an experienced developer but completly confusing if you arn't. Most of my time was spent explaining those gotcahs and fixing syntax errors. Thats why the extension lesson points to Try Ruby (http://tryruby.hobix.com/), the students just follow the instructions.

My senior software development class is using Ruby as their primary langauge at the moment and are beginning to become productive after 10 weeks. Even though the language is so concise they still manage to write incredibly inelegant code!

Cheers,
Richard

richard
04-12-2007, 06:44 PM
richard -
GREAT link. If you are interested in how others have formulated their curriculum try http://www.aliceprogramming.net/. You will find other teachers input at that site. There is a wealth of information for developing syllabii, etc.

Good luck and thank you for sharing.

lanceA

No problem, thanks!

Yeah I considered that textbook before developing the unit. It seemed a bit advanced for what I'm trying to accomplish with the students at our school though.

That said, I'll be running the unit next term with about 6 teachers, and depending on how they respond I'll decide whether to buy a few of reference books for them.

Cheers,
Richard

lanceA
04-12-2007, 07:01 PM
Wow!! You have 6 teachers for computer science? Congratulations.

Obviously there is a GREAT interest in the subject 'down-under'. Good luck.

I teach college-level computer science in a high school environment and we are experiencing sever recruitment issues. The use of ALICE has increased enrollment in the last 2 years by approximately 48%.

Good luck.

lanceA
04-12-2007, 07:08 PM
If you are looking for texts for the very basics in ALICE try these:

ISBN: 978-1-4188-5934-3 - VERY basic

ISBN: 978-1-4188-3625-2 - more advanced

ISBN: 978-1-4188-3771-6 - nice for beginners

ISBN: 978-0-321-47515-2 - I just received this book and can not comment about its content

Good luck,

richard
04-12-2007, 07:34 PM
The teachers are well out of their subject areas and not feeling very comfortable. Thats why Alice is so great!

It's a general IT course for Year 10 (15-16 year olds), the computer science part is just a one term unit of work.

Thanks for those ISBN's, exactly what I needed :)

Cheers,
Richard

Center for Visualization
04-13-2007, 08:52 AM
Please look at the website www.aliceprogramming.org for assistance with lesson plans, etc. There is also The Alice Newsletter that is very helpful. Subscribe by emailing bconover@sju.edu, at the Center's office and for any questions.

Barbara:)

DickBaldwin
04-13-2007, 12:56 PM
Hello Richard,

I don't know if this will interest you and your six teachers or not, but if you are short of textbook material, it might.

I am in the process of publishing a set of free online Alice programming tutorials designed for students who have no programming background at the following URL:

http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm

All but two of the following lessons are complete, and those two lessons will be complete within a week or two.

100 Getting Started
105 Setting the Stage
110 Objects in 3D Space
115 Setting the Stage Manually, Part 1
120 Setting the Stage Manually, Part 2
125 Your First Alice Program
130 The Program Development Cycle
135 Functions that Return Values
140 Data Types and Variables
145 World-Level Methods
150 Class-Level Methods and Inheritance
155 Syntax, Runtime, and Logic Errors
160 Expressions and Operators
165 Sequence, Selection, and Loop Structures
170 Relational and Logical Operators
175 Counter Loops, Nested Loops, and Sentinel Loops
180 Arrays and Lists
185 Event Handling and Interactive Programming

900 Appendix A, Behavior of Primitive Methods
920 Appendix E, Restrictions and Limitations for Alice 2.0

Your teachers may be particularly interested in Appendix A. As far as I know, it is the only document available anywhere on the web that attempts to explain and to illustrate the behavior of all twenty of the primitive Alice methods.

Dick Baldwin

richard
04-13-2007, 09:06 PM
Please look at the website www.aliceprogramming.org for assistance with lesson plans, etc. There is also The Alice Newsletter that is very helpful. Subscribe by emailing bconover@sju.edu, at the Center's office and for any questions.

Barbara:)

Great! Thanks Barbara, I've subscribed to the newsletter.

richard
04-13-2007, 09:10 PM
Hello Richard,

I don't know if this will interest you and your six teachers or not, but if you are short of textbook material, it might.

I am in the process of publishing a set of free online Alice programming tutorials designed for students who have no programming background at the following URL:

http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm

All but two of the following lessons are complete, and those two lessons will be complete within a week or two.

100 Getting Started
105 Setting the Stage
110 Objects in 3D Space
115 Setting the Stage Manually, Part 1
120 Setting the Stage Manually, Part 2
125 Your First Alice Program
130 The Program Development Cycle
135 Functions that Return Values
140 Data Types and Variables
145 World-Level Methods
150 Class-Level Methods and Inheritance
155 Syntax, Runtime, and Logic Errors
160 Expressions and Operators
165 Sequence, Selection, and Loop Structures
170 Relational and Logical Operators
175 Counter Loops, Nested Loops, and Sentinel Loops
180 Arrays and Lists
185 Event Handling and Interactive Programming

900 Appendix A, Behavior of Primitive Methods
920 Appendix E, Restrictions and Limitations for Alice 2.0

Your teachers may be particularly interested in Appendix A. As far as I know, it is the only document available anywhere on the web that attempts to explain and to illustrate the behavior of all twenty of the primitive Alice methods.

Dick Baldwin

Those tutorials are fantastic! Do you mind if I reference them in my unit?

DickBaldwin
04-13-2007, 09:49 PM
Hello Richard,

I will be delighted for you to reference them in your unit. That is exactly why I am writing them - to make them available to students on a worldwide basis at no cost.

Many students in different countries can't afford to purchase textbooks and they have been using my free online tutorials for the past eleven years as their primary source of study material on Java, C#, Python, XML, DSP, etc. This is my small contribution to a better world.

My only request is that you not copy and publish them in a format that someone must pay for, and if you do copy and distribute them for free you give me appropriate credit.

Best of luck on your new course, and if I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

Dick Baldwin

richard
04-14-2007, 04:42 AM
Fantastic, I will modify my unit to include links to your tutorials in the appropriate lessons. And I will also acknologe your ownership of the material and contribution to the unit.

No problem with your requests; the unit is licenced under a creative commons licence which dosn't allow commercial uses and forces derivative works to use the same licence.

Here is a link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Thanks Dick, I'll upload the modified unit as soon as I'm done.

Cheers,
Richard

richard
04-29-2007, 05:38 AM
Hi All,

I've made a few updates to the unit plan. The main one is adding a resources section which includes the links you have supplied.

Here it is: http://tinyrock.com/resources/29714/Programming-Module

It is viewable on the site as iPaper or downloadable as PDF and DOC.

There are also a stack more of my teacher resources at http://tinyrock.com/resources

Thanks for all your help, I'm looking forward to running with it next term. Would love to hear if anyone else is using it and even some feedback.

Cheers,
Richard

richard
02-12-2008, 03:30 PM
Hi All,

I've moved my server over to a new domain name, so those old links may not work anymore.

So the new server address is http://tinyrock.com

And here is the Programming Unit: http://tinyrock.com/resources/29714/Programming-Module

It's viewable on the site as iPaper or downloadable as PDF and DOC.

There are also a stack more of my teacher resources at http://tinyrock.com/resources

I moved because I've finally got my act together and started releasing the software I've created over the last few years of teaching. Hopefully other teachers will find them useful, especially early career teachers.

Termites is the first release. Clever seating plan generator, keeps good relationships together and bad relationships apart. Super easy to use! http://tinyrock.com/termites

Anyway, thanks for the great response and feedback, I hope everyone who was using it with their student's intends to again this year. And I would love to recieve any improvements that you have made. Let's keep sharing!

Cheers,
Richard

http://tinyrock.com

richard
02-17-2008, 04:39 AM
Hi Everyone,

I've added a testimonials page (http://tinyrock.com/testimonials.php) to my new website.

I would really appreciate it if anyone who has used this unit of work (or any of my other resources or software for that matter) would consider writing a testimonial.

It doesn't have to be long, and it's up to you whether you supply your full name. It will insert a link back to your website if you like. It's all wonderfully automated, so it's super quick to write one.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Richard

http://tinyrock.com

Slidetackle
02-25-2008, 08:36 AM
Hello all,

just got into the forum so will be providing feedback shortly. I teach a HS Intro to Programming class at a small private school in Florida and am wanting to have my kids create Alice animations for use by our Elementary School kids. Any input and/or help anyone has would be great.

Thanks

TG

DickBaldwin
02-25-2008, 09:35 AM
Hello all,

just got into the forum so will be providing feedback shortly. I teach a HS Intro to Programming class at a small private school in Florida and am wanting to have my kids create Alice animations for use by our Elementary School kids. Any input and/or help anyone has would be great.

Thanks

TG

In case you are unaware of them, you and your students may find the free online Alice 2.0 tutorials at the following URL useful:

http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm

I may be wrong about this, but while there are numerous textbooks that students can purchase, I believe this is the only freely available comprehensive information on Alice programming.

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm

Vettish
03-07-2008, 02:43 PM
I was in the market for just this sort of material... I'm mentoring a group of 9 students after school twice a week on a shoestring budget. We are also doing some robotics, so having a really useful free resources is a god send.

Thanks!

DickBaldwin
03-07-2008, 10:55 PM
I was in the market for just this sort of material... I'm mentoring a group of 9 students after school twice a week on a shoestring budget. We are also doing some robotics, so having a really useful free resources is a god send.

Thanks!

You are certainly welcome. Hope that it works well for you and your students.

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm

alicefan
08-19-2008, 03:20 PM
Thank you.
Here is a basic tutorial.
http://www.kidslike.info/programming_alice_lesson_1_alien_robot_teaches_kid _robot_trick

RobMikeMom
12-26-2008, 04:14 PM
If you are looking for texts for the very basics in ALICE try these:

ISBN: 978-1-4188-5934-3 - VERY basic

ISBN: 978-1-4188-3625-2 - more advanced

ISBN: 978-1-4188-3771-6 - nice for beginners

ISBN: 978-0-321-47515-2 - I just received this book and can not comment about its content

Good luck,

Can you give us an update on the last book in the list? Where does it fall in the realm of learning Alice? Basic, Advanced, not recommended, etc? (Particularly for young students?)

Thanks,