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Default 10-12-2006, 01:48 PM


I am one of the Alice textbook authors. I would like to reply from a more philosophical perspective. I think that first learning to program is one of the harder things students will learn to do, and theat it is very helpful for students to have an associated textbook as a backup to the instructor and to the labs they do in class. It is not that it is impossible to create excellent supplementary materials for your students to use as a replacement for a text -- it is certainly possible to do this; but, it is a time consuming process for the instructor, and you are still stuck with the color photocopying costs for getting your materials to the students.

I took a quick look and found beta copies of our Learning to Program with Alice text available for under $10 at and at (I am sure that other copies are available from other book sellers as well.) The beta version has some errors, and is basically a black and white photocopy of a Word document, but it least it gives students something to fall back on. (As as aside, authors get no commissions from the sales of used books, so I am not making this recommendation in order to receive any money myself.) I think the students will do better if they do have a text when they learn to program -- as well as a great teacher and fun labs and assignments on which to work.

Just my $0.02.

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