Alice is Free to All
Alice is a free gift to you from Carnegie Mellon University. The Alice Project is dedicated to making Alice a widely accessible tool around the world for growing the diversity and access to early computer science education. Thanks to our donors we continue to be able to fulfill this mission with both our software and supporting materials.
Not sure which version of Alice is right for you? Learn more
Alice 3 is the newest installment of the Alice programming language. It has all of the features that have made Alice an exciting and creative first programming experience with an added emphasis on object-oriented concepts. Alice 3 has a new rich gallery of models that includes everything you need to spark your creativity including a full Sims ™ character builder. It can serve as a great early learning tool as well as extending to assist in a full transition to the Java programming language.
Netbeans is modular development environment that is primarily for developing Java applications. The Alice team has created a library that allows you to develop Alice worlds directly in the netbean environment. Save your world in Alice and bring it into NetBeans and make the jump to real Java coding with the same joy of creating a rich 3D world. Lessons have been created to take advantage of a more mediated transfer approach to support this transition.
Alice 2 has a proven record as a great tool for learning logical and computational thinking skills and fundamental principles of programming. Alice 2 remains a great first experience with the Alice environment and an option for a first step into the Alice world. There is world class curricular support that has been created over more than a decade of usage. The rich gallery supports the import of user created models as well as Garfield characters thanks to a generous partnership with Paws Inc.
Which Alice Should I Use
We are working hard to bring the same level of ease of use and curricular support to Alice 3 with the hope that it can stand alone and function as tool that can be introduced early and revisited throughout the early computer science learning trajectory all the way till transitioning into text based coding in Java. We do get this question a lot and the answers are mixed when we asked teachers. For many it is primarily a question of comfortability and access to the appropriate supporting materials for their usage. For some Alice 2 is simpler and more accessible at younger ages or for the earliest intro courses and projects, however there are teachers using Alice 3 with students as early as 6th grade (and sometimes even earlier) so this is not a hard and fast rule based on feedback. Some teachers are using both Alice 2 and Alice 3 that have elected to transfer the students from one to another depending on the teaching goals and skills of the students. Please feel free to review the resources or even better reach out to our teacher community through our list-serve to find the right support and solution for your application.