About three dozen educators from high schools, colleges and universities around the country and abroad attended a two-day workshop to learn how to use the beta version of Alice 3.
The innovative programming environment teaches students to program with Alice and Java software as they have fun creating 3D animations, stories and video games.
Alice 3 incorporates characters, anatomical motions and other art assets from the Sims™ — one of the best selling PC video games of all time. The Sims™ assets, which were donated to the university by Electronic Arts, Inc., transform the more rudimentary characters and animations of Alice 2.0 into sophisticated content that every game player can recognize.
Alice is an object-oriented, open source system developed over the last decade and provided free to educators and students by Carnegie Mellon University. It features a drag-and-drop interface that allows students to create 3D environments and populate them with a wide variety of easy-to-program objects and characters.
About 15 percent of the nation's colleges and universities use Alice to teach computer programming. Experts believe its revolutionary approach could reinvigorate computer science education in the United States, from the middle school level through college.
The educators will use the beta version of Alice 3 from January through May. They'll report software problems to Alice team members to help them prepare the system for public release.
The program got underway with an "Introduction to Alice" on Jan. 5. Other key sessions included "Teaching with Alice 3.0" and "Instructional Support." For more on Alice, see http://www.alice.org.