Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Teaching object-oriented programming to kids

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Very interesting post:

Alice is one of the coolest programs that teach computer programming to kids. What is Alice? It’s an important tool schools and families can use to turn computer programming into a game-like experience to teach basic object-oriented programming to kids.

One of the coolest memories I have as a kid is when my brother and I would copy BASIC programs from the computer magazines of the day (1980’s) into the old Franklin 64 desktop computer with one floppy drive and a whopping 64k of RAM. I’ll never forget when we finished typing the last line of that first program and then entered the command to RUN – how the screen started flashing characters and the miniature speaker beeped through a pathetic rendition of “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.”  Pure magic.  I was only 9 years old, but at that moment I was hooked on computers for life.

For anyone who has never created an application, it’s hard to describe the feeling of creating something from nothing. Programming is a lot like any other form of art in that way, except instead of the canvas we’ve got the computer screen, and instead of the paint brushes we have the various programming platforms.

Here at MakeUseOf, we believe in the importance of simple learning tools that can teach complex skills, such as computer programming. For example, Guy covered how you can learn to write a program with SmallBasic, and he also covered a cool application called Scratch that can teach kids how to program. Today, I’d like to cover another innovative software application called Alice that can teach kids how to program in object oriented languages.

Alice 3D Programming – What It Is & What It Isn’t

Alice 3D is a programming environment offered by Carnegie Mellon University. It’s provided for free as a public service, through the funding of various programming  and computer giants, such as Electronic Arts, Sun Microsystems, the National Science Foundation and other major organizations.

Alice is not a scripting tutorial where students will learn about the correct syntax used in various programming languages. It isn’t about developing the best structured For Loop. Instead, Alice provides students with a virtual world – a 3D modeling environment where students can learn how putting together various components, which each individually have their own properties, can create a larger, working project. The 3D environment is meant to show students, in a simple way, how the concept of object-oriented programming works…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 November 2009 at 1:55 pm

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