VCLEnhanced Alice for Education ICA CON 2012 Richard Lucic Computer Science, Duke University Susan Rodger Computer Science, Duke University Discussion The Problem Demand for CS graduates exceeds supply Our Contribution Disseminating the Alice
Programming Language The Cloud (VCL) Supports and enhances our efforts Motivation CS BS majors decline since 2001 o 50% drop in enrollment Many other studies show the low number
of interest in CS by females and underrepresented minorities o 11.8% female o 5.3% hispanic o 3.6% african american How do we Introduce and Teach Science? Physics experiments
Chemistry experiments Biology - experiments How do we Introduce Computer Science? Write a calculator Write a banking program Etc
Introduction of Computer Science be exciting? Programming its always been o Solitary o Problem solving/debugging oriented o Frustrating! Whats missing? o Not Getting Exciting Results Easily, right away
o Not appealing to todays kids in which media and technology are a part of their life! Bring on Alice Virtual Worlds! Alice is o Hands-on! o Interactive! o Exciting Results right away!
Alice has the potential to excite kids about computer science in the same way that experiments excite kids about chemistry, physics and biology! Alice Programming Language Create interactive stories or games Learn programming in an easy way, drag-and-drop your code Learn computer science concepts:
o Loops, classes, methods, functions, arrays Developed at Carnegie Mellon University o Professor Randy Pausch Alice is free: www.alice.org Alice Programming Language Has libraries of 3D objects
Keeps Track of objects you select Objects Have Multiple Parts that are moveable Alice Code is Easy to Learn Select Code, Drag-and-Drop code in program Play Alice Animation Chicken rises, cow turns head and talks
CompSci 4 Alice Class at Duke Lecture for 1020 minutes Students work on problem with computers in pairs Bring students back together
Success - Alice attracts diverse group At Duke o CompSci 4 Spring 2005 30 enroll (12 female + 3 African Amer.) o CompSci 4 Fall 2006 2 sections 64 students, 33 female, 7 African Amer. o CompSci 4 Fall 2008 2 sections 100 students - > 50% female o Advertised in school paper
picture of ice skater Web site of animations Adventures in Alice Programming Integrate Alice into high school and middle schools by training teachers (six sites): Durham, NC Charleston, SC
Virginia Beach, VA Denver, CO Oxford, MS San Jose, CA Durham site focuses on Middle Schools in NC
www.cs.duke.edu/csed/alice/aliceInSchools Supported by the National Science Foundation Collaborative Grant ESI-0624642, 0624654, 0624528, 0623808, 0624479 and DRL0826661, with additional support from International Business Machines Durham: Adventures in Alice site Summer Alice Intensive Workshops o 3-week Teacher workshop 35-40 teachers, mostly middle school, some high school Only a few have every programmed before
Subjects: english, math, science, history, art, technology Teach Alice, Develop Lesson Plans o One-week middle school camps Taught Alice Time to build their own Alice worlds o Overlap between the two Used in Middle Schools Teachers o Examples in lecture
o Make interactive quizzes o Make worlds on concepts for students to view Students o Projects (in place of a poster, a model) o To take quizzes o To view and answer questions about a world
Other Teacher Lesson Plans Math o Finding surface area o Rate of Change and Slope Science o o
o o o Create a food chain Sun, Earth and Moon system Tornados Physics Newtons law of gravity Alternative Energy Other Teacher Lesson
Plans (cont) History/Social Studies o The continents view world and answer questions o Animated overview of Japan o Animated overview of Egypt English o Write and animate a poem o Animate a poem or scene from a story
o Write a movie trailer Follow-up Teachers use Alice during the school year Follow-up 2-3 day workshop in the following summer o o o o
How theyve used Alice Successes and issues Project Demonstrations Use and feedback on VCL Cloud Computing (VCL) Support for Alice Discussions with Teachers
What is VCL? How does VCL Work? What can VCL can do for Alice Instructors? Hands-on Demo Workshop Resources VCL Impact on Education VCL represents a transformation in the business of education -- a
transformation in how education is delivered Virtual Computing Lab Motivation o Shared Compute Resources (Always On) o Custom Compute Environments (Can be Saved and Recalled at a Later Date) o "Distributed" Education
o Increased Utilization of Hardware, While Meeting the Needs of Teachers and Students Value for Alice Instructors Update one (the VCL), run many (student machines) Shared Libraries Ubiquitous Access
Shared Resources, Help Files, etc. CIPA Compliant (per Durham Public School District Standards) VCL Nuts and Bolts
Web Reservation Interface http://vcl.ncsu.edu Account Management (Alice Workshop Block) Individual or group reservations Running Alice in the Cloud Saving resources to the Cloud Web site Adventures in Alice Programming
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