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VCL-Enhanced Alice for Education ICA CON 2012 Richard Lucic – Computer Science, Duke University Susan Rodger – Computer Science, Duke University.

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Presentation on theme: "VCL-Enhanced Alice for Education ICA CON 2012 Richard Lucic – Computer Science, Duke University Susan Rodger – Computer Science, Duke University."— Presentation transcript:

1 VCL-Enhanced Alice for Education ICA CON 2012 Richard Lucic – Computer Science, Duke University Susan Rodger – Computer Science, Duke University

2 Discussion The Problem – Demand for CS graduates exceeds supply Our Contribution – Disseminating the Alice Programming Language The Cloud (VCL) – Supports and enhances our efforts

3 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

4 How do we Introduce and Teach Science? Physics – experiments Chemistry – experiments Biology - experiments

5 How do we Introduce Computer Science? Write a calculator Write a banking program Etc…

6 Why Can’t the Introduction of Computer Science be exciting? Programming – it’s always been o Solitary o Problem solving/debugging oriented o Frustrating! What’s missing? o Not Getting Exciting Results Easily, right away o Not appealing to today’s kids in which media and technology are a part of their life!

7 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!

8 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:

9 Alice Programming Languag e Has libraries of 3D objects Keeps Track of objects you select

10 Objects Have Multiple Parts that are moveable

11 Alice Code is Easy to Learn Select Code, Drag-and-Drop code in program

12 Play Alice Animation Chicken rises, cow turns head and talks

13 CompSci 4 – Alice Class at Duke Lecture for minutes Students work on problem with computers in pairs Bring students back together

14 Success - Alice attracts diverse group At Duke o CompSci 4 Spring 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

15 Integrate Alice into high school and middle schools by training teachers (six sites): Durham site focuses on Middle Schools in NC Adventures in Alice Programming Durham, NCCharleston, SCVirginia Beach, VA Denver, COOxford, MSSan Jose, CA Supported by the National Science Foundation Collaborative Grant ESI , , , , and DRL , with additional support from International Business Machines

16 Durham: Adventures in Alice site Summer Alice Intensive Workshops o 3-week Teacher workshop 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

17 How Alice Can be 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

18 Other Teacher Lesson Plans Math o Finding surface area o Rate of Change and Slope Science o Create a food chain o Sun, Earth and Moon system o Tornados o Physics – Newton’s law of gravity o Alternative Energy

19 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 Other Teacher Lesson Plans (con t)

20 Follow-up Teachers use Alice during the school year Follow-up 2-3 day workshop in the following summer o How they’ve used Alice o Successes and issues o Project Demonstrations o Use and feedback on VCL

21 Cloud Computing (VCL) Support for Alice

22 Discussions with Teachers What is VCL? How does VCL Work? What can VCL can do for Alice Instructors? Hands-on Demo Workshop Resources

23 VCL Impact on Education VCL represents a transformation in the business of education -- a transformation in how education is delivered

24 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 Studen ts

25 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)

26 VCL Nuts and Bolts Web Reservation Interface Account Management (Alice Workshop Block) Individual or group reservations Running Alice in the Cloud Saving resources to the Cloud

27 Web site Adventures in Alice Programming


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