I’ve selected the Alice program as my preferred alternative to Scratch. I tried to replicate the Scratch project of drawing regular polygons. In Alice, I managed to get the penguin to move in a square but have been unable to find a “pen” to draw the polygon in the snow.
The three dimensional aspect of Alice is good, together with the more authentic types of movement available, but the block style of Scratch is still my preferred program.
Instead of using text, I found Alice uses for example, objects such as furniture, rocks, space ships and medieval pieces to create 3D animations and games.
Instead of typing commands, the programmer drags and drops into the graphical user interface. Previously students had to spend hours of trying to understand syntax errors (Java) in pursuit of working sequence generated programs which had led many students to conclude that computer science in uninteresting.
Students in Years 5-6 could use Alice to meet the needs of the Australian Curriculum where students are expected to “follow, modify and describe simple algorithms involving sequence of steps, decisions, and repetitions that are represented diagrammatically and in plain English. Design and implement digital solutions using visual programs with user input, branching and iteration” (ACARA, 2013 p.71).
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). Draft Australian curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved 15 May, 2013, from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf