Mamado Inside

21 March 2007

Teach Programming concepts with Alice 3D

Filed under: development, education, freeware, kids — mhussein @ 6:16 pm

One of my favourite blogs, downloadsquad just posted about a 3D animation program that can teach kids programming.

It’s like welcoming LOGO to the 21st century. Alice is a Java based 3D toolkit which serves as an excellent foundation for teaching youngsters the basics of programming. The Alice 3D Authoring system is developed and maintained by the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University

Through a simple drag-and-drop interface you can build all sorts of animation by attaching object methods to events, giving clear visual feedback in the form of the animations you build, but also stealthily teaching simple modern programming techniques. Even the only slightly nerdy kids you know will fall in love with animating characters while learning valuable lessons along the way.

Takes you back to writing simple programs in BASIC but, with a whole new modern twist. Alice is a hefty download, at 115MB, and you’ll need Java installed as well. Still, it’s free, educational and just the perfect thing for a rainy spring day. Take the jump to see some shots of Alice’s user interface.

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15 March 2007

Top 5 Things That Should Be Taught In Every School

Filed under: education, productivity — mhussein @ 3:06 pm

It is strange that here in Egypt we regard the American education system as way more modern than the Egyptian one, though you can find on the web articles about the American system describing it as:

the American education system is in sore need of an upgrade. The world is changing at such a rapid pace and it’s my strong opinion that there should be more classes dedicated to helping students prepare and cope with the real world once they graduate.

If you look at this generation of students, you’ll find that most are “shell shocked” once they graduate because they had little or no preparation for what was to come.

High school mostly teaches you to memorize information and to regurgitate it back to your teacher, only to completely erase the information from your mind the moment you walk out after taking the test.

When you go on to college, you do a bit of the same things, but you also learn to think analytically, critically, and to broaden your mind so to speak, but even people who graduate from college will learn lessons from the real world the hard way as well. The sad part is all of this could’ve been prevented with some proper education beforehand.

If someone has told me this omitting the word “American” in the first sentence, I will -at once- think that he is talking about the Egyptian system, but it seems that this problem is universal, a quick google results in this, this, this , this, … Of course Egypt has its mention as well.

WikiPedia has a nice article on Education Reforms

The author of the article mentions Top 5 things that should be taught in every school.

#1. Personal Finance
#2. Communicating Effectively
#3. Social Skills
#4. Sales
#5: Time Management

I do think that if you didn’t learn those in school (who has :-)) you should start to do so NOW.

In 43folders (where I found this link), you can find great responses in the comments.

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