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A version of the popular software tool that initiates young students to 3-D computer programming is now available in the Arabic language following a translation project involving students from universities across Jordan. Called Alice 3, the project is a free platform from Carnegie Mellon University designed to teach students object-oriented programming.

Carnegie Mellon is an internationally ranked research university with curriculum in areas ranging from technology, science, business, public policy, the arts and the humanities. In excess of 12,000 students in the seven schools under this university’s umbrella are beneficients of small classes and education which creates and implements solutions for real problems, innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Global in scope, the private university has campuses in a few cities and programs in a few countries.

The model used includes engaging students in a fun activity — making animated movies and games. Using Alice, students create programs to animate 3-D objects that populate a virtual world by dragging and dropping graphic tiles that contain standard Java programming statements. Students also learn the relationships between the programming statements and objects’ behavior in the animations they create, by way of running their programs,. This experience equips them to gain experience with constructs normally addressed in introductory programming courses.

Alice is copyrighted by Carnegie Mellon University and is free of charge. It is downloaded over a million times a year. Free downloads are available at http://www.alice.org/index.php.
“Alice has been running successfully in the Middle East for many years, but we were conscious that we could reach more students if the program were in a language with which students were more familiar,” said Jane Richardson, EMEA Director of the Oracle Academy. “We were delighted when Carnegie Mellon University – the creators of Alice – gave us an opportunity to approach universities in the country to enlist the help of student volunteers to drive the translation process.”
Alice is included in the curriculum of many countries.

“Alice is designed to be used by any student who has access to a computer and the Internet,” continued Richardson. “In addition to schools, the program is used by computer clubs who meet at various venues in the community. The feedback we received from countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and UAE led us to seek partners to create an Arabic version.”

Oracle Academy offers professional training to educators in one-day Alice workshops or as part of the Java Fundamentals training, available via the Oracle Academy Introduction to Computer Science Program.
Oracle Academy has created a series of Open Educational Resources for use by educators and students and an online self-study version of the Oracle Academy Alice curriculum is available on the website.

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