alice in summerland

learning and teaching math in alice

Tutorial still in womb

34 slides down, and a pretty long way to go.

I still need to finish explaining the checkAnswerHelper method and need to create and explain the examples method. This together should be about 10 slides. A little long for students to be engaged in a tutorial, but when printed on a double-sided 4-per-page PDF, that would only be 5.5 pieces of paper. That could be the slogan for my inequalities program: 5.5 times more fun than our competitors’ math worlds. It has a nice ring to it.

Ultrasound of tutorial in womb.

There are really too many slides for me to discriminate and choose which ones are the best to put on here, so I decided to put all of them. The red circles you see are used to draw the user’s attention to a specific object in the code or in visual objects section, and the red words are used to draw attention to certain words I mention that the user needs to click, i.e. “Drag hasClicked from the world’s properties panel into the method, and select set value, then false.”

For some reason, Peggy has been having some serious problems with her worlds–yesterday they wouldn’t save and today they won’t load.The three of us can’t seem to figure out the problem (though I guessed it had to do referring to objects in a list that didn’t yet exist since the More Details referred to a null pointer exception), nor can hundreds of users in the online Alice community who have posted similar questions. Thus, I am being extra cautious with my worlds, saving them every few minutes rather than the automated 15 minutes. I did get the loading problem once for the world I’m building as I make the tutorial, but since I already have the finished world, all I had to do was create a copy of that and delete stuff until I got to where I was in the one I was making. When I got an error saving the world, I know it was because it, for some reason, had a problem with me deleting the right and left sides of the given balance (or cowbell). I resolved this by simply undoing until I found the problem and making the two sides invisible. Adding to the lack of Maps and a specific integer type that I’ve already discovered, I’m beginning to see that Alice is definitely not the smartest programming language in the world. It seems that all I can do is hope that the save world and load world problems won’t happen during the teacher workshops…

At our Wednesday lunch a grad student gave a talk called  “Multipath Packet Routing in Datacenters.” I know what that means now a little more than I did before the talk, but still not my cup of tea–I like the algorithm stuff at least 5.5 times more.

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