New Website and Logo Launched!
By Eric Brown

We are very excited to announce and roll out our new website. We have worked very hard to reinvigorate the look and feel of the site and incorporate new ways to share and showcase the hard work and resources of our community. Thank you to all of the community that helped contribute to this process. We appreciate all of your feedback and honesty. We hope that everyone appreciates the thought, work, and spirit that went into it and thank everyone that helped create it.

The first thing you probably noticed is the new logo. The Alice audience has grown to include both young and old. Our first challenge was choosing something that excites all of the different demographics that have come to utilize Alice. We tried many different approaches with many of them starting to lean to different ends of the spectrum. In the end we chose something that we think is true to the roots of Alice in Wonderland while modernizing the look and feel. The logo shows an empowered alice leaping into the rabbit hole while the magic of of coding envelops her. We are very proud of the history of Alice in engaging women in early computer science so it was important to us to maintain the presence of Alice in our logo while at the same time refreshing her representation. We hope you like it and look forward to seeing her around town as we roll out new t-shirts and other items to spread the word.

The website structural changes were just as important, if not more so, than the logo to help us progress in our goal of engaging the community and making our website a more useful tool. The biggest overhauls to the site are in the organization of supporting resources. Our goal is to make it easier to find things that will help both you and your students find the materials you need to support and use Alice. With that in mind we have created sections with the idea of each being:

How to – Content that can answer specific questions about how to do things in Alice. We feel this section can be a direct resource for people looking for answers about how to do things in Alice on demand while learning or building worlds in Alice

Exercises and Projects – There are lots of great projects that have been created to allow users of Alice to apply their skills and learning or guide them through a hands on approach to learning. We hope to populate this with both short skills assessment and practice exercises to larger design challenge type projects to fill all of your needs. These can then be linked back to and incorporated into lessons and how to content to support their usage and inclusion.

Lesson – This section is populated with individual lessons that include all the materials to facilitate them in a structured learning environment. We hope to add more and more lessons both from our resources and from the community to address different learning levels and subject matters.

Textbooks – There have been many great texts created in support of Alice over the years. These can be great resources for your class or in support of your learning. This area also includes free digital ebook resources and free supporting materials that were created in conjunction with texts so there is more than just traditional textbooks in this section.

We have also added a featured projects section on the homepage to allow us to showcase exciting examples of what can be made using Alice. These examples can be used to inspire a class or serve as teaching resources for showcasing the use of different features in the development of projects. We will continue to work to make great examples of different types of projects but we are also anxious to hear from you with submissions that you think would be great to showcase (an added bonus for those willing to share the code and a write up of the different concepts and features used to make it).

As excited as we are about the first wave of changes there are still more sections to come. We will be adding a section for showcasing and sharing custom classes (such as walk cycles) and a section for full curriculums covering a range of differing lengths and focuses. These curriculum will make use of a range of the other materials on the site and include suggestions for how you could build your own curriculum from those materials.

Many of you have offered to share your materials in the past and we are now in a position to start to take you all up on your offers. Keep an eye out for outreach if you are one of those generous souls. We will be continuing to make new content and searching for existing resources to fill the site. If you are in need of specific lessons or how- to materials and can’t find them, please send us a note.

Our goal was not to disrupt or inconvenience any of you. We truly apologize if the changes disrupted your work flow or we have moved resources that you previously linked to. It is never an easy process to make the shift and we knew there would be some bumps in the road. If you have links that you depend on that are now dead please write to us and we will do our best to redirect. We have migrated most of the content from the old site to the new so take a look around the new resource sections and see if they have just moved. If you relied on many of the Alice 3 videos on the site the how-to section is where most of the video resources have been moved. The lessons section is where we are starting to post refreshed version of the labs and lectures content with many of them combined together into more comprehensive scene building and code editor lessons. We have left some content behind because we felt they were outdated and no longer effective resources. We do hope to get updated versions of them back asap. If they were/are still critical to your work please reach out to us and we can make them available to you in the interim until we can better address your need with new content.

We are excited about the changes and hope you are too.