Are you teaching scratch?
There's something better available for the same price. (free)
Scratch is cool. No doubt about it. In The IDEA Lab, we start 2nd graders with Hopscotch (because we are 1-1 iPads here) for beginning drag-n-drop coding. Hopscotch is free and works on your iPhone and iPad. It's super-cute!
And then our little people go on to Scratch Jr. - also cute, also free, also made by those wonderful folks at MIT. Check out this great Animals Research Project our 2nd graders did with Scratch Jr.!
And then there's Scratch for your more grown-up little people. But, you know what? I'm over Scratch. Alice is just plain better, for oh-so-many reasons:
1. Alice is three-dimensional. I don't know what you are seeing, but I am seeing our kids struggle to design 3D. Maybe that's because so much of what they do is 2D.
2. Alice 2.4 is right for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th graders. Alice 3.x is college-level learning that our 5th graders are killing. Read here.
3. Alice's objects are beautiful. Alice has objects right out of EA Games "The Sims" and "Garfield."
4. Alice's objects are articulated. No more making different costumes to make your objects run across the screen. Running looks real in Alice.
5. Games are more robust in Alice. Yes, our students made some games in Scratch. They were fun. But they are not as much fun as FPS games in Alice. "More fun" means that kids will stick with a project longer.
6. Alice scales up to Java right on your screen. Yah, you can get from Scratch to Python, but Alice has a toggle-switch right there for you to access at any time. Click! Now you're looking at the Java.
7. Alice has applications for your kids to use in other classes. Click here to read about the Spanish project 7th graders did with Alice.
8. Alice is free thanks to the kind people at Carnegie Mellon University.