Oh about 10 years ago I taught as part of an enrichment program in Orange County in NY a course titled Geometry with a Twist. I loved teaching that course but two years later I moved on to educational administration and I didn't have time to be a part of that wonderful program.

I taught geometry using a programming language called Logo. What ever happened to Logo? Why is it that educators haven't embraced Logo? Is it because they are looking for high tech solutions? Is it because Logo is free?

I am amazed and disappointed that Logo hasn't been embraced by educators but I will put this one next to the file folder labeled "Why Don't We Teach the Greek Language"

Evan Panagiotopoulos

Tags: language, logo, programming, software

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There are some new programming options for kids, you might find something here. Gary Stager, a big fan of robotics and programming in the classroom, has written a lot about Logo (it might be 'old' stuff).
Logo is alive and well in many forms, especially in the non-US world. It is the basis for several programming languages for students from K-12, including Scratch, a free online version with a graphical programming interface. MicroWorlds is the best known commercial version now (no, it's not free, but you get a ton of great resources with it.)

There are many parallels between the rise and fall of the popularity of Logo in schools with the current Web 2.0 tools. Seymour Papert, who invented Logo, saw it like this:

"The first microcomputers in schools were in the classrooms of visionary teachers who used them (often with LOGO) in very personal ways to cut across deeply rooted features of School (what Tyack and Cuban neatly call "the grammar of school") such as a bureaucratically imposed linear curriculum, separation of subjects, and depersonalization of work. School responded to this foreign body by an "immune reaction" that blocked these subversive features: The control of computers was shifted from the classrooms of subversive teachers into "computer labs" isolated from the mainstream of learning, a computer curriculum was developed... in short, before the computer could change School, School changed the computer." (from Why School Reform Is Impossible)
I had to learn LOGO as part of my graduate program two years ago. I tried implementing it with math teachers in my building, but they thought it was too difficult for the students to grasp. I would like to hear ideas on how you used this with students.
That's silly and reflects teacher fear. Logo has been successfully used in elementary schools around the world.

Teachers learn how to teach complex things, that's the job. If you had never seen algebra or calculus or German or chemistry and tossed it at someone, they would say, "oh, kids couldn't learn that, it's too hard." But sure enough, lots of teachers learn to teach these "hard" things to kids.

I ALWAYS recommend that if you are teaching teachers, you teach a student group with teachers observing. Teachers in isolation will say lots of crazy things about technology being hard, but when they see 3rd graders programming after a 20 min introduction, they have to admit it's their prejudice, not the kids ability that is the hurdle.

I'm going to refer you back to Gary Stager for links and resources that range from kindergarten to college level.

But for example, here's a school in Kent in the UK that has their elementary age Logo lessons and examples online.
Thanks Sylvia! I haven't tried that strategy yet. That is something I will have to look into doing.
I agree Sylvia. Here are some of the things I've done with K-6 kids that I don't know how to do or don't want to know how to do: QBasic (that ages me), Scratch, Alice, Atmosphir, Lego Mindstorms, Lego NXT Robotics, Photoshop, Wacom drawing pages, The Games Factory, Clik and Play, Axis and Allies, Civ 4, Age of Empires, Audacity, Floorplanner, Fluxtime, Toondoo, Sketchup, Google Docs, online timeline makers, City Creator, Mixbook and bubble.us.

Here are things I've taught young kids that I do know how to do: blogs, wikis, Animoto, Scrapblog, Microsoft Frontpage.

My point--the kids will figure it out.



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