Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 3: Interactive Tech Lesson: Seymour Papert & Logo

I really enjoyed this Interactive Tech Lesson on Papert & Logo. I remember using Logo as a child in the Charleston, South Carolina school system. I was fascinated with both LOGO and the BASIC programming language. Had I known then what I know now, I would have stuck with computer programming and steered clear of the Entertainment Industry, but that is a discussion for another time (LOL). I liked how Papert used Constructionism to develop LOGO as a means of help students to learn and solve problems on their own.
While researching this topic, I found out some interesting things about Papert. He apparently was one of the founding fathers of artificial intelligence as well as being labeled one of the greatest mathematical minds of our time. I remember that after my exposure to LOGO, my Math and English grades improved greatly. It helped me understand the concepts of Geometry on a more personal level and increased my interest in technology and computers at the time (Santa brought me a Commodore 64 for Christmas that year).
It is good to see that LOGO still remains in the educational consciousness of today, although it has evolved into something better, SCRATCH from MIT. SCRATCH is something that educators could only dream of when I was a student. SCRATCH allows students to create interactive stories, games and programs as well as allowing them to share their creations with other like minded students. Here are some cool videos I found on LOGO & SCRATCH:


  1. Love Logo. I learned Logo during my teacher credential program in the mid-90s at Cal State Fullerton on Apple IIs. Fun, but already way behind the times. It was a great prep for my educational experiences to follow.

  2. Thanks for posting this info about SCRATCH. I first hear of this project two summers ago at the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival where game creators and educators brought this to my attention. I wrote it down and recently went back over my notes but that is all I really knew about this project until you come along. This makes for an interesting series of questions for any up and blossoming geek or even just a simple teacher like myself (I'm a geek too). The idea of learning programming for what I do seems a bit far fetched, however, it feels like the best ways to produce unique and creative web and graphic design is to learn a small amount of programming. One class or a few tutorials surely can't hurt. The pay off for customized web design alone makes learning programming a worthy venture. However, with the number of unique new applications like Scratch or or any number of website, blog, or learner networked applications are eliminating the need for a novice programmer to even need to learn programming. The question here is not the skill involved in programming, the statement here is educational content delivery systems are more applicable and easily applied in the template models. Personally, I could see using the templates models over the more complex adobe systems. I know that saying in a crowd may be inviting uncomfortable looks and head nods, but teachers and students at the novice level are going to be more connected to engaging applications if they are easy to use. Scratch is a nice combo of ideas. The remixed projects offer an unlimited realm of possibilities for creative expression. Educators’ need more software applications like Scratch especially because it is every teacher’s favorite two things; free and engaging.