African-American students preference for graphical or text-based programming languages depended on career goals Google Computer Science for High School open for face-to-face again

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  • 1. shriramkrishnamurthi  |  January 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    It’s not Logo, but the Turtle package in Racket has two points of interest:

    “The value turtles are a variation on traditional turtles. Rather than having just a single window where each operation changes the state of that window, in the graphics/value-turtles library, the entire turtles window is treated as a value. This means that each of the primitive operations accepts, in addition to the usual arguments, a turtles-window value; instead of returning nothing, each returns a turtles-window value.”

    Operations like split:

    “Spawns a new turtle where the turtle is currently located. In order to distinguish the two turtles, only the new one evaluates expr. For example, if you start with a fresh turtle-window and evaluate:
    (split (turn/radians (/ pi 2)))

    you will have two turtles, pointing at right angles to each other.”

    You can do some especially neat things with the latter.

  • 2. Bob Irving  |  January 14, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Try Small Basic. It’s got that old school functionality, is pretty logical, and has intellisense.

    • 3. Mark Guzdial  |  January 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      I know there are lots of good turtle implementations out there. The ones in modern Logo implementations are interesting and novel. The question I was asking was whether a teacher could use the existing Logo books and curricula as-is with modern Logo implementations. And for the most part, the answer is no. Sure, we could move teachers to SmallBasic, or Racket, or even Python. But Brian Harvey’s great Computer Science Logo Style series of books, or the MIT Press books on using Logo to learn visual design or linguistics or physics — those are not word-for-word accessible anymore for a teacher. Someone would have to map them onto the new languages.

  • 4. Daniel Garcia  |  January 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Take a look at, I think a company in Finland is using it to teach programming to kids

  • 5. gflint  |  January 14, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    The old school 80’s era Logo was intended to be an easy starter, very little knowledge was needed up from to get things working. NetLogo and StarLogo have a high level of early complication. Neither is something I would give to a fifth grader to experiment with. It is kind of like redesigning the basic Lego block because it works to well but is old and no longer flashy. I have abandoned Logo because if I want to do something that complex I might as well use something a bit more mainstream; Small Basic, Python or VB. We can still have fun with something that is similar to a college direction language.

  • 6. fgmart  |  January 16, 2015 at 1:22 am’s activities are essentially Logo, and you can draw repeat 4, right 90 squares in them (e.g., Frozen).

    • 7. Mark Guzdial  |  January 16, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Dan and Fred, you teach teachers. You know that you can’t say to them “Try typing this in. Well, it’s written in Logo, and you’re working with blocks, so you can work out the mapping.” Then if something goes wrong, is it because the program is wrong, or you screwed up the mapping? The turtle-roy page you sent is super close, Dan, but the interface is wrong. I open the editor to define “to square,” and it works in the editor, but when I open the command area, my function “square” is not accessible. The editor seems to have a different scope than the command area. If I were a teacher trying to follow along with the books, that would drive me crazy!

      I’m not looking for the best turtle implementation in the world. Of course, turtles have influenced lots of programming languages, and that’s super great. I’m looking for books and curricula that teachers can use to understand how to apply computing in their classes. There are many of those kinds of books written in Logo. For the most part, they can’t be used today.

      • 8. fgmart  |  January 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm

        Mark – yes. All those great Logo resources can’t be used in most of today’s environments.

        Probably only Scratch (and Snap) are close.

        But both would still require text-to-blocks translation.

  • […] who decided to try to resurrect some of the best of CS Education research software from the past.  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I have found that Logo code from the past doesn’t run as-is on modern Logo implementations. […]


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