LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK 
Author Message
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK

Having read Ken Kahn's previous thoughts about Bill Gates and Logo, I was
moved to make these comments:

I'm a teacher who uses Logotron WinLogo in school and MSWLogo at home. I'm
also gradually encouraging a few interested pupils with home PC's to take
copies of MSWLogo home, together with sets of notes which I've prepared.
Like you, I've long thought that Logo needs to be promoted more overtly and
with some Pzazz. What I've found is that in dealing with my pupils in and
out of school, it is easy to motivate them initially - but then I hit a
sort of block. Once they realise that Logo is all about thinking and (more
precisely) thinking ABOUT thinking, then the majority start to lose
interest. Maybe it's a cultural thing? I don't know.

Turtle graphics fascinate them and there is always a strong reaction when
anyone produces something exciting, either by intention or accident - but I
find that I really have to fight to get them to attack ideas or problems
for themlseves once they are beyond the basic sorts of pattern or command.

All this leads me to feel that Logo needs to be promoted and developed much
more openly. I often feel as if Logo in UK schools exists as some sort of
underground movement . . . with plenty of people working on it, but with no
really coherent or consistent 'push'. It is referred to in our National
Curriculum for Maths - but only in the most basic and unimaginative ways.

I've often wondered privately if it might be feasible to encourage any of
the computer magazines to run a short series of articles about Logo and to
provide copies of MSWLogo on their cover disks.

So much (almost everything????) in education depends upon encouraging
pupils to learn to think, and to both enjoy it and see its as a worthwhile
activity. My view is that Logo offers something here that is much more
crucial than a way to draw pretty patterns - even though such outcomes may
well act as one form of reward for engaging in the processes of thought.

---------------------------------------------------------------





Sun, 01 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK
<snip>

Quote:
>I've often wondered privately if it might be feasible to encourage
any of
>the computer magazines to run a short series of articles about Logo
and to
>provide copies of MSWLogo on their cover disks.  <snip>

For instance the January 25, 1999 issue of Forbes has an article on

under the page-heading Technology/software horizon.

Promotes many different kinds of learning materials including the
NASA-sponsored Web site that teaches kids aeronautical engineering and
lets them use a virtual wind tunnel.
Mr. Garber recommends that everyone surf to www.brainplay.com for an
on-line retailer specializing in children's technology.

Maybe I missed it but I don't think there is anything in all of this
about ToonTalk or Logo.   Dale

---------------------------------------------------------------





Sun, 01 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK
I think you hit the nail on the head with some of your comments.

I think many kids expect 3D Doom like games after sitting in front of
the computer for a few hours of programming. And when they realize it's
a lot of work (i.e. they have to think hard) they want to move on to
something else that they don't have to think so hard. Often that something
else is a system that might do more thinking for them (more abstract). This
is not necessarily a bad thing some like working at higher levels of
abstraction than others.

Part of the problem is that they are exposed to "High Tech" on a daily basis.
For some students the work/reward is enough in Logo and they can see the building
block potential. Others cannot see it or are not patient enough to pursue it
(depends a lot on the teacher too).

Quote:

> Having read Ken Kahn's previous thoughts about Bill Gates and Logo, I was
> moved to make these comments:

> I'm a teacher who uses Logotron WinLogo in school and MSWLogo at home. I'm
> also gradually encouraging a few interested pupils with home PC's to take
> copies of MSWLogo home, together with sets of notes which I've prepared.
> Like you, I've long thought that Logo needs to be promoted more overtly and
> with some Pzazz. What I've found is that in dealing with my pupils in and
> out of school, it is easy to motivate them initially - but then I hit a
> sort of block. Once they realise that Logo is all about thinking and (more
> precisely) thinking ABOUT thinking, then the majority start to lose
> interest. Maybe it's a cultural thing? I don't know.

> Turtle graphics fascinate them and there is always a strong reaction when
> anyone produces something exciting, either by intention or accident - but I
> find that I really have to fight to get them to attack ideas or problems
> for themlseves once they are beyond the basic sorts of pattern or command.

> All this leads me to feel that Logo needs to be promoted and developed much
> more openly. I often feel as if Logo in UK schools exists as some sort of
> underground movement . . . with plenty of people working on it, but with no
> really coherent or consistent 'push'. It is referred to in our National
> Curriculum for Maths - but only in the most basic and unimaginative ways.

> I've often wondered privately if it might be feasible to encourage any of
> the computer magazines to run a short series of articles about Logo and to
> provide copies of MSWLogo on their cover disks.

> So much (almost everything????) in education depends upon encouraging
> pupils to learn to think, and to both enjoy it and see its as a worthwhile
> activity. My view is that Logo offers something here that is much more
> crucial than a way to draw pretty patterns - even though such outcomes may
> well act as one form of reward for engaging in the processes of thought.

> ---------------------------------------------------------------




--
===============================================================
George Mills

http://www.softronix.com
The www page contains some very powerful educational software.
Our single most important investment is our kids.
---------------------------------------------------------------





Sun, 01 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK

Quote:

>Turtle graphics fascinate them and there is always a strong reaction when
>anyone produces something exciting, either by intention or accident - but I
>find that I really have to fight to get them to attack ideas or problems
>for themlseves once they are beyond the basic sorts of pattern or command.

I wonder if people's associations with computers are getting in the way.
It used to be that anything you did with a computer involved formal thinking,
and that's what people expected, and Logo fit in as an excellent example.
But since the Mac came along, computers are now more and more viewed as
a tool for not-thinking.

If that's the case, maybe we shouldn't try to have Logo included in
people's lists of educational software (as Dale suggested in response
to the above message), but rather, we should try to situate Logo among
non-computer mathematical activities.

So, for example, suppose you get your students interested in solving
puzzles, such as my favorite:

        Five husband-and-wife couples are at a party.  One of the people,
        a mathematician, notices that there is a lot of hand-shaking going
        on, but that nobody shakes his or her spouse's hand, and of course
        nobody shakes his or her own hand.  The mathematician asks all the
        other people "With how many people have you shaken hands?"  Each
        person gives a different answer.  With how many people did the
        mathematician's spouse shake hands?

and once they're accustomed to (and enjoying) that, you start giving
them Logo puzzles, such as "draw this picture using at most N instructions."



Sun, 01 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK
  Some touchy-feely thoughts on the subject:
  Papert has extended early thought about mental effort. Shared activities
with elders need to be interesting and kind of warm and fuzzy. They also
need to be sort of an intellectual tease. Talking with students just barely
out of their grasp while they work in a medium that enables them to bridge
the gap of understanding can keep kids going for a long time into hard
mental work. I know when I'm either losing interest in just being with the
kid sharing something interesting *or* letting my own intellectual horses
run loose, because the child loses interest when either happens. Then it's
time to shift to a different activity.
   This is the "noetic" side of teaching that teachers often have a hard
time with. Running curriculum at a brisk clip day in and day out is a lot
easier if we don't have to down shift and fully "be" with the kids. On days
when I'm emotionally drained, in the middle of remodeling my kitchen, have
papers to correct, not finding the time to exercise or eat the best foods
to feel well, staying up until midnight, I'm better off not trying to do
something developmental, like Logo. When I'm attending to all those things
and not getting "caught up in the melodrama", then I can energize long
sessions of intense mental work with kids.
   Jim

Quote:
>I think you hit the nail on the head with some of your comments.

>I think many kids expect 3D Doom like games after sitting in front of
>the computer for a few hours of programming. And when they realize it's
>a lot of work (i.e. they have to think hard) they want to move on to
>something else that they don't have to think so hard. Often that something
>else is a system that might do more thinking for them (more abstract). This
>is not necessarily a bad thing some like working at higher levels of
>abstraction than others.

>Part of the problem is that they are exposed to "High Tech" on a daily basis.
>For some students the work/reward is enough in Logo and they can see the
>building
>block potential. Others cannot see it or are not patient enough to pursue it
>(depends a lot on the teacher too).


>> Having read Ken Kahn's previous thoughts about Bill Gates and Logo, I was
>> moved to make these comments:

>> I'm a teacher who uses Logotron WinLogo in school and MSWLogo at home. I'm
>> also gradually encouraging a few interested pupils with home PC's to take
>> copies of MSWLogo home, together with sets of notes which I've prepared.
>> Like you, I've long thought that Logo needs to be promoted more overtly and
>> with some Pzazz. What I've found is that in dealing with my pupils in and
>> out of school, it is easy to motivate them initially - but then I hit a
>> sort of block. Once they realise that Logo is all about thinking and (more
>> precisely) thinking ABOUT thinking, then the majority start to lose
>> interest. Maybe it's a cultural thing? I don't know.

>> Turtle graphics fascinate them and there is always a strong reaction when
>> anyone produces something exciting, either by intention or accident - but I
>> find that I really have to fight to get them to attack ideas or problems
>> for themlseves once they are beyond the basic sorts of pattern or command.

>> All this leads me to feel that Logo needs to be promoted and developed much
>> more openly. I often feel as if Logo in UK schools exists as some sort of
>> underground movement . . . with plenty of people working on it, but with no
>> really coherent or consistent 'push'. It is referred to in our National
>> Curriculum for Maths - but only in the most basic and unimaginative ways.

>> I've often wondered privately if it might be feasible to encourage any of
>> the computer magazines to run a short series of articles about Logo and to
>> provide copies of MSWLogo on their cover disks.

>> So much (almost everything????) in education depends upon encouraging
>> pupils to learn to think, and to both enjoy it and see its as a worthwhile
>> activity. My view is that Logo offers something here that is much more
>> crucial than a way to draw pretty patterns - even though such outcomes may
>> well act as one form of reward for engaging in the processes of thought.

>> ---------------------------------------------------------------



>--
>===============================================================
>George Mills

>http://www.softronix.com
>The www page contains some very powerful educational software.
>Our single most important investment is our kids.
>---------------------------------------------------------------




Jim Baker
Understanding begins with finding first principles.

---------------------------------------------------------------





Mon, 02 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK
Dale and others ==>

I am not aware of another active public relations professional on this list
so maybe I am talking to myself. However, allow me to pass along some recent
experience.

In attempt to promote THE GREAT LOGO ADVENTURE, I sent news releases to
notable business, consumer, and educational magazines. I followed this up
with phone calls to editorial people I knew. To make the long story short, I
was given one of two generalized responses:

1)  From those who knew anything about Logo, "I have no interest in
constructivism. We'll look at your book and get back to you if we decide to
do anything on Logo."

2)  "What is Logo?  We have so many other subjects that are more important,
why should we pay any attention to it?"

In short...on a scale of 1 - 100, media interest in Logo ranges somewhere
between zero and maybe three...to be generous.

Regards...Jim Muller

Quote:
-----Original Message-----


Date: Wednesday, January 13, 1999 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK


><snip>
>>I've often wondered privately if it might be feasible to encourage
>any of
>>the computer magazines to run a short series of articles about Logo
>and to
>>provide copies of MSWLogo on their cover disks.  <snip>

>For instance the January 25, 1999 issue of Forbes has an article on

>under the page-heading Technology/software horizon.

>Promotes many different kinds of learning materials including the
>NASA-sponsored Web site that teaches kids aeronautical engineering and
>lets them use a virtual wind tunnel.
>Mr. Garber recommends that everyone surf to www.brainplay.com for an
>on-line retailer specializing in children's technology.

>Maybe I missed it but I don't think there is anything in all of this
>about ToonTalk or Logo.   Dale

>---------------------------------------------------------------




---------------------------------------------------------------





Mon, 02 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Logo, Bill Gates and teaching pupils to THINK
In a message dated 1/13/99 5:19:58 PM Mountain Standard Time,

<< On days
 when I'm emotionally drained, in the middle of remodeling my kitchen, have
 papers to correct, not finding the time to exercise or eat the best foods
 to feel well, staying up until midnight, I'm better off not trying to do
 something developmental, like Logo. When I'm attending to all those things
 and not getting "caught up in the melodrama", then I can energize long
 sessions of intense mental work with kids. >>

Wow, did you say a mouthful.  Yes, amen, hallelujah.  And I think I'll put
this cake wrapper in the trash and get to bed now.  :)

Lori
---------------------------------------------------------------





Mon, 02 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 7 post ] 

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