Thursday, October 15, 2009

Computer Programming Resources

An "extra" subject that we have always planned to teach at Maple Hill Academy is Computer Programming. It has benefits similar to a new language, as well as logic and math concepts - as well as being potentially useful as a career. Mike asked recently about what we were going to do for it - and I suggested that we look into "logo".

Logo is a computer language that was developed years ago, in 1967, for educational purposes. It is designed to be easy for children to learn the basic concepts of programming, math, and logic. Although some implementations of Logo involve a turtle robot (from 1969 on), most places use a turtle "cursor" (often just a triangle shape) on the screen that draws a line as it moves. The student learns how to make the turle draw things. Although I have never used Logo myself, I am aware of it, and I do know that it is more powerful than just drawing pictures.

So, Here are some resources I have found. Logo can be learned (with help) from children that are even Kindergarten age.

Free Logo programming environment
(note there are other options out there if you do not like this one.)
(basically lesson plans for you!)

Another Logo resource - including links to download books.

A School's site on using Logo
- has some nice ideas / lessons. Possibly more friendly than the workshop.

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