Logo never fails to please me and quite often at least some of my students. It doesn't grab everyone completely, but at first almsot all
students enjoy themselves drawing shapes in bright colours, making exciting
patterns, and using numbers to make things larger, smaller,
Logo affords a combination of structure and playful, exploratory thinking which in turn can produce good holding power. It is a constructionist approach that treats programming more as a process of experimental building, in a similar way to any craft. But it can be demanding of one's time to learn to any effect.
For a longer discussion about the
pedagogy of Logo see here.
FMSLogo(developer: David Costanza) is
a continuation of the original MSWLogo (creator George
Mills) which in turn is built on UCBLogo.
In its look and
feel UCBLogo is rather retro, harking back to the days of
command line interfaces and simpler displays. But it is a great Logo, a classic
implementation and it helps you feel closer to the machine!
FMSLogo aims to include aspects of the Windows GUI. It is superb for graphics, but the Windows GUI does make some list processing and input/output features a little more awkward to use.
Both are free for educational use but always read the licence terms.
often mistakenly thought to stand for Microsoft Windows
Logo. It really stands stands for Multiple Sclerosis Windows Logo!
MSWLogo ran from a banner reminding Logo users of this.
Coincidentally, Multiple sclerosis
research and careis a medical cause that I too
MSWLogo page remains a good
visit. Lots of resources.
Why use FMSLogo? (i) It's free for
educational use, so everyone can have a copy. (ii) It's
a 'real' programming language - you can do serious stuff
with it - yet five year olds can make a
start while 55 year olds can keep on busting their brains
over it! How's that for progression and continuity? (iii)
It's part of a great tradition of 'progressive',
learner-centred education (Turtle Graphics is not just a set
of programming constructs, it also carries an implied pedagogy
based on a general model of intellectual and
January 2011: I have added Mike Sharples'
Boxes, Phrasebooks and Adventure
programs to this site.
The programs are optimal for UCBLogo but not
FMSLogo because FMS uses modal windows to catch user input.
(Adaptation is possible but I haven't got around to it yet).