Function Newbie question/Use of Transcript and Turtle Graphics in education

erik hansen erikhans08 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 10 21:44:01 EST 2002


--- Jim Hurley <jhurley at infostations.com> wrote:
> Actually, TG in Revolution is pretty much a
> finished product. The 
> biggest problem I was having was drawing speed.
> The real breakthrough 
> came when Scott Rossi suggested using the
> pencil tool rather than the 
> line tool. Remarkably, the pencil is nearly 6
> times as fast as the 
> line tool. I have no idea why.
> 
> I have a demo stack which I could post to 
> RunRev's Educator's web 
> page as soon as it becomes operational.  I
> assume that is where this 
> material should go. In this demo stack there
> are examples of:
> 
> Planetary motion,
> Voyager's slingshot motion around Jupiter,
> Kepler's laws,
> Physics of the rainbow,
> Predator-prey theory and the incest taboo in
> biology,
> Illustration of a few geometrical theorems,
> and, just for fun,
> Some examples of recursive construction of
> fractals..
> 
> Again, the intention is not to dazzle students
> with these programs, 
> but to illustrate to teachers the potential for
> Transcript and TG to 
> be used in a high school science/programming
> course, allowing the 
> *students* to develop these programs for
> themselves.

> Jim Hurley

  Turtle Graphics (no longer just LOGO) got a lot
of buzz a few years ago. math for the rest of us.
i visited the Lamplighter School in Dallas,
Texas. the program,supplied with many PCs by
Texas Instruments, had been set up by Seymour
Papert and enthusiasticly covered by Steward
Brand in his book The Media Lab.

when i was graciously given a tour, the Turtle
Graphics users comprised one kid designing an
arcade style video game and another noodling
around without writing code. all the energy had
moved over to Multimedia. the same thing was
happening in the teaching lab at Cal Poly SLO,
Califas.

from what i have seen, it takes a teacher who
loves math, loves graphic design, loves
programming and loves teaching.

when mac came out with LOGO for Mac, i was
expecting clickable objects and programs that
would let students learn even without that
special teacher. what i saw was mainly line
driven. not really much different than non-object
oriented programming.

to get Turtle Graphics back on the map will
require standalone teacher-proof teaching
sequences that capable teachers can extend in
their own way. i still think TG is the most
intuitive way to learn geometry and programming
and look forward to the new release.

=====
erik at erikhansen.org    http://www.erikhansen.org

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