[Edu-sig] Turtle Graphics

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Dec 23 17:06:31 CET 2007

The more I think about turtle graphics, the more I think some
enterprising faculty is going to spin it as a way to intersect
multiple languages around a common topic, plus there's the "sharing
with kids" memeplex, anything but simple, so lots of ways to spin
within the spin.

Translation:  why not start with Logo, the granddaddy language in this
context, then explore the forks, whether with all the regalia is up to
the teacher e.g. talk about Mindstorms and Lego Robotics (note pun on
Lego/Logo) and use this as a leaping off point to robotics more
generally.  Along another fork:  we move into Python (a huge

As long time readers of this archive likely already know:  there's
some move afoot to organize a curriculum (your option to use or not
use) such that we go avatar -> immersion -> behind the scenes.  What
this means is:  piloting some "self" in various contexts is the motif
of many games (shooters included), as in turtle graphics; then you
need an environment; then you get curious to see "how people do it"
(so you can come up with new designs closer to your dreams).

What's so good about Python in particular is the 'self' metaphor,
while not a keyword, is very explicit and clear, enabling multiple
turtles right out of the box.  The original Logo was more seeing the
turtle as a "one and only" like a console or other i/o device.  The
idea of "several" gets implemented in various derivatives.


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