[Edu-sig] Question for Guido van Robot, RUR-PLE and other Karel the robot clone users (Andre Roberge)

Andy Judkis ajudkis at verizon.net
Sat May 22 13:00:22 CEST 2010

I just finished using RUR-PLE to introduce programming for probably the 
10th time, and I still feel that it's just about ideal as a starting 
point for Python.  If you haven't looked at it, I highly recommend 
giving it a try.

Every time I teach it, I mean to send Andre an email saying "you know, 
we can just drop this turn_off() thing", but I never remember.  I can't 
think of any programming concept that turn_off() teaches, and there are 
always a few kids who confuse it with return.

> Karel the robot introduced by Pattis in 1981 included a turnoff
> instruction.  Since then, every clone seems to include that instruction as
> well.
> I have never seen a pedagogical reason given for including the turnoff
> instruction.  I have yet to see a good example where the use of that
> instruction is required...
> Karel the robot is used as a mini-language to introduce programming
> concepts.  An alternative visual environment is provided by turtle
> graphics.  When I look at turtle graphics, there is no turnoff instruction
> ...
> As I am working on a new rur-ple version, I was wondering if it would not be
> preferable to simply drop the turnoff [turn_off() in rur-ple] instruction.
> If you use GvR or rur-ple or any other Karel like environment to teach
> programming concepts, or if you have used such an environment when you
> started learning yourself, I would definitely be interested in hearing your
> opinion.
> Cheers,
> Andr?
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