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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Saturday February 26, 2005
10:19 AM

Revenge of the Turtle

[ #23396 ]

In Half Price Books last night I found, for $2, Seymore Papert's Mindstorms, the 1980 book about how teaching children with LOGO could revolutionize education.

This couldn't have come at a better time, as I have been remembering LOGO as my first programming language (previous exposure to BASIC, but I think LOGO was the first I was taught in) and thinking about it in the future education of our children. In fact, we have a young nephew who is going to spend a week with us this summer and, since he has expressed an interest in programming, we plan to buy him a $20 computer at First Saturday and install LOGO and see if he takes to it.

Papert's book has been very interesting (kept me up late last night). I don't know if Papert is still around today, but if so, I'll bet he supports the homeschooling movement, that is, assuming he is aware that it exists and hasn't been led to believe it's just a bunch of religious wackos. In the first chapter Papert basically lays out a philosophy that universal access to computers was going to create a culture of unschoolers, although he obviously didn't have the term unschooler to work with. He goes so far as to predict that he thought schools might disappear altogether, or at least wither and change or be replaced with something else. He has a LOT of negative things to say about the school environment and how it interferes with certain types of learning.

Which brings me to a question I've been meaning to ask here. I was aware of Papert's book and many other books aimed at educators about LOGO, but I am looking for a LOGO book aimed at children. I can't seem to find one, either online or in my university's engineering library (which does in fact have several books on LOGO and a couple of dozen other languages noone's heard of in the last 20 years). But I do remember reading an excellent children's level LOGO book from my school library in about the sixth grade.

What I want to ask is, do any of you, in your big stacks of books you don't want, happen to have a children's LOGO book? If so, I'd be interested in buying it from you, paying for shipping and everything. I know a bunch of us have a lot of books we know we're never going to use again ... and serious, this is LOGO. Are you ever going to use it? :)

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