How I celebrated

It’s Computer Science Education Week!  How are you celebrating?

Hopefully, in some way.  The activity that’s getting the most attention is, of course, the Hour of Code.

There are so many good ideas that are available.  As I noted last week, I’ve been collecting resources and tucking them away here.

There’s definitely something for everyone.

I got a little side tracked when I started doing some poking around looking for Crosscountry Canada for yesterday’s post.  The sidetracking came in the form of the list of software titles that Ontario Educators had on the original Icon computers.

In the spirit of Computer Science Education Week, I spend some time reminiscing about the original Logo programming language.  Now, this may not resemble anything that you think of when you think of current Logo languages or the many variations and implementations.  For nostalgia sake, even the initial login brings back memories of times long gone by.

Does today’s educator even know the importance of having a VGA adapter as opposed to an EGA adapter?  Or, how challenged you might be with a Hercules adapter?

Does it even matter today?  We live in a world of more pixels and higher resolution than could have been imagined with the original program?

Those of us who programmed in that environment didn’t need any stinking voice recognition or computer mouse to get the job done.

We were keyboard people.

We knew the importance of understanding what FORWARD 50 or RIGHT 30 meant.

There really wasn’t a standard for Logo.  That’s why you’ll see so many different interpretations as to what the implementation should resemble.

A particularly good one that I poked around with this morning comes from the Turtle Academy.  There’s a pretty decent tutorial if you’ve never experienced Logo before and a playground so that you can mess around.

Logo wasn’t my first programming language.  I often wonder if I’d had started coding with a language that encouraged play and discovery what might have happened.  One thing I’m sure of, at the time I cut my programming teeth, I never dreamed that I would be doing it years later in the Firefox browser with 12 tabs open in Ubuntu connected to the Internet running the code from a remote site that just trusts me.  And then blogging about it?  And people I’ve never met actually reading it?

Today’s beginning programmer has so many good options.  I hope that they get to explore them for at least the Hour but, more importantly, are inspired to make it much more than a cute little one-time activity.

3 thoughts on “How I celebrated

  1. What an important final statement, Doug! I wonder if the success in this rests in teachers seeing the link between coding and curriculum. If they see it as an add-on, they may make time for it during this special week, but likely not beyond that. I think that as we share our coding experiences, we also need to highlight the student learning, with the hope that this learning will help the coding continue. I’m curious to hear what others have to say about this!

    Aviva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the nostalgia, Doug. My first language was BASIC on a Commodore Vic-20 (8K!), and I learned BASIC and LOGO on the Icons at school.

    And yes, my first PC had a Hercules adapter to go with the black-and-amber monochrome monitor. The machine was a Juko XT, which clocked at 4.77MHz IIRC but churned out 12 MHz when you pressed the “turbo” button (remember those?).

    I watch my kids with Hour of Code and I’m reminded of LOGO as they pilot their Minecraft character using a block-based language.

    Good times.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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