Logo is a graphics based programming language that was developed by Wally Furzeig and Seymour Papert in 1969. Use of Logo in schools peaked in the mid to late 1980s. In many ways, it has gone out of fashion and is no longer used as widely. Despite this, Logo still has much to offer in educational settings today in developing geometric reasoning.
Logo has been used to teach computer programming fundamentals to children, however, it is particularly powerful as a tool for learning about the numeracy of spatial sense. By giving commands to a “turtle” cursor, children can control the path that it follows and the lines that it draws. Primary school students are able to explore concepts of distance and angles in a deep way. Papert felt that children can identify with the Turtle and are thus able to bring their knowledge about their bodies and how they move into the work of learning formal geometry.
This presentation will show how freeware Java based and iPad app versions of Logo can be used in schools today to support the development of geometric reasoning. It will also briefly outline a sequence of questioning that allows the students to engage deeply with their exploration of Logo as a “maths world”.