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Teaching Programing Skills to Children with Logo

Apr 17, 2009, 16:02 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Diehl)

"Workers of the future will need to be able to use a word processor and spreadsheet, and they'll need to be able to send and receive e-mail. Those skills are so basic, they probably just barely will qualify people for a decent job. What will separate job seekers from the competition will be basic programming ability and the thinking processes that go with it. Although I don't advocate trying to teach your five-year old to program in C or Java, I do think you should start early. The Logo programming language is a wonderful way to introduce young kids to the art, and science, of programming.

"For those of you who aren't familiar with Logo, essentially, it's about giving programming instructions to a frog, who then executes those instructions. The frog understands basic commands, such as "forward", "backward", "turnleft" and so on. This wonderfully intelligent and obedient frog also happens to be carrying a magic marker that he can use to trace out his path as he moves about on the computer screen. By sending the appropriate commands to the frog, you can cause him to trace out geometric shapes. For the parent or teacher, it's nice to know that the Logo programming language is easy to learn. I learned it in about 30 minutes, and I was fighting the flu. After all, it's simple enough for a frog, right?"

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