Logo & MicroWorlds

Programming for Kids

Bruce Cattanach - The Lakeview School - Denville New Jersey

Course Description:

   This 3 Credit-hour online course will focus on learning the basics of the Logo Programming language using the software program MicroWorlds. The emphasis will be on mastering enough basic commands and structure to be able to teach a two year progression in the upper primary grades; each grade taking approximately 12 sessions. Our 15 online lessons will build skills and understanding. Computer programming is not only a highly paid profession today but allows students to understand how and why computers work which provides logical and linear thinking. Logo provides a rich and exciting graphical language that students easily can quickly grasp and use. A basic historical background with theoretical constructs along with a practical hands on approach will guide learners into this creative process. Students will be required to complete short projects showing mastery of the commands as well as building their own "MicroWorld" program demonstrating understanding of the concepts. Although this is a course about computer programming, you need not be a computer programmer to enroll and complete it. These programming concepts have been taught to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders for many years.  

Expected Outcomes:

 By the end of the course, you will be expected to:
  • Show via programming assignments mastery of 25 basic Logo commands.
  • Correctly write a main line program and have it call procedures.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the functionality of MicroWorlds software.
  • Understand the basic philosophy underlying Logo through readings.
  • Exchange with other classmates ideas for improving programming projects.
  • Interact with the class group through a listserv, a webboard and by sending programs over the internet using the FTP, a class web site and MicroWorlds player.


 About the Instructor

Bruce Cattanach is a computer teacher at Denville's Lakeview School in Denville NJ. He began teaching with Apple II GS computers and used LogoWriter for Apple. Later he got some Macintosh computers and used LogoWriter for the Mac (Out of print, but excellent!) Recently he has started teaching with MicroWorlds.

He recieved his BA in History and Elementary Education in 1975 from Beloit College, Beloit WI and his MA in Computing and Education from Teachers College-Columbia University, NYC in 1995.

A follower of the constructivist school of Education Bruce's latest quote is: "All students will not be computer programmers, but all students should know how to program."

An active sailor, he currently races with his wife Jackie on their Flying Scot - Jollymon, or on his "new" old Sunfish.