Coding It ‘Old School’ and ‘Extending’ The Browser Experience

Revisiting Logo was a great experience for me.  I remember taking an ECMP 355 class many years ago.  I was in my first or second year teaching and I signed up for the class as my first job in education was being a computer itinerant in an elementary school.  I thought I needed some more training to be more effective in the position. In some ways taking this class was a foreshadowing for my relationship with education technology.  I always wanted to learn more in this area and I remember doing some Logo projects in that class. 

Example of Logo using the word Logo

I had done some coding before on my Commodore 64, a little bit on Commodore Pets in high school, and in the Computer Science class I took in university. So playing with Logo was a fairly easy transition. But thinking about Papert’s constructionism learning theory and how that relates to coding was new for me. My limited coding experience was even drawn upon early in my high school teaching career as I was asked to teach a computer science class (using QBasic). I didn’t know everything about this but that has never stopped me in the past and it was a great learning experience for me and the students. I was able to draw upon the work of Papert in this experience as well as we focus a lot on the learning process in this class. Even when I taught Communication Media learning and playing with HTML code became very useful when making webpages.

Having that constructionism learning style has served me well and I continue to promote learning opportunities like this for my students through Hour of Code, Canada Learning Code, Lego Mindstorms, microbits, Minecraft Edu, and more. I’m hoping to learn more in this area and feel that this is a trip down memory lane was important to reflect upon. I’m also excited to present on coding and maker spaces in a few weeks. I was also happy to read that last week’s Logo experience (and other retro ed tech programs) were shared with the a new generation of learners (sometimes there is no school like old school).

My Logo experience reminded me of my learning project from ECI 831.  The concepts and even results of coding and creating with Logo was similar to my coding and creating with the Agent in Minecraft Edu.

Logo Square Coded w/ Turtle
Minecraft Edu Square Coded w/ Agent

I found an interesting video from a Gary Stager a mentor of Papert. He lauds of Papert’s brilliance, predictions, and connections to learning.

Papert – Inventor of Everything

My three go to extensions are:

One Tab – I’m a bit of a ‘tab’oholic so using One Tab has helped me organize my browsers

Google Translate – This has come in handy to translate a few pages in different languages

Wakelet – one of my favorite tools is Wakelet and the extention saves me a few steps and allows me to create and curate collections quickly

I have not done a lot of this with my students, but this activity has me thinking I should.

Here’s an Edutopia list of 10 extensions to use in the classroom – https://www.edutopia.org/article/10-student-tested-chrome-extensions

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