Logo programming in schools?
June 7, 2019 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to better understand the reach and influence of the educational programming language Logo. Did you use logo in school, and if so: what grade were you in, how old are you now (or what year was it then), and where was the school?
posted by Westringia F. to Computers & Internet (86 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, in 1995, I was in 5th grade, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:35 AM on June 7

I did! Beginning in I believe third grade, in Boston suburbs, taught by MIT students IIRC. That would have been approximately 1983.
posted by wellred at 11:36 AM on June 7

I used Logo in school!

I'm 46 now, and my elementary school (in Westchester County, NY) installed TRS-80s in its "computer lab" circa 1981. I distinctly remember receiving instruction on how to make the "turtle" make pretty shapes and patterns. My friends and I really enjoyed using it.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:36 AM on June 7

Yes, in the mid 80s. Michigan. I think it started 2nd grade or so.
posted by k8t at 11:40 AM on June 7

I did but don't recall exactly when. Best guess is 5th grade in 1990-1991 in the suburbs of Boston.
posted by disaster77 at 11:41 AM on June 7

Yep. Elementary school, early 90's, Minnetonka, MN.
posted by so fucking future at 11:42 AM on June 7

Learned to use Logo on a C64 in 4th grade in Houston, circa 1984. I remember being a standout in the class since after the assignments I made a little two-laned road that the turtle would drive on.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:43 AM on June 7

Yes, absolutely. I don't remember exactly what years but if I had to guess it was probably roughly 2nd-3rd grade that we used it a lot, and then after that it was one of the things we could choose for free-play game days in computer lab up through 8th grade. I'm 40 now. This was a private school in suburban New Jersey, which had a small computer lab of Apple machines (I think II-Es?) that was considered fairly fancy at the time.

Everyone loved Logo; days we got to play with it were very fun days.
posted by Stacey at 11:47 AM on June 7

In 4th and 5th grade my elementary school introduced it to all in brief "technology" units lasting about an hour every other day for less than a month. This were on Apple computers. This was in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI around 1986-1987. In my class, me and one other person raised our hands when asked if we'd used this before at home/another school. I'd used it at home on a TRaSh 80.
posted by nobeagle at 11:51 AM on June 7

I did. Mid-80s. Michigan. Think it must have been some kind of enrichment program, as I know we didn't have computers at our disposal in class back then!
posted by praemunire at 11:52 AM on June 7

Yes, ~1984-1988 or so, grades K-5, at parochial and private elementary schools in Oakland and Berkeley, CA.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 12:01 PM on June 7

2nd and 3rd grade, early-mid '80s, at a public school in suburban Ohio, on Apple II's. A few years later, we did some BASIC programming, but 30 GOTO 10 isn't as satisfying as making a turtle draw geometric shapes.
posted by box at 12:02 PM on June 7

1984, part of an after-school program for gifted losers. I was in maybe 5th grade. Shrewsbury, MA.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:04 PM on June 7

Early 80s, 2nd grade, Los Angeles-- at an educational summer camp based at a private school, I think.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 12:05 PM on June 7

Around 4th grade/ 1984, upstate NY. Pretty sure we did it in the gifted program.
posted by metasarah at 12:17 PM on June 7

6th grade, 1982, Apple II, northern New Hampshire. We learned BASIC at the same time.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:20 PM on June 7

I did, in Spain in the 80s. I believe it was in EGB (Primary/Middle school) so I'd hazard the second half of the 80s when I'd have been 8-13 I think?
posted by sukeban at 12:21 PM on June 7

3rd-4th grade, 1988-89, southern California.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:23 PM on June 7

In Manitoba, Canada, around 3rd grade (give or take a year), which would have been 1988.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:25 PM on June 7

I took Logo in 7th or 8th grade. I'm 43 now. The school is in the San Francisco Bay Area.
posted by Seboshin at 12:42 PM on June 7

I don't remember specifics, but as soon as you said "Logo" I saw the turtle in my head. Probably some time between 3rd and 8th grade in Bay Area, California...so between 91-97.
posted by radioamy at 12:43 PM on June 7

Pretty heavily in 3rd-6th? grade for me—end of the 80s into the early 90s in small town Vermont. All on Apple IIe, Apple Logo Writer. After 6th grade my middle school upgraded from IIe to IIgs, and I don't remember if Logo made that leap (Oregon Trail was way better though).
posted by General Malaise at 12:48 PM on June 7

Probably 88-91 or so, suburban Connecticut, on the Apple //e. It wasn't in normal class, but the gifted program.
posted by cobaltnine at 12:51 PM on June 7

Aged 8 or 9 (grade 2 or 3), 1992/1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
posted by halcyonday at 12:59 PM on June 7

6th grade I think, as part of a program for gifted students. (The program as a whole was not CS or even STEM specific.) This was in small town Pennsylvania, circa '93 or '94.
posted by serathen at 1:02 PM on June 7

Mid-late 80s, suburban St. Louis, I forget which elementary grade but we drew pictures with the turtle at least a few times in our biweekly computer class.

I feel like my school had a Logo Club that didn’t exist any more by the time I was old enough (I started kindergarten in 1986). My classes spent a lot more of the computer time on games (Number Munchers, Oregon Trail) and learning to type.
posted by songs about trains at 1:04 PM on June 7

Third grade or so, Fargo ND, which would have been...1982 or 1983? I also took a BASIC programming class, all Apple ][e computers. Both were done as summer school courses through the public school system; I believe I took an 'advanced Logo' class a year later, which was heavier on geometry math.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:07 PM on June 7

Yes! Grade 2 and 3 in Atikokan, ON in about 1986/87
posted by valoius at 1:10 PM on June 7

The background and references sections of this paper might be useful to you! The PDF is available at the link below.

Moreno León, J., Robles, G., & Román-González, M. (2016). Code to Learn: Where Does It Belong in the K-12 Curriculum? Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 15, 283–303. https://doi.org/10.28945/3521
posted by skye.dancer at 1:16 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]

4th or 5th grade, so somewhere from 1984-1986, on an Apple IIe. La Mesa - Spring Valley School District, just a bit east of San Diego, California.
posted by LionIndex at 1:20 PM on June 7

Sometime in the late 80's, Georgia, on Apple IIs. I already knew it from my C64 at home (in addition to BASIC and other languages), but that was unusual.

Can't remember if it was late elementary school or early middle school.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:37 PM on June 7

In New Zealand, around 1982 or 1983, on Apple II computers in my first year or two of high school.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:37 PM on June 7

Not during the school year, but I was able to learn Logo on Apple II, for a couple of weeks in a 'computer camp' for the summer. 1987. I was between 5th and 6th grade. Canandaigua Elementary School. Western New York State (Finger Lakes).
posted by Wild_Eep at 1:42 PM on June 7

We used it in probably 4th grade in suburban Pittsburgh, PA circa 1988. I'm not sure but I think I remember a robotic turtle that we each got a chance to control once or twice.
posted by mmc at 1:46 PM on June 7

Logo turtle!

We had computer lab in 3rd and 4th grade (1993-1994, 1994-1995), which was partly learning Logo and partly learning spreadsheets and word processing (and let's be real, partly playing Oregon Trail). I think it was an hour once or twice a week. Northern Virginia.
posted by basalganglia at 1:48 PM on June 7

Seem to recall learning Logo around 3rd/4th grade in Oregon in the late 80's, using Apple II's.
posted by Aleyn at 1:49 PM on June 7

In fifth grade I tested out of a class and instead learned Logo on an IBM XT. Minneapolis suburbs, ca. 1988. I think I was maybe previously exposed to it in a computer lab class.

(For whatever reason my elementary school was weird and didn't have any Apple computers. Our lab was full of PCjrs and PC XTs instead.)
posted by neckro23 at 1:52 PM on June 7

In the UK, around 1982-3, not long after the arrival of the BBC Micro.
posted by pipeski at 1:52 PM on June 7

I think I remember Logo being available on Apple II (e?) in my elementary school in Iowa, but I don't remember specific lessons. I finished 5th grade there in 1992, then moved to Minnesota for middle and high school. I don't remember anything with logo in middle school, (but I did take a summer class in HyperCard) but I think we had a brief unit sometime early on in high school.

We definitely did more Number/Letter Munchers and Oregon trail than Logo in all of those classes though.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:03 PM on June 7

NYC private school, mid-eighties, somewhere between 2-6th grade.

Changing the logo to different shapes was how you knew you were cool.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:15 PM on June 7

Yes. I drew Kermit. 10th or 11th grade, Massachusetts, late 1980s.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:44 PM on June 7

I went to an American school in La Paz, Bolivia. We ran it on Apple ][ machines. I honestly don’t remember the exact year, but I was 14 in 84 which is most likely when I encountered it.
posted by O9scar at 2:45 PM on June 7

Yes! Grades 2-5 (1982-1985), on Apple ][ machines at school (parochial, Washington DC).
posted by toxic at 3:12 PM on June 7

1987. 6th Grade. Central Illinois.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:52 PM on June 7

When I was taking Math Ed courses at FSU in the late 1980s, Professor Flake (her real name) pushed us to become familiar with LOGO as it seemed like the next big thing in math education.

I never saw it again.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:00 PM on June 7

We used it on and off in 5-7 grade between 1985-1988 in southern New Hampshire.

Not your ask, but there's also a super popular set of kids' graphic novels called Secret Coders that have come out in the past five years or so that use Logo concepts to teach programming basics to young kids. They're AMAZING.
posted by gideonfrog at 4:08 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]

Early 1990s, suburban Maryland, 1st-5th grade (4th & 5th in a G&T program), on Apple II/GS machines. I got to see an actual logo turtle robot once, at a local college’s summer camp — that would’ve been slightly later. I’ve related elsewhere on Mefi how the algorithm for Bézier curves was passed down as folk wisdom from the slightly older kids when I was in 4th grade (I think).
posted by Alterscape at 4:12 PM on June 7

I used Logo as part of some sort of after-school enrichment around, oh, 3rd grade in 1988? In school proper, I used MECC's EZ Logo aroundabout 4th or 5th grade (unsurprisingly, this step down in complexity failed to challenge me). I grew up in the DC suburbs (Bethesda, roughly).
posted by jackbishop at 4:52 PM on June 7

I used Logo when I was in grade 5 or 6, so around 1988-1989. This was in Toronto, Canada. I feel like I had used it earlier as well but for sure in grade 5 or 6 as I can picture where the computers were.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:26 PM on June 7

1991 in a seventh grade gifted class in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama.
posted by ndfine at 5:35 PM on June 7

Yep! 6th or 7th grade I think, early 90s, Brooklyn NY.
posted by 168 at 5:39 PM on June 7

Poland, 1992-1993, after hours computer club for equivalent of grade 5.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 5:46 PM on June 7

Circa 1987, Kindergarten, Kalamazoo Public Schools (Kalamazoo, MI, USA). Each student got to briefly use an Apple II of some sort (not a IIGS, probably a II or IIe) running a Logo interpreter two or three times throughout the school year.

I recall it being fun and extremely interesting, although I am not exactly sure what the point of such a limited exposure was supposed to be.

My family bought a home computer not too long afterward and as an adult I am a huge computer nerd and work in IT, but I never saw or touched Logo again after Kindergarten.

The next time I touched a computer in school was in 4th grade, same school district. At that time we played the usual Oregon Trail / * Munchers / other assorted MECC games in a lab containing an assortment of Apple IIs, IBM and IBM-compatible 8086 machines, and maybe a couple older Macs.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:20 PM on June 7

Grade 9 (13-14 yrs old) in 1997 in Brisbane.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 6:30 PM on June 7

4th Grade on the old apple II's in the school lab. This was in school year 1995-6., Boulder CO.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:17 PM on June 7

Mid 1980's New Jersey 4th and 5th grade we spent a lot of time with Logo. We used Apple IIe's. Yes, this did in fact give me a rudimentary understanding of programming and computers that informs my understanding of my human computer interactions to this day.
posted by xammerboy at 7:56 PM on June 7

I learned logo programming at my small town public elementary school in Upstate New York in 4th or 5th grade (roughly 1985). My first program was to draw a teddy bear. I am also pretty sure I went to a summer regional computer camp where we did logo as well, around the same time period.
posted by slmorri at 8:34 PM on June 7

3rd through 7th grade, private elementary school in the SF Bay Area...1995-99
posted by assenav at 10:35 PM on June 7

Juneau, Alaska. I was in junior high when computers were first arriving in our elementary and junior high schools, which was in the 1981–1982 school year. These were Apple ][+ computers. I know Logo was around and used in some schools, though i can’t guarantee they would have been teaching with it as early as that year.

(I’m told the high school had a small computer class before this which at one point was allowed to submit batch jobs on punch cards to the state goverment’s mainframe [or possibly technically a mini] computer.)
posted by D.C. at 10:52 PM on June 7

Slovenia in 1994, 4th grade (10 or 11 years old). It was the after school computer club.
posted by ela at 1:36 AM on June 8

4th or 5th grade, so somewhere in 1995-1997. Chicago suburbs. Computer class for everyone ended in 6th grade (I did orchestra, so no computers), so I don't know what happened then.
posted by hoyland at 3:34 AM on June 8

Early 90s, "IT" class in a comprehensive school in England.
posted by quacks like a duck at 4:11 AM on June 8

One use of Logo was Turtle Graphics, which in turn created and intro to elementary fractals.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:15 AM on June 8

3rd grade (age 8), in 1983, in Gifted & Talented program at Damon Elementary School, a DoDDS school on Loring AFB, Maine. By my recollection it was just me and one other kid though at that age we tend not to be too aware of what others are doing.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:49 AM on June 8

No for reasons??? Single high-school town in western Virginia 9th grade and the Apple/Franklin computers to be had were in the vocational department filed under Business Computer Application. So we got BASIC and spreadsheet and word processing type things. No loss, I was learning assembly and went to computer camp the following summer and learned Pascal. They might have been doing Logo in the lower grades by then or maybe not.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:18 AM on June 8

Yep, early 90s in Scotland. Basic, Logo, later on in 3rd/4th/5th (14/15/16ish year old) year also Pascal, Cobol, bits of 8086 and 8080 assembly too.
posted by Leud at 6:28 AM on June 8

Yes, First Grade, 1982-3, a rural school district about an hour outside of Philadelphia.

The school had just acquired its first Apple ][ computers. I believe that this was Apple Computer's deal where they donated computers to schools, as I'm pretty sure that the one used for my class was an Apple ][+, and not the later Apple //e that was the model that was given away.

They took me and two other students out of our first grade class reading period, because our test scores said we were already reading on a third grade level. We were taken down to an unused classroom at the end of the building where the computer had been set up, and we were taught both LOGO and BASIC.

By second or third grade, the district had an Apple //e computer in every classroom, but teaching programming fell to the wayside as they were used for running educational software instead.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:58 AM on June 8

I used it in elementary school in the mid 80s; I introduced it as a code exercise to my coworkers (two mid-20s raised in the northeast US, one mid-40s raised in the Philippines) and none of them had ever heard of it before
posted by mskyle at 7:43 AM on June 8

Mid-1980s, Iowa City, Iowa. As I recall, after learning the basics, we chiefly made Logo make vertical lines back and forth across the screen, rather as though we were designing the screensavers we'd all be watching in a hypnotic state a decade later.

I was unduly thrilled when my son, in the same district, got to spend some time with Kinderlogo last year.
posted by newrambler at 10:08 AM on June 8

Early 1980s, Grade 3, near Vancouver, BC. There were about 4 or 5 of us in the enrichment (gifted) group, and one of the things we got to do was take turns using the school’s two Apple IIe computers to learn programming with LOGO. I remember making the turtle draw shapes.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:43 AM on June 8

Yes, in primary (elementary) school in the UK, mid to late 1980s, on BBC Micro computers. We would have been aged 7-10 or thereabouts. Everyone did it, it wasn't a gifted program.
posted by altolinguistic at 12:13 PM on June 8

Yes, grade school, late 80s/early 90s, Washington state.
posted by kms at 2:18 PM on June 8

Junior High (Probably 9th grade). Washington State (suburb of Tacoma) Late 80s.
posted by BobtheThief at 3:13 PM on June 8

In grade 5, 1990, at a private girls school in Lahore, Pakistan.
posted by tavegyl at 4:25 PM on June 8

Fifth grade, 1985, Dubuque, IA.
posted by BrashTech at 4:49 PM on June 8

1984 +- 1, apple iic. Tiny school for kids of missionaries outside Brussels. Probably 3rd grade, maybe sooner.
posted by wotsac at 7:02 PM on June 8

1987, C64, elementary school.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:29 PM on June 8

I used logo in primary (grade school) in a public school in Johannesburg, South Africa in the late 80s. I don't recall the exact grade or type of computers. I do remember how cool it was drawing patterns like you could with a spirograph by using loops in the program.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 7:33 PM on June 8

We had some computer time with Terrapin Logo in third or fourth grade in Coupeville, Washington. I'm pretty sure I remember lower case letters, so it would have to have been an Apple IIe, and those didn't come out until 1983. So, 1983 or 1984, I'm betting. I don't think it was part of a special program; I think we all got to take turns with it.
posted by hades at 12:24 AM on June 9

Yes, on the Apple IIe, must have been somewhere from 3rd to 6th grade, so 1990-1994. Pomona, California. It was part of our standard computer classes for all students, along with BASIC.
posted by equalpants at 1:24 AM on June 9

Yes!! I was in middle school so late 80s, early 90s, I was around 10-13 years old. My school was a private catholic school (K-8th grade) in San Francisco and our computer room was equipped with Apple IIe’s.
We had computer class I think once a week. I remember we also go to play Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego!
posted by like_neon at 1:30 AM on June 9

Early 80s, small private elementary school in a suburb of Ft. Worth, Texas. It was one of the activities we did in the gifted/talented program. Computers were not available to the general student body at the time.
posted by rakaidan at 4:21 AM on June 9

Early 1980's public school, central California on Apple 2e. My 7th grade school had TRS-80s but the instructor insisted we straight code graphics in BASIC.
posted by jadepearl at 2:53 PM on June 9

2rd to 4th grade, around 1990, in an large urban public school in southern California, US. I only encountered it as part of a "gifted and talented" out-of-class program that happened in a special computer room with around five Apple computers. (I'd guess IIcs, but am not sure.) We had twice as many students as computers, so we'd spend half our time writing out programs on perforated printer paper before taking turns demonstrating them. I don't think we did anything except drawing vector graphics and some very rudimentary logic.
posted by eotvos at 12:44 PM on June 10

My father used to teach LOGO in computer classes on Apple 2e's in Germany. Probably 5th to 7th grade or so.
posted by debagel at 3:05 AM on June 11

Yep, I think I did a little bit of Logo at school, in my first year of secondary school (1988-89, when I was 11-12), at a state school in Colchester, Essex, UK. Presumably everyone in the year group will have done it, as it was taught in IT. Pretty sure we had RM Nimbus computers.

I definitely used it the year before as well, also in an educational context, but not at school (it was one of the activities offered on a short residential course for bright children). Also in Essex.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:02 AM on June 13

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