Bridgette Fincher- Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. 2006

Terms and Classes

Summer '05

Fall Term '05

 Winter Term '06

Spring/Summer Term '06

Action Research Project


Learning Adventures Three and Four

Lesson Three: Old-Fashioned Logo Quilt-Making with MicroWorlds EX
 Gary S. Stager  2004


Objective: Explore turtle graphics to create several geometric patches that may be combined with those created by your peers in the construction of a digital quilt. The most well-known, and perhaps powerful, aspect of Logo is turtle graphics. The turtle has a pen in its middle and when it moves, with its pen down, it drags the pen – resulting in a drawing. The intuitive nature of drawing makes complex mathematical ideas concrete. Many books have been written on the topic and few classrooms ever move beyond the drawing of simple geometric figures. Turtle graphics is a powerful “microworld” for doing and learning mathematics. This project will keep things simple, unless you develop more sophistication, and focus on one turtle drawing. There is lots of help available in the PDF manual and the help and techniques built in the software. The following instructions are not intended to be comprehensive. Use the CoP and online materials to fill-in the blanks. Some screens look slightly different between platforms.

Like the music exploration, this Logo quilt challenged the nominal inner artist but also engaged me in “inquiry, exploration, and investigation” in its construction. I found that this particular assignment was one in which my assumptions, based on background knowledge, tripped me up. This was due to the similarities of the Logo format with two other programs that I was familiar with−KidPixs and L View Pro. The paint drop down menu was very similar to KidPixs and some of the editing features of Logo a bit like L View Pro. So, I took two steps forward and then one step back when things got doggy or uncertain. After reading through the help file and vocabulary list, I started with the application of one rule and ran through a series of trials and lots of errors. After that, I felt more comfortable in running a series to see if that worked. Repeat 10 [pu lt 90 fd 50 rt 90 pd fd 1000] Yet, when things got complex, when I had to shift the triangles around a central point, I went back to constructing them piece by piece. For instance, unlike the stamps in KidPix, which would just mark and stay, it didn’t dawn on me that these were actually preprogrammed turtles short cuts until I went back to hunting down why they were not showing up in one of the protopictures I was making. Lost time due to assumptions! I have niggling questions. For instance, how the heck do I turn on the grid? Like the kids with the clock, I had to extrapolate positioning between key elements. Too, what was with the transitions and the elements similar to PowerPoint? The taste, and this was what it was, left me with more questions than I had answers. Which, I guess, is the whole point of inquiry….find one level of satisfaction that leads me onwards to more questions.  BAF 

My First Quilt with Logo October 8, 2005


This try included several other turtles from other people to make a nine patch quilt.



Learning Adventure 4: Video Game

VIDEO GAME DESIGN!!!!!  Over the next week (or so) I would like you to construct your own Pac Man (like) game in MicroWorlds EX. There is a step-to-step tutorial in the manual (pdf) that came with the software and you may also deconstruct the sample built into the software. You will be dealing with animation, collision detection, procedures, logic and multiple turtles. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!! Everyone knows that you're smarter than my other classes. (I told the other class that as well.) Of course, it's a lot more fun if you embellish, improve, tweak or personalize the game in your own ways. As always, ask questions, build upon what you know, keep track of your learning process and have fun!!  If you can't do it right, do it wrong!

batty.mwx Key Notes

  • The computer stands betwixt and between the world of formal systems and physical things; it has the ability to make the abstract concrete.  

  • Lisa ended up abandoning the fight, doing things "their way," and accepting the inevitable alienation from her work. It was at this point that she called her efforts to become "another kind of person with the machine" her "not-me strategy," and began to insist that the computer is "just a tool." "It's nothing much," she said, "just a tool." 

  • On an individual level, talent is wasted, self image eroded. On the social level, the computer culture is narrowed. 

  • They are not drawn to structured programming; their work at the computer is marked by a desire to play with the elements of the program, to move them around almost as though they were material elements -- the words in a sentence, the notes on a keyboard, the elements of a collage.  

  • Bricolage is a way to organize work.  

  • Carol Gilligan talks about the "hierarchy and the web" as metaphors to describe the different ways in which men and women see their worlds (Gilligan, 1982, p. 62). Men see a hierarchy of autonomous positions. Women see a web of interconnections among people. Men can be with the computer, content that it leaves them alone, even isolated, within a larger organization. When women see computers demanding separation from others, they perceive the machines as dangerous. They use metaphors from their programming classes to frame a view of people as what computers are not. So, for example, Robin says that people have "great flashes of abstract thought without any logical sequence before it. If you tried to do that with a computer, it would tell you it's a system error or illegal!" Lisa boils down what computers can't do to a starker form: They cannot love.





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