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Victoria Phelps

from SAP, UCB

The session begins by revisiting some of Papert's writing, including '20 Things to do with a Computer' (with Solomon) and Mindstorms. We'll look at how many of the insights from his work remain relevant today, particularly in relation to learning through making, the role of programming in thinking mathematically and independent learning. We explore some of the lessons to learn from early experiences in Logo programming and bring this up to date with an exploration of how turtle graphics can be used for learning geometry, for digital creativity and for the foundations of computer science, concluding with some thoughts on how this can best be incorporated into the upper primary or lower secondary curriculum.

20 min
Room 1
Snap!Con 2022

Information for event authors only:

Committee Feedback

We would like to accept this as talk instead of as a workshop. Talks are about 10-15 minutes in length and should have 5-10 minutes for Q&A.

We had a large number of workshop proposals and a limited number of time slots. You may use this page to edit your submission as much as you need:

Submission Details
  • Other Helpers for Participants during the Activity: None

  • Significance and Relevance of the Topic: 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of Papert and Solomon's seminal paper. I was pleased to contribute to the festschrift to mark this. Now that computer science is included in many countries curricula, including that of England, the time is ripe to explore how pupils might apply their programming skills in other domains, including school mathematics.

  • Rough Agenda for the Workshop: 10' - reviewing Papert's legacy 15' - turtle graphics challenges 10' - recursion and fractals 10' - modelling the spread of an epidemic 10' - what went wrong / challenges of teaching in a constructionist paradigm in schools 5' - wrap up

  • Expected Audience: computing and mathematics teachers (both elementary and secondary), those who train teachers, interested researchers

  • Participant Equipment Requirements:

    • Equipment Recommended. Laptop with internet access (resources will be online)
    • Virtual participation. I hope to be able to attend in Heidelberg, but the session would allow full participation via video conference.
  • Other Critical Information: I've given versions of this talk to computing and mathematics teachers' conferences in the UK and will be presenting on this at CSTA's conference in Chicago on July. The example activities all work well in Snap!