Logo and Mindstorms – Learning How to Program

Are you a programmer? Are you learning how to be one? Come to think of it, how do you even learn how to think like a programmer? There’s more to programming than typing in lines of code after all.

Back in the 80s people had ideas on how best to teach programming and while most focused on learning a language there were a few who went a bit deeper and tried to understand how to teach what we now call “computational thinking” – how to think up algorithms in the first place.

Come with me as I play around using LOGO on my BBC Micro, following some things from Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms book, as I explain how I use LOGO today to help teach kids how to become programmers and computer scientists.

There are a lot of videos on how to program, or how to learn Python for example. They all mostly focus on how to work through a series of exercises to learn a particular language’s syntax and this is great if you do want to learn Python or JavaScript. They don’t always go into ways to think for yourself – how to decompose a problem into parts, or how to structure an algorithm.