#llats18: First day

Good morning. This is the first day of the “Coding with LibreLogo: A step back into the future” eTwinning Learning Event.

All messages related to this event sent through this blog, the Facebook or Twitter channels will be tagged with #lltas18: LibreLogo at school 2018.

Today the enrollment is still going on. We have some 230 participants so far, thus 20 places are still available.

In the meanwhile, today you are expected to browse the course, as described in the previous post.

In particular, please spend some time in getting familiar with the discussion place in https://www.reddit.com/r/CodingAtSchool/, because this will be the information hub for all technical problems.

This blog (iamarf.org) through post comments
Twitter: @iamarf
Facebook: iamarf
Email: arfATunifi.it

The reason is that there all questions and answers are easily seen by everyone and, most important, answers and ideas may come for the participants themselves.

Remember: your sharing of problems and ideas is crucial. You’re the ones who can give life to the class.


#llats18: Kick off eTwinning Learning Event

Coding with LibreLogo
A Step Back into the Future

1. Shortly

1.1 Contents

The contents are available in the eTwinningLearningLab, which is a space reserved  to eTwinning members, but they can be found in a companion MOOC as well, which is free.

The MOOC, Coding at School with Free Software, is self paced and can be attended by everyone, just make a free account when enrolling. It shall be available until 17 november 2018.

eTwinners are encouraged to take advantage of the MOOC as well, since the tutorial videos may be helpful for the activities.

All the examples discussed within the contents can be downloaded in a zip file. The same file is available both in eTwinningLearningLab and in the MOOC.

1.2 Discussion

A reddit channel is available here: CodingAtSchool. The discussion is open to everybody, regardless they are eTwinners or not.

1.3 What’s going on now…

Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 people are expected to browse the materials and, eventually, do some initial activities.

On Tuesday, in the eTwinningLearningLab there will be a live event. This first event will be for helping you in finding your way.

1.4 But I want more instructions…


  1. read carefully and watch the videos in the first lesson
  2. if you feel adventurous then read the second lesson as well, download LibreOffice and activate the LibreLogo toolbar, then begin to tinker with the Turtle…

2. More details

2.1 Contents

The structure of contents of the eTwinningLearningLab and MOOC versions is the same and it is constituted by the following ten chapters:

  1. A step back into the future
  2. Hands on the tools
  3. The fear of math
  4. Drawing with LibreLogo
  5. Turtle Geometry
  6. More fancy commands
  7. The Turtle does the turtle
  8. Recursion, growth, fractals
  9. Marta’s story – The Turtle Total Trip Theorem
  10. Starting to go ‘round and ‘round… to the Halley comet

Contents cover a broad range of contexts, from primary school to upper secondary school and in one case first year of university college. Don’t be afraid if something may appear too complex, just pick up what’s good for you and work well on this.

During the ten days of the eTwinning Learning Event, three or four live events will take place, the first one on Tuesday 18. There will be two replicas, one at 18:00 and the other at 18:30, in case the participants will be more than 100, being this the maximum allowed number for a live event.

On the other hand, in the Coding at School with Free Software MOOC you’ll find three or four videos per lesson of ~6 to 10 minutes each, most 6 to 8. They are meant to better clarify the written texts and to give support in the proposed activities.

By being in the eTwinningLearningLab you benefit from the wonderful eTwinning community and from 3-4 live events.

By browsing in the MOOC you take advantage from many extra videos and a smooth mobile experience, whereas you are finding such devices more convenient for reading and watching. Be aware, however, that if it is right to use a mobile device for reading and watching, you’ll need a computer for all the coding activities.

Again: eTwinners do both!

2.2 Discussion

A reddit channel is available here: CodingAtSchool. The discussion is open to everybody, regardless they are eTwinners or not.

The involvement in a common discussion is important. This course is very much about activities that require a lot of exercise and sharing may be a powerful mean to create a learning community. The incredible boost of free software development since some 30-40 years is largely due to the attitude of sharing problems and solutions in public discussion places. We are going to do very well if we’ll adhere to such a practice. And this is also good to transmit to our kids…

In order to use it, you have to signup for free. It’s very easy and, at any rate, there are tons of tutorials out there. Here you have couple of short ones, one for signing up…

…and one for basic use…

I’m asking you to use Reddit whenever possible. This is useful because by using a pubblic communication channel, every question and every answer are shared, thus optimizing communication flows. Moreover, answers given by participants may be even better than teacher’s one.

However you can reach me also through the following channels:

This blog (iamarf.org) through post comments
Twitter: @iamarf
Facebook: iamarf
Email: arfATunifi.it

In these last cases, please use the following hashtag: #llats18 (stands for LibreLogo At School 2018).

A new MOOC: Coding at school with Free Software

(Italian version)

The new MOOC Coding at school with Free Software is scheduled to open on September 17. This English edition will be used for the Learning Event “Coding with LibreLogo: a step back into the future”, which will take place from 17 to 28 September, and then for the project QuaMMELOT – Qualification for Minor Migrants Education and Learning Open access – On line Teacher-training.

The MOOC platform is that of Federica.eu, a smart Italian reality: vision, experience, great quality. It is thanks to the constant presence of Federica’s staff that it was possible to set up a MOOC from scratch in August.

This course is about coding and computational thinking at school. A very hot topic nowadays. The approach is out of the trendy mainstream, usually focused on catchy interfaces, click-and-drag actions, coloured blocks programming GUIs. Instead, by focusing on textual based educational programming languages, we try to take a step back so as to proceed more firmly and fruitfully towards the future.

We go back to the seminal work of Seymour Papert, mathematicians, computer scientist and pedagogist who invented the Logo language, as a tool to learn math, to learn to think, finally to gain confidence in its own thinking capacity.

We also go back to some theoretical topic of Turtle Geometry, developed by Harold Abelson and Andrea diSessa, scholars and coworkers of Papert. But, at the same time, a lot of workable examples are discussed and offered to be studied and further developed. Basic first steps for kids, geometric studies, linguistic games, fractals, simulation of biological and physical systems are the topic covered by the exercises, up to the reproduction of celestial bodies orbits. To work with them, as in a lab, you just have to download a software, load the examples and run them. The exercises address a broad range of contexts, from primary school to first years of university college. Just pick up what’s good for you.

Last but not least, only Free Software tools are proposed, such as LibreOffice, LibreLogo, Kojo, Turtle Academy, Xlogo. By using Free Software tools we get maximum accessibility for everybody and, at the same time, we give an implicit ethical message that is crucial for a sound educational system.

You’ll have to work hard but you’ll have fun!

1. A step back into the future

  • Text vs blocks coding
  • Seymour Papert: from “computer literacy” to the “emotional roots” of learning
  • Free software – technology and ethics: the tools we’re going to use

2. Hands on the tool

  • Logo – LibreLogo, Kojo, Turtle Academy, Xlogo
  • Logo vs Scratch
  • Activating LibreLogo in LibreOffice

3. The fear of math

  • Mathophobia – breaking the line between science and humanities
  • The dissociated learning model
  • Not only math – linguistic game

4. Drawing with LibreLogo

  • Trying first basic commands
  • First simple drawings
  • First simple fancy effects

5. Turtle Geometry

  • Turtle geometry vs Euclidean and Cartesian geometries
  • Basic constructs – loops, procedures, variables
  • Turtle geometry for syntonic learning

6. More fancy commands

  • Colours
  • Off the shelf figures
  • Cartesian space of page

7. The Turtle does the Turtle

  • Randomness
  • Scientific simulations
  • Letting the Turtle take decisions – IF instructions

8. Recursion, growth, fractals

  • Recursion
  • Understanding a fractal generation
  • Getting more natural: recursion and randomness

9. Marta’ story – The Turtle Total Trip Theorem

  • Marta’s letter: an exploration between reasoning and wonder
  • Euristic, numerical and mathematical solutions
  • Turtle Total Trip Theorems

10. Starting to go ‘round and ‘round… to the Halley comet

  • Body-drawing circles
  • At the heart of differential equations
  • LibreLogo Physics lab

In arrivo nuovo MOOC: Coding at school with Free Software

(English version)

Per il 17 settembre è prevista l’apertura del nuovo MOOC Coding at school with Free Software. Dal punto di vista dei contenuti si tratta della “traduzione” in formato MOOC del Piccolo Manuale di LibreLogo. La prima uscita sarà in inglese perché servirà per il Learning Event “Coding with LibreLogo: a step back into the future”, che avrà luogo dal 17 al 28 settembre, e successivamente per il progetto QuaMMELOT – Qualification for Minor Migrants Education and Learning Open access – On line Teacher-training. Seguirà a brevissimo giro la versione italiana, che verrà utilizzata per il Laboratorio di Tecnologie Didattiche a Scienze della Formazione Primaria. Con l’occasione, quest’ultimo, dopo i primi due anni andrà incontro a un’ulteriore revisione, ancora più orientata alla realizzazione della forma laboratoriale .

La piattaforma MOOC è quella di Federica.eu, una bella realtà italiana: visione, esperienza, grande qualità. È grazie alla costante presenza dello staff di Federica che è stato possibile mettere su in agosto un MOOC dal nulla.


Questo corso concerne l’impiego della programmazione a scuola. Un argomento molto caldo al giorno d’oggi. L’approccio esce dalle tendenze dominanti, focalizzate su interfacce accattivanti, “click-and-drag”, blocchi colorati. Si impiegano invece linguaggi  testuali. Si tratta di fare un passo indietro per procedere più fermamente e proficuamente verso il futuro.

Recuperiamo il lavoro fondamentale di Seymour Papert, matematico, informatico e pedagogista, creatore del linguaggio Logo, quale strumento per imparare la matematica, per imparare a pensare, per acquisire finalmente fiducia nella propria capacità di pensiero.

Recuperiamo anche elementi teorici della Geometria della Tartaruga, sviluppata da Harold Abelson e Andrea diSessa, studiosi e collaboratori di Papert. Ma, allo stesso tempo, si discutono  molti esempi che i partecipanti possono studiare e sviluppare ulteriormente: primi esercizi per bambini, studi geometrici, giochi linguistici, frattali, simulazione di sistemi biologici e fisici, fino alla riproduzione delle orbite dei corpi celesti. Per lavorare con questi, come in laboratorio, basta scaricare un software, caricare gli esempi ed eseguirli. Gli esercizi si rivolgono ad una vasta gamma di contesti, dalla scuola elementare ai primi anni di università. Ciascuno può prendere ciò che gli arride.

Infine, ma non meno importante, vengono proposti solo strumenti di software libero, come LibreOffice, LibreLogo, Kojo, Turtle Academy, Xlogo. Usando strumenti di software libero otteniamo la massima accessibilità per tutti e, allo stesso tempo, diamo un messaggio etico implicito che è cruciale per qualsiasi contesto formativo.

Se preso sul serio il corso non è facile ma per coloro che insisteranno il divertimento sarà assicurato!

Il corso è strutturato in dieci lezioni di 20-30 pagine e 3 o 4 video ciascuna. Gli esempi citati nel corso sono scaricabili e utilizzabili in LibreLogo, alcuni in Kojo.

1. Un passo indietro nel futuro

  • Coding testuale vs blocchi
  • Seymour Papert: dall'”alfabetizzazione informatica” alle “radici emotive” dell’apprendimento
  • Software libero – tecnologia ed etica: gli strumenti che useremo

2. Mani in pasta

  • Logo – versioni LibreLogo, Kojo, Accademia delle Tartarughe, Xlogo
  • Logo vs Scratch
  • Attivazione di LibreLogo in LibreOffice

3. La paura della matematica

  • Mathophobia
  • Il maleficio dell’apprendimento dissociato
  • Non solo matematica – gioco linguistico

4. Disegno con LibreLogo

  • Comandi di base
  • Primi disegni semplici
  • Semplici abbellimenti grafici

5. Geometria della tartaruga

  • Geometria della tartaruga,  geometria euclidea e geometria cartesiana
  • Costruzioni di base – cicli, procedure, variabili
  • La Geometria della tartaruga per l’apprendimento sintonico

6. LibreLogo per la grafica

  • Colori
  • Figure geometriche preconfezionate
  • Lo spazio cartesiano della pagina

7. La Tartaruga fa la tartaruga

  • I numeri pseudo-casuali
  • Il grande mondo delle simulazioni scientifiche
  • La Tartaruga impara a decidere – istruzioni IF

8. Ricorsione, crescita, frattali

  • Il magico meccanismo della ricorsione
  • Analisi della crescita di un frattale
  • Simulazione di forme naturali: ricorsione e casualità

9. La storia di Marta – Il teorema del viaggio totale della tartaruga

  • La lettera di Marta: esplorazione tra ragionamento e meraviglia
  • Soluzioni euristiche, numeriche e matematiche
  • Geometria della Tartaruga: il teorema del viaggio totale

10. Girando in tondo…. verso la cometa di Halley

  • Disegnando cerchi con il corpo
  • Il cuore delle equazioni differenziali
  • LibreLogo laboratorio di fisica


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