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Imagine Logo

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Introduction

Imagine is a (LOGO based) tool for teaching programming, for learning by doing in informatics and other subject domains too. Imagine is  part of a software for collaborative work between classes and can be useful as a tool for developing collaborative projects.
This environment has been produced by Logotron in 2001 and from this time on local versions have been developed too.
Firs of all Imagine is an environment for learning programming; it relies on the latest version of Logo programming language.
Imagine also allows users working in networks.

Benefits for Teachers and Students

Imagine provides many opportunities for collaboration. It is possible to set collaborative projects within the class but also between classes at a distance, even in international collaborative experience.

You can find below some of the simplest ways of using Imagine in networked communication:

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two or more Imagine projects can be connected together and can exchange text messages;

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sent messages between computers could be for example Logo instructions (this means from

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one computer it is possible to control objects in other computer). The usage of this feature could be

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in explaining to the others how to solve various problems;

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every child in the classroom is connected to the teacher’s computer (and its screen is projected through the data projector). Every child has its own turtle on the teacher’s screen, which the child can command from child’s own computer.

Using the turtle children can learn how to develop various simple algorithms and even complex ones - most of the time just by drawing geometrical figures and pictures.  

This is an opportunity for children to create their first own programs.
To see a sample click here
: http://www.logo.com/imagine/monica/01/index.htm

But the programming environment of  Imagine is a strong tool also for advanced programmers on high schools.
To see a sample, click here
:    http://www.logo.com/imagine/monica/11/index.htm

Pedagogical background

Imagine is a cross-curricular program providing pupils with connected opportunities and features that allow them to integrate multimedia resources into projects and create web activities. This environment is useful for supporting children in building and testing models in collaboration. Imagine helps to provide infrastructure for collaborative work and to develop learning tools. At same time it develops programming skills in a creative way. The main benefit of this software is its adaptability for all levels of attainment: students of all ages and abilities can acheive their potential easily. The materials are designed so that there is a built-in progression. A step-by-step procedure helps pupils in building up their own project. Starting to work with images and animation, then they can move to more advanced ideas. Pupils are asked to discuss about how their work has to be produced and how it can be improved; they can explore alternatives and change variables.
Imagine also introduces children to how computers are programmed to create things such as games, for example.

Thanks to being able to save Imagine projects to web (using the Imagine plugin), users
(teachers, students and others) can easily upload their pedagogical applications to internet – so it is visible not only for their department, but also for people and colleagues all over the world.

To see some of the best projects created by Imagine Logo users click here: http://www.logo.com/imagine/project_gallery/index.html

Tools

Starting from simple Logo commands you can soon teach your turtle to draw many shapes and patterns.
To see a sample, click here
: http://www.logo.com/imagine/monica/02/index.htm

This language contains complete programming and data constructions likewise in many other modern programming languages. The language also offers an excellent manipulation with pictures of different formats – for example animations – most of the time used as the shape of the turtle.
Another very powerful feature of the language is that we can set the shape of the turtle, which
is a well prepared bitmap (a picture described by a program in Logo language); then we can make as many changes as we want – dependent on the actions on the screen – using other objects, mouse etc.
To see a sample, click here
:  
http://www.logo.com/imagine/framework_project.htm

In Imagine it is possible to use more than one turtle on the screen at the same time – any of them could have a different picture as its shape – yet this picture can be easily animated. This is a perfect chance to have a live picture on the screen. It is also possible to animate your pictures by “adding them a small engine” – this means (in terms of adult language) creating parallel processes – every engine can add interesting action to a turtle In Imagine various scale of multimedia can be used – for example voice input or output.
There is an element in Imagine which enables the communication of 2 or more computers: they can send text messages, pictures, complex objects with data and also whole programs.

In Imagine Logo some framework applications have been created:

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Logo Point

This application allows you to create presentations. It is very easy to add a 'custom toolbar' to an imagine project to allow users quick access to the logo procedures you have built. Also, because the framework is run inside the imagine environment, it is easy to mix all Imagine Logo elements inside each and every page of your presentation - speech, buttons, sliders, animation, turtle graphics, video, mp3's, weblinks etc. etc.  

The Logo Point start up screen

 For more info click here: http://www.logo.com/imagine/logopoint.html

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Simple Turtle

This application allows younger children to become familiar with controlling a turtle interactivity and begin to build procedures.
The procedures are stored as visual 'stamps' with a picture of the behaviour of each stamp in miniature on its front. Up to 12 stamps can be created, and sets of stamps can be saved and loaded.

The Simple Turtle start up screen

For more info click here:  http://www.logo.com/imagine/simple_turtle.html

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The Framework Editor

This application is meant for creating frameworks. It allows teachers and children to quickly and easily create drag and drop style screen based activities, which can be saved as free standing Imagine Logo projects, and then even used in a browser. 

To see a sample of what you can create with the framework editor, click here:  http://www.logo.com/imagine/framework.htm

Target age

From Primary to High School.

Technical requirements

Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Opera web browsers work with the Imagine Logo plugin. You need to be running a Windows based operating system (95,NT,98,2000 or ME) too.

Acknowledgements

The above informative material is adapted from: Logotron Imagine Logo’s website, Imagine - a tool for collaborating by Andrej Blaho, Comenius University, Slovak Republic.

Click on the names below if you want to submit a presentation:
patrizia corasaniti
maria rosaria chiummo:



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