Turtle Academy Discovered

Click me for a video on: The Crazy Octagon Project

What I learned this week in Turtle Academy was a better understanding of angles and being able to change established codes to create something a bit different regarding color, size, and speed.  Really, the most important thing was the understanding about angles.   Seeing the angles drawn out after giving a command created a connection between formal knowledge and a personal activity.

However, at this point, I have Scratch, beginnings of HTML, some commands in Java for my Creating in Code for the Lily pad and Turtle Academy.   It’s too much at the same time. Every one of these tutorials uses a different format and doing three to four of these programming languages simultaneously creates terrible confusion.  While the concepts are the same, the commands seem very different.

So far, Turtle was the best fit for me so far and the most fun.  I can see what I am doing and love the Turtle.  Papert in his book Mindstorms (p.57)  speaks about identification with the Turtle.  I even made the same mistakes as the child (on p. 61) with drawing a house and the triangle was inside.  This syntonic learning resonates very powerfully because I can see what it is that I am doing.  For me, the most difficult part has always been a lack of spacial perception.  Once I grasped the principle of how to do a triangle creating the square became easier.  I then started looking in Turtle Academy for similar scripts to see if I could spot them. I could.  Then I moved on to look Octagon scripts again, it all started to make sense.  Manipulating the code showed me instantly what would happen.

The biggest Aha moment came when I read in Papert (p.67)  that Euclid defined the characteristic of a circle the constant distance between the point on the circle and a point, the center, that is not itself a part of the circle.  I got that immediately!

Author: drcowinj

As an Assistant Professor & Practicum Coordinator for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education my focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), and Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). As the Practicum Coordinator, my Teacher Professional Practice identifies those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research as promoting improved student learning. In the framework, the complex activity of teaching is divided into the seven New York State Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Standards for teacher evaluation that are clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility (as framed in the Teachscape Danielson Rubric approved by New York State). I strive to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century education extends well beyond the classroom and incorporates online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language. I participate fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair Elect for the New York State, NYSTESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications (articles in Education Update), presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to me are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning & Micro-Methodology in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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