When I was a child, I went to a computer club every Saturday morning with my Dad. And yes, the main reason was to play games, but there was a fair amount of getting robo-turtles to draw pretty patterns on the floor using a programming language called Logo.
In 2012, there’s an app for that. And it has a noble ambition too: to provide a way for children to learn to program in a way that simply isn’t supplied by, say, a games handheld or console.
The idea: to teach children as young as five years-old the basics of programming, while also engaging to older kids and teenagers. And in a nod to Logo, the app features a personable turtle to explain the ins and outs of loops, procedures, variables and conditional instructions.
(As well as making pretty on-screen patterns with no danger of ripping the bejaysus out of wafer-thin printer paper spread on a community hall’s floor).
My day-job as a technology journalist frequently involves writing about the creativity and innovation that coders are coming up with at Hack Day events, and I’d be delighted if either of my sons develops an interest in that direction, rather than following in my wastrel arts-student ways. Move the Turtle looks like just the way to fire their enthusiasm. It costs £1.99 on the App Store.