Logo for the therapy of children’s everyday problems


Judit Mészáros
Informatics Elementary School
Budapest, XIII. Gyöngyösi sétány 7., Hungary


1 Introduction

School has several tasks to fulfill, one of which is to develop general abilities which can be useful in life and work. At the same time, to develop logical thinking skills, ability to work, and develop own cognitive capabilities, as well as getting to know oneself and acquire self esteem. This is one of the conventional ways were Logo can be well used as a tool. Teachers often use psychological methods to get to know their students better and be able to choose a proper pedagogical approach. One of these methods is to gain information while playing a game, accounting real life impressions, problems, and finding solutions for them. The workshop intends to illustrate the role of Logo activities as a therapy tool.

2 Description of the workshop

Children involved are of various age groups, who have never before participated in psychological activities. Since the setting at the conference is not normal, we shall not deal with serious personal problems to be revealed to the public, but shall resolve a rather positive situation. For this we shall be creating animation in Comenius Logo 3.0 [1].

2.1 Structure of workshop

The computer is only a tool, the important is the child working with it.

  1. Introduction: searching for a problematic situation from future events (summer vacation, family festival, sports) and choose an event for investigation.
  2. Psychological aspect: Getting acquainted with each other’s thoughts, problems, realising that other’s might also struggle with the same or opposite impressions.

    Informatics: Children participating for the first time in this kind of activity would think of a situation that is difficult to handle on the computer. Interactivity can be realised by pre-writing blocks or on the spot program development.

  3. Create the story - with actors, screen, and sequence of events.
  4. Psychological aspect: try to adjust ideas, communicate, discuss and dispute, think oneself in another’s place, accept common goals.

    Informatics: Viewing the story as a Logo animation needs top-to-bottom program development (defining parts, how to connect, name of procedures, parameters).

  5. Create the computer equivalent - background, actors, sounds, animation.
  6. Psychological aspect: to be able to realise individually a common goal, make decisions, solve problems, develop fantasy to visualise the whole process, and take part in group-work.

    Informatics: Position of individual in a team work of programming. The effect of programming and playing in program development. Background information (necessary commands, defining procedures, use of parameters, recursion, picture editing, importing objects,...etc.).

  7. Create the program - combine the parts to form a program.
  8. Psychological aspect: give up on own product and give way to another’s work.

    Informatics: Combining parts to form a whole, finding and correcting errors.

  9. Debugging - correcting possible mistakes, deciding aims, and concluding experiences.
  10. Psychological aspect: get used to faults, adjust them, but accept that not all of them can be mended.

    Informatics: Running program, debugging, stopping, modifying.

  11. Finalisation - this is done without computer at a later stage.

Psychological aspect: Several endings are possible. Ideas and fantasy decides on the one chosen, which reflects the relationship of the group and individual to the chosen problem and the individual’s relation to the group, to another individual, and the problem itself.

Informatics: The extent of using defaults strategies, programming conventions, preprogrammed procedures.

2.2 Interpretation

Which is more important: psychology or informatics? Do we want to solve the problem or wish to develop a good program? We can do both. It seems that we are only drawing a nice picture or creating animation, but in the meantime a lot of individual changes are taking place. Learning and teaching, knowledge and self development merge into one. To achieve this Comenius Logo is our tool, with which we can express esthetic creations.

3 References

[1] Comenius Logo 3.0 (© localisation M. Turcsányi-Szabó & Kossuth Ltd), from (© Andrej Blaho, Ivan Kalas, Peter Tomcsányi) Kossuth Ltd. 1997.