Logo as Theatre

 

Diliana Miteva
IBM Teacher Training Center,
University of Sofia
FMI-KIT, 5 James Boucher Str.,
Sofia 1164, Bulgaria
tel: (359 2) 971 3000,
fax: (359 2) 971 2233
email:
miteva@csd.acad.bg

Abstract

An essential aspect of Logo project development is reaching attractiveness. To grab and hold user’s attention, a project must have the vivacity of a performance and offer engaging ideas. The most attractive Logo projects are those that embed movement and create a sense of involvement by evolving over time.

Keywords

excitement, drama, dynamic, creation, events, planing, implementation

"All the world is a stage and all men and women - merely players."

William Shakespeare

1 Introduction

In 1991 Brenda Laurel wrote Computers as Theatre (Addison-Wesley), in which she made a provocative case for using Aristotelian dramatic principles as a new framework for human-computer interaction and user-interface design.

Fast-forwarding 1997, Comenius Logo presents many of the same challenges to project developers. Could we find an analogy between Comenius Logo and Theatre? Logo is an environment for project development. The theatre is a place for preparation and performance of plays. Comenius Logo graphic screen can be seen as a scene of dramatic events. An essential aspect of Logo project development is reaching attractiveness. To grab and hold user’s attention, a project must have the vivacity of a performance and offer engaging ideas. The most attractive Logo projects are those that embed movement and create a sense of involvement by evolving over time.

2 Avoid static thinking

Many project developers things in the "here and now" because they come from the static world of other disciplines. They think of a project development as a way to complete a task through a fixed set of steps. The project developer’s job is to make the process of developing as clear as possible and to polish the project as it grows.

This demonstration illustrates the process of a Logo project development. First scenery and decor have to be chosen. This is done by selecting among a few possible decors - pictures on the graphic screen. Then how many actors will participate is determined and what will their costumes be - turtles with different names and shapes are created. Then "actors’ roles" are specified, i.e. turtles’ behaviors are specified - how they will move and dance, what they will speak and sing. The scenario is pre-defined, but one scenario can be interpreted in many different ways.

3 Event planning

Project developers often see their function as that of an programmer. They turn to features of the system like data structure, primitives and the environment to make a program. Project developers should think of themselves as event planners. In the real world event planners are responsible for everything. Many of the skills gained in planing large scale events map directly to the skills needed to create a sustainable project. First event planners define the event, including its place, time, audience, and goals. Then they determine the resources available to pull off the event and plot a plan of action. To begin think like event planner, ask yourself these questions:

What events drive evolution of the project?
When these events take place?
What is the audience for the project and for each event?
Defining your audience will largely determine the way the event should be presented.
What is the goal for each event? Define "measurable" goals.
How should each event be implemented?

Our demonstration includes usage of the following Logo programming features:

Our process of project development resembles event planing in real life.
This work is partially funded by INCO Copernicus Project 960106 - MATCh.