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102 - Dependency by definition in Imagine-d Logo: applications and implications

Abstract

Dependency is a concept whose importance for learning is strongly suggested by – amongst other things – the wide range of applications that spreadsheets have found in education. Given the prominent role that Logo has played in research into computer support for constructionist learning, there is a natural motivation for studying the relationship between spreadsheets and Logo programming. The technical issues surrounding the implementation of dependency in Imagine Logo (Kalas & Blaho, 2000) have been addressed in previous work of Peter Tomcsanyi (2003). Tomcsanyi's research gives useful insight to the Imagine Logo programmer, but does not indicate how dependency might be exploited by end-users in the way that it has been in spreadsheets. This paper introduces a prototype extension of Imagine Logo, informally called Imagine-d Logo, that allows dependencies to be specified using spreadsheet-style definitions.

The current scope and potential for Imagine-d Logo are discussed and illustrated with reference to practical issues encountered in using Imagine Logo to program a microworld, to implement spreadsheets and to give computer support for presentations. The broader implications of blending spreadsheet ideas into a Logo environment in this manner are briefly discussed from the perspectives of education and computing.

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