LOGO software for PC and Mac
Price: pound;34 (single user)
Kudlian Soft, 8A Nunhold Business Centre, Dark Lane, Hatton, Warwickshire
Tel: 07000 583542
Fitness for purpose *****
Ease of use *****
Value for money *****
Out from the starting blocks comes Terry the Turtle 2, and though there may not be a hare to compete against, this is no a one-turtle race - there are a number of introductory LOGO packages to choose from. You can access Terry at four different levels which neatly blend into each other so can be used progressively up the school, building on previously learned skills.
At level 1 you can move your turtle around the screen using four on-screen buttons - forward, backwards, left 90 degrees or right 90 degrees. If a turtle is not your thing, you can change this for a rocket, boat and so on.
A nice feature is the trail which records all that you have done and which can be saved. I particularly liked this as it lets you see how LOGO commands are built up either as words or in their shortened form. You can save these commands as a procedure and edit later. This can be accessed at any level and makes teaching procedures a doddle.
Moving on a level and "pen up" and "pen down" are introduced, while at level 3 you'll find yourself customising the command bar as the graphical toolbox is replaced by "LOGO type" commands. Here you can play with compass points, adding backgrounds, and before you know it creating treasure maps for children to navigate. A little tricky, but I really liked the fact that you can set north anywhere on the map.
At the top level you'll find the repeat command and a range of special effects. They're very flexible and the levels overlap and flow naturally which makes the whole program less threatening and more accessible - so much so that this could easily be used in maths and geography and not just relegated to ICT lessons. I got excited about the possibilities here creating movies of how to write a procedure, even exporting trail text and web pages of work all helped by the libraries of turtles, tracks, mazes and backgrounds. But it's the little touches which make this a winner such as the transparent arrow so you can see where the pen is.