During the mid 1960's the mathematician Seymour Papert came to the United States and co-founded MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory with Marvin Minsky. Working with a team led by Wallace Feurzig from Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, this laboratory created the first version of LOGO. Research sites at MIT and a few other locations in Edinburgh, Scotland and Tasmania, Australia. Some tests were conducted at a few schools such as the Brookline Public Schools which were just up the Charles River from MIT.
The LOGO Programming Language was designed to be learning tool. The language's modularity, extensibility, interactivity, and flexibility all are to help it be a learning tool. There are numerous programming activities in a multitude of subjects ranging from mathematics to music can be done using the LOGO Programming Language. Although LOGO is designed to create developed simulations and multimedia presentations, people of all ages can use it. This fits LOGO's idea of having a "low threshold and no ceiling".
Throughout its history, the most popular LOGO feature is the Turtle, which originally was a robotic creature that was placed on the floor and could be programmed to move around in certain patterns. In more recent history, the turtle has moved up into the computer screen where it can be programmed to draw shapes, designs, and pictures. They can also be animated and take the form of a bird, runner or whatever the creator wants them to be.
LOGO's widespread use began during the computer revolution of the 1970's, when the first two models were developed by the MIT LOGO Group for the Apple II and the Texas Instruments TI 99/4. At the same time programs such as the Computers in School Projects by the New York Academy of Sciences and Community School Districts 2,3, and 9 in New York City help spur interest in LOGO.
Due to LOGO's success in schools,
commercial products became available in the late 1970's. Companies such
and Terrapin Software, which manufactured LOGO floor turtles, sprang up
to meet the demand for LOGO software. One major company found was LOGO
Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) which has Seymour Papert as its Chairman.
LCSI created Apple LOGO and versions for other computers. This and other
developments helped lead to the LOGO boom of the early 1980's, when forms
of LOGO were also popular in Europe, South America, and Japan.
But by the early 1990's, many educators began to see LOGO as outdated. While it was taking a long time to update classic version of LOGO, new educational programs were being developed that were much more flashy and took advantage of the large graphical abilities of Windows and Macintosh. Many educators stopped using LOGO and numerous new computer educators opted to use other programs. Though in other countries at the same time, new LOGO programs were introduced. This happened particularly in Costa Rica. LOGO did also increase in popularity in Japan, where LOGO Writer2 and LOGO Writer Win have come out.
Starting in 1993, interest in LOGO increased due to a new program released by LCSI, MicroWorlds Pro. MircroWorlds Pro introduced a number of changes, which included actions by multiple characters. As example of this, a car can drive off a cliff while a dog wails its tail and a fat lady sings, which never would have been possible in previous LOGO programs.
More LEGO LOGO programs have come out, such as Control Lab and Control System. Another new program is the LEGO LOGO programmable brick. Most LEGO LOGO products receive instructions through a cable attached to a desktop computer, but the programmable brick has a computer in it.