Widespread use of Logo began with the advent of personal
computers during the late 1970s. The MIT Logo Group developed
versions of Logo for two machines: The Apple ][ and the Texas
Instruments TI 99/4. The Logo language itself was similar in
both versions, but the video game hardware of the TI 99/4 lent
itself to action-oriented projects, while the Apple version was
best suited to turtle graphics, and language projects.
In 1980 a pilot project sponsored by MIT and Texas Instruments
was begun at the Lamplighter School in Dallas, Texas with 50
computers and a student population of 450. At the same time the
Computers in Schools Project was initiated by the New York
Academy of Sciences and Community School Districts 2, 3, and 9
in New York City, and supported by Texas Instruments and MIT.
Twelve TI 99/4 computers were placed in six New York City Public
Schools. These were later joined by a few Apple ][s.
Both projects offered teachers extensive training and support
through intensive two-week Summer
Institutes and follow-up workshops during the school year.
These projects have had lasting results. Theresa Overall, who
was a leader in both the Dallas and New York workshops,
continued to teach Logo at Lamplighter and to offer summer
workshops. Michael Tempel, then of the New York Academy of
Sciences is now President of the Logo
Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides Logo
professional development and support services to schools and
districts throughout the world, including New York City
Community School District 3. Two of the teachers who represented
that district in the original project, Peter Rentof and Steve
Siegelbaum, went on to form the Computer School, one of the
District's alternative middle schools where Logo is still in use
The prototype Logo implementations used in those pioneering
projects evolved into commercial products. TILOGO was released
by Texas Instruments. Terrapin
Software, a company that was set up in 1977 to distribute
robot floor Turtles, licensed the Apple ][ version of MIT Logo
and has marketed it and upgraded it to this day.
A new company, Logo
Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) was formed in 1980. Many of
the researchers, teachers, programmers, and writers who were
involved in this venture have played major roles in the
subsequent development of Logo. Seymour Papert is LCSI's
chairman. Brian Silverman was Director of Research and guided
the development of all of LCSI's products. Cynthia Solomon, who
was on the team that created the original Logo in 1967, headed
up LCSI's first development office in Boston and later directed
the Atari Cambridge Research Center. Michael Tempel provided
educational support services from LCSI's New York City office
for ten years until he started the Logo Foundation in 1991.
LCSI developed Apple Logo, followed by versions for a host of
other computers. With commercial availability, Logo use spread
Another important event occurred in 1980 - the publication of
Seymour Papert's Mindstorms
. Teachers throughout the world became excited by the
intellectual and creative potential of Logo. Their enthusiasm
fueled the Logo boom of the early 1980s.
New versions of Logo were implemented in more than a dozen
spoken languages on a variety of machines, many with video game
style graphics and sound capabilities. Logo for MSX computers
was popular in Europe, South America, and Japan. Atari Logo and
Commodore Logo were popular in North America.
Logo received considerable support from mainstream computer
manufacturers. Apple Computer marketed LCSI's Apple Logo and, at
one point, bundled it with the computers given away to each
school in California. IBM marketed LCSI's IBM Logo and Logo
Atari not only distributed Atari Logo, but set up the ambitious
Atari Cambridge Research Center under the direction of Cynthia Solomon.
By the mid 1980's the computers with video game capabilities
had dropped off the market and taken their versions of Logo with
them. MSDOS machines increasingly dominated the world of
educational computing, except in the United States where Apple
was the school favorite. Logo developers concentrated on these
machines. Although new implementations added features and took
advantage of the increased speed and memory of newer computers,
the most popular versions of Logo in use in 1985 were similar to
those of 1980.
Around this time there was also some interest in using Logo as
a "serious" programming language, especially for the new
Macintosh computer. MacLogo from LCSI added new functionality to
the Logo environment. Coral Software, developed an
object-oriented version of Logo called Object Logo. It included
a compiler which allowed programs to run at higher speed, and
stand-alone applications could be created. But Logo did not
become popular among applications programmers.