Sphero Story

I have used Sphero devices across all classes from Year 1 to Year 6.

In Junior Primary students have used iPads to control the robots. Classes have navigated the Sphero around obstacles within an enclosed area. To create the 'field of play' I used pool noodles that were connected with conduit.

The students used propositional language within the activity to direct the Sphero behind, beneath, beside, before and after various things placed within the area. I also made bridges and ramps using balsa wood.

In Year 3 and 4 we used the 'Hour of Code' website as an introductory activity to coding language. We then used SPRK+ Lab App on iPad to code the robots. The students were able to program the spherical robots to move in 2D shapes on the carpet. The children were able to draw squares and rectangles with the robots and have them change colour on each side of their chosen shape. Students with more advanced skills were able to code the Sphero to travel in the shape of a triangle.

In Year 5 and 6 we dipped the devices into paint and transferred the Sphero onto large canvas boards. The students created artwork by navigating the robots over the surface area of the canvas. 

We auctioned the pictures to raise money for local charity. We raised almost $400.

I have toyed with idea of making caddies with Lego. I have discovered that with the correct pieces and cogs that the Sphero can turn a propellor. This concept could be used within engineering challenges where the objective of the task is to knock something into a container.

I enjoy working with Sphero and look forward to students using the devices to further their skills in Digital Literacy throughout the year. The devices are rather expensive; however, there are endless learning activities that can be designed to provide learning enrichment. As educational architects teachers have the responsibility to create tasks that command deep thinking, demand reasoning and problem solving.


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