Sphero Edu – Changing how kids learn #BeyondCode #ad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sphero. The opinions and text are all mine.





My first job after graduating was as a programmer for a bank, I had very little coding experience at that point as back then children weren’t taught to code as part of the curriculum. I’ve watched with interest how coding based apps have made coding a skill that everyone from young children to inexperienced adults can master and enjoy. I’ve also spent time over the last two years teaching coding as part of a lunchtime club to 6 and 7 year olds and been hugely impressed and surprised at how quickly children with no previous exposure to coding learn when using apps and tools which utilise the incredible power of play based learning. I’m now very excited at the possibility of running a similar club using Sphero Edu as I think the results will be even more impressive.

What is Sphero SPRK+ ?

The Sphero SPRK+ Robot is a small ball that can be easily programmed to race around a circuit, change colour, run through water and much, much more. The possibilities and interactive learning opportunities both in a classroom and home environment are endless. One simple example is this K’NEX frame we created for our SPRK+. Initially the plan was to cushion the robot from walls but then we added a finger part so SPRK + could knock down our dominos. What do you think?

SPHERO SPRK + K'NEX

SPRK+ looks amazing with changing colour lights and the fact that you can see the mechanism inside instantly appealed to my son who likes to know how things work.

SPHERO SPRK + Dominos

Coding with Sphero SPRK+

An iPhone or Android Sphero Edu app is used to create code for Sphero which pairs with an iPad, tablet, iPhone, or smartphone via Bluetooth, a couple of little taps on Sphero wakes it up and it pairs straight away. Once it turns blue you’re ready to start. Setting up Sphero SPRK+ is super quick and easy, we were ready to code in just a couple of minutes.

I have seen first hand how much children love to code with programs like scratch, but Sphero Edu takes coding to a whole new level with its use of robotics and the ability to combine coding with hands on STEAM activities harnessing the boundless power of a child’s imagination and utilising real world concepts and experiences.

The Edu app allows users to create code by drawing, using blocks of code or by writing javascript making it a brilliant resource for everyone from beginners to expert coders. Sphero Edu allows children to learn to code in an approachable, engaging and exciting manner at a level that’s right for their skill, knowledge and interests.

Sphero Edu app

Users can share programs with the community as part of the Edu app. Once you’ve mastered basic coding with SPRK + we’d recommend checking out the #ThursdayLearnDay videos by Sphero for inspiration. You can make SPRK + jam to the beat of a song, turn it into a Magic 8 ball and so much more. We are really excited by the possibilities and can’t wait to start sharing our own programs.

Sphero Edu app

Our experience with Sphero SPRK+

My 6 year old has thoroughly enjoyed drawing paths for Sphero SPRK+ to follow and has big plans to make a maze for our robot to follow over the summer holidays. SPRK+ has been fantastic for her as the app allows her to achieve want she wants to do without overwhelming her with blocks or written code that she sometimes finds hard to grasp.

My 8 year old is the most creative of my children, and has been busy creating a house for the robot, complete with ramps for stairs and windows for him to pause to look out of. Her next task is to test how steep a ramp Sphero SPRK+ can climb and create something she can put around the robot to add extra traction to help slow it down, as SPRK+ moves very quickly along our wooden floors.

My 10 year old quickly moved beyond the drawing of paths to block based coding and after starting with very basic programs is now trying to push himself further and further each day with more complex code. It’s not often I see him so enthusiastic about something. His next plan is to create a football game complete with goals in the garden. I can’t wait to see how he gets on.

Sphero SPRK +

Zak has also loved getting to know SPRK+ using the Sphero app which allows users to drive SPRK+ around while learning tricks and completing missions. This app is a great way to introduce children to Sphero and the many capabilities it has.

As you can tell all three children have exciting and very different plans for what they can do with SPRK+ over the holidays, which I find fascinating as each of them have found a different way to use the robot to fit their ability and interests.

Why the SPRK+ Robot and Sphero Edu app are changing how kids learn

The combination of the SPRK+ robot, the Sphero Edu app and the amazing programs being created by Sphero enthusiasts around the world are perfect for inspiring a passion for robotics, coding, and STEAM principles while supporting other areas of learning at the same time. For example, one of the first lessons in the Edu app is calculating perimeter. This hands-on, creative and interactive learning experience is so incredibly exciting and one I hope many more children are lucky enough to experience.

Learn more about Sphero

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Sphero on YouTube

Win your very own SPRK+ Robot

To win your very own SPRK+ Robot, simply complete the rafflecopter form below and leave a blog post comment telling me how you would use SPRK+ creatively.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

Closes Midnight 5th August 2017

Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and noticed via e-mail on the 6th August.

The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The prize is non transferable.

Worldwide Entry

Entrants must be 18 years or over.

There are 65 comments

  1. Katrina Hoeft

    My 11 year olds have been blessed to participate in a Coding class through APPLE camp this very week! In fact, this afternoon they get to practice programming with Sphero!! Was so excited to see your post. Am printing out and will share with the parents in my “class” this afternoon as the kids experiment with coding and Sphero. Thanks so much for your review with pics.

  2. Sharon Snow

    Posting my comment for the contest:
    One of my students got an sprk robot for Christmas, and the students loved getting a chance to play with it.
    I’d love to have one for our classroom for the students to experiment with and to see all the different ideas
    they would come up with for it given time to play and learn!!

  3. Laura Young

    Our son would love to use this to create a new game that he could play together with his dog. It could also be fun for our homeschool co-op to use 🙂 Thanks for the review. I have a hard time keeping up with all of this technology.

  4. Robin Jenkins

    I have a 10-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl. Their school does not teach coding. I would like to give them the gift of coding and incorporate robotics.STEM is the future. To show them how to draw pathways for their robots to follow as a game disguising learning as fun. This would be a gift for us all, to keep up with technology.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  5. h white

    I would love my children to use it to learning coding in a real-world setting. I would love to see how innovative they could be to solve some problems such as cleaning or using it in some way to better the community by collecting samples or temperature.

  6. Carrie Robledo

    I love that you can use Sphero in water, so I can see my students engineering boats or rafts to transport items from one place to another using Sphero. Sphero is opening the door for water robotics, and the possibilities are endless!

  7. Catherine Lewis

    I would give this to my 7 year old granddaughter who is very intelligent and would love to experiment with something like this.

  8. Jaya G

    I would use it with my 8 year old daughter & her class to work on coding & storytelling while having fun with mazes & cool games & music.

  9. Kim Niland

    I technologically challenged but my nephew would probably be able to use this like a pro right out of the box. He is creative and could come up with many games with this. I would love to win it for him.

  10. Robert B

    My kids love their tablets and, while we try to limit the time, it would be great for them to have the Sphero as an external interactive component.

  11. Audrey griffis

    Both my kids love robots I would love to use this to create a maze- we have the tiny ozobot and I’d love to compare the 2

  12. Denise W

    We’d, or rather, my daughter and I, would use it to work on coding skills. This is a cool tool toy, by the way. Thank you for introducing it!

  13. Mary Beth Elderton

    I am not the creative one in the family. My grand-girls would love learning to use this in ways that I can;t even think of 😀

  14. Erin

    I teach at an elementary school where I started a “Tech Ambassadors” summer program. Rising 4th and 5th graders spend a week over the summer becoming “experts” with the technology available in the school and then help other teachers effectively implement technology in their classrooms. We also had a coding part of the program that students absolutely loved. I would love to be able to introduce Sphero to our tech ambassadors and have them come up with something to introduce it to our staff and the rest of the school!

  15. Nancy

    We work work on map making skills with our grandkids and then program Sphero SPRK+ to follow the map route. This sounds like so much fun.

  16. elizabeth tierce-miller

    My daughter would have a blast using this to learn to put together maze games on the ipad. She loves trying to figure out how to write games on the ipad and this would help make them more interactive.

  17. wen budro

    When your kids have cats as pets- any opportunity to mesmerize their cats is great fun. This looks like a wonderful way for kids to learn while also having fun.

  18. Kimmy Ripley

    My daughter was in first grade last year and they introduced the children to coding! She has fallen in love with it and is so eager to learn more. I think they would really be entertaining and educational for her.

  19. Crissie Woolard

    This would be so much fun to win. I would definitely give it to my daughter. I know it will inspire creativity. Thank you so much for the chance to win such a fun fun giveaway

  20. Lauryn R

    My kids would love to use it to do missions and coding. In a world full of technology it definitely seems like a perfect learning tool!

  21. Liz N

    I can see my 11-year-old sister working in into her drawing somehow – maybe making it hold a marker and draw large pictures!

  22. Jenny Stanek

    All 3 of my kids want to learn to code like their dad and I would for them to use this to keep them busy learning something new and fun!

  23. Vidya P

    We would make a path of sticks n paint and whatever else we can find to play with it! It would also be great to calculate perimeters of various things around the house! This toy combines fun learning n creativity so the possibilities are endless!!

  24. Seyma Shabbir

    This would be great to use around the house as a scavenger hunt event. I could tell the kids a code to send sphero from point a to b and ask the kids what they came to when they got there i.e. tomato plant, mint, garage, whatever and have them complete a task at each point. When they are done they get a reward!

  25. Mya Murphy

    I volunteer for the homeless, and this would get all the children some fun, making mazes, so much potential. It would make learning fun!!! Thanks for the opportunity!! This would be a godsend!!

  26. Michelle Donovan

    My daughter would enjoy this. I can only imagine her coming up with various tracks on different surfaces to run this. Inside and outdoors areas as well.

  27. Richard Bynum

    I would use it to get closer to my niece and nephew. I’m paralyzed and don’t have much to offer being a “fun uncle” so this would give me an opening and an activity to share with them. It looks incredibly fun so I’m sure I wouod have such a great time learning and playing with it myself!

  28. Nikki

    Honestly, I could see my son building a track and trying to find a way to race against his cars or just tinker with it. He loves technology and this is amazing and awesome for kids!

  29. Amanda Stovall

    My son & daughter (6 & 7 years old) would both really enjoy the SPRK+ Robot! They’d probably choose to put together a maze for it to go through! Thanks for the chance to win this cool prize!

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