Sphero is an interactive spherical robot that can be controlled from a free app through your smart phone or tablet. Not only does the company produce the simple robot, but they also aim to build purposeful lessons and software to help teachers with their lessons. Sphero has their own coding software which teaches kids as young as 8 years old the basics of coding in block form. The block form of coding is a great way to introduce young students to the world of coding and computational practices. (Sáez-López et al., 2016)
Sphero have their own Sphero Edu platform which enables students to learn in a limitless environment. Sphero utilises the technology through the robot and app to produces some fantastic engineering challenges for students, for example
- Building a chariot around the Sphero to race against other students in the class
- Science is utilised through various features of the robot which can help explain the concepts, an example being light intensity or a LUX count using the LED light pad within the robot
- Math can also be incorporated in the Sphero, for example though coding for measurement, speed and even probability. (Ioannou and Bratitsis, 2017)
Having a visual aid like Sphero is a great way for students to help develop tough concepts and overall these robots are a fantastic way of introducing technologies to students of all ages and are of universal help towards most teachings (Gosha et al., 2017).
Electric circuits can be designed for diverse purposes using different components; the operation of circuits can be explained by the concepts of voltage and current (VCSSU130)
Investigate and use the properties of odd and even numbers (VCMNA151)
Describe, continue, and create number patterns resulting from performing addition or subtraction (VCMNA138)
Carry out some key functions on digital systems (hardware and software components) to meet a purpose (VCDTDS010)
Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions involving branching and user input (algorithms) needed to solve them (VCDTCD023)
Examine the main components of common digital systems, and how such digital systems may connect together to form networks to transmit data (VCDTDS026)
GOSHA, K., RIDLEY, T., HOLMES, E., WOMACK, K. & SCOTT, J. 2017. Introduction to Computer Science for Urban African American Students Using Sphero Robotics Workshop. Proceedings of the SouthEast Conference.Kennesaw, GA, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
IOANNOU, M. & BRATITSIS, T. Teaching the notion of Speed in Kindergarten using the Sphero SPRK robot. 2017 IEEE 17th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), 2017. IEEE, 311-312.
SÁEZ-LÓPEZ, J.-M., ROMÁN-GONZÁLEZ, M., VÁZQUEZ-CANO, E. J. C. & EDUCATION 2016. Visual programming languages integrated across the curriculum in elementary school: A two year case study using “Scratch” in five schools. 97, 129-141.
VCAA. 2020. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, [Online]. Available: https://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/ [Accessed].
Images are taken from: https://sphero.com/