It seems that every Target, Best Buy and ThinkGeek store you walk into you can find some really cool Sphero robots. There’s the original Sphero, Sphero Mini, BB-8, R2D2, Lightning McQueen and a cast of other Disney infused Sphero balls. Many of them function like the original but they have lives in bedrooms and playrooms across the globe. The original Sphero has taken his place (Sphera if your Sphero is a girl) near the top of the robotics in the classroom robots.
Sphero has led the way to teaching coding to kids through round, fun, robotic balls just about everywhere. While many mainstream tech publications have recently reported Sphero is going to focus “more” on education, we’ve known this, and the kick ass SpheroEdu team for quite some time.
On Day 1 at FETC in Orlando Florida, our 10 year old edtech reporter sought out her buddy Bill Cullen, Product Manager of the SpheroEdu team almost immediately. Bill is one of the leaders of their eduction team that’s continually coming up with the coolest projects and ideas to take Sphero to new heights and do new things in the classroom. They also do a great job of changing it up a bit at each different edtech conference.
New this year, Tatum noticed a bunch of rubber duckies in a pool of water and someone maneuvering Sphero around the ducks like Frogger or an obstacle course. We always knew Sphero could get wet but who knew you could bring him in the bath tub or a pool with a bunch of ducks.
As you’ll see in the video with this project students control Sphero using the drive interface. Even kindergartners can learn how to drive Sphero around the pool of water. It’s also a good segue into learning some of the basics of programming Sphero.
This Sphero Rubber Ducky course is just one example of hundreds of activities and standards aligned curriculum products you can find on the SpheroEdu website and community. Cullen and the SpheroEdu team also recently launched a new initiative called #ThursdayLearnDay where they are sharing innovative new project ideas on the fun and silly side each and every Thursday. Some of the #ThursdayLearnDay Sphero projects include: juggling, turning Sphero into dice, playing breakout and even animal origami. You can see all of the #ThursdayLearnDay projects by following this hashtag.
Tatum talked with Cullen about the rubber ducky course and she even got to drive. Don’t worry she’s 10 she has six years until we even consider letting her out on the road.
Check out SpheroEDU here.