Teacher Review for Sphero Edu

Great application tool, poor durability

Kristina J.
Classroom teacher
Gardner Middle School
Gardner, United States
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My Grades 5, 6, 7
My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I teach programming/robotics to fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders. We use the Spheros to apply the programming concepts we learn through code.org. We use a few of the activities already uploaded on edu.sphero.com to learn about how the Spheros work and what they can do, and then we take that information and work to program the Spheros through mazes. At first, they worked very well, but over a few months time dirt got into them and affected how the wheels and gears functioned, and 8/12 stopped holding a charge--5/12 arrived that way, and another three had to be replaced by March (purchased in September). One also cracked along the seam.
My Take
As a teaching tool, I think Sphero SPRK+ are great--they are easy to use, easy to explain, and easy to problem solve with. However, I am concerned about their durability and longevity for classroom use. I will say that customer service is FANTASTIC. They have helped to troubleshoot issues I've had several times, and replaced all of the malfunctioning robots quickly