Teacher Review for Sphero Edu

Sphero Edu is a great way for students to apply computer coding to moving robots.

Laurie M.
Classroom teacher
Falcon Ridge Elementary
West Jordan, United States
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, English-Language Learning, Health & Wellness
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Individual
Practice
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with General
How I Use It
My students used the Sphero Edu app to code the Sphero to go on a fossil hunt. The students created a map and then explained what the Sphero was seeing. We had practiced with the Sphero a bit before creating the maps. Some groups had great success getting their bot to move the way they wanted others struggled. Part of the struggle is that the app is difficult to get the exact same speed each time. It doesn't allow you to just type in the speed. You have to move a scale which is very fickle to get a specific speed. The rest of the app works well and is a smooth transitions from other coding programs the students have used. The students really enjoy working with the Sphero but more than two students is too many. It works best for 1 to 2 because they have someone to talk with about what they are trying to get the bot to do.
My Take
This tool is not my favorite coding program that I have used. It has moving scales to use instead of being able to type in the numbers of how fast/far you want it to go. This caused great frustration with students. They had to adjust and readjust the speed over and over. There were also many mishaps with which direction the bot turned because it doesn't code left/right. You code the turns with degrees which often resulted in a wrong turn. After a few mistakes, most students were able to figure out that feature.