Best described as a robotic ball, the Sphero is one of the robotic devices in the Digital Technologies Kit that was supplied to Government Primary Schools across Western Australia. The reasons it is one of my favourite robotic devices, and the reasons I recommend using it in the classroom is because it is durable and versatile. Sphero is not just a robotic ball that can be coded, there are so many other ways that it can be used as well. Below are a few,
Painting with Sphero
Students can use the draw function in Sphero Edu, where what they draw on the iPad screen, the Sphero replicates on paper, when dipped in paint. In this lesson with younger students, the teacher can focus students’ attention to different line types and primary colours. Students can then make secondary colours by mixing primary colours with the Sphero driving through the paint.
For older students, they can code the sphero to recreate their design using paint. In this lesson, students can be learning about angles and distances that the Sphero needs to travel to create a design.
Sphero Powered Vehicles
Spheros can also be used in Design and Technology lessons, whereby students design a land or water based vehicle that the Sphero will power, as the engine. Students can then be challenged to transport passengers or cargo from one location to another, or they can compete against other vehicles, to see which vehicle safely travels the fastest from point a to point b.
Light Drawing with Sphero
Spheros can also be used to create light drawings in a dark room. Here the iPad uses an app Slow Shutter to capture the light trail Spheros make when moving around.