This year, with the help of Mr Philbrook, we were introduced into the world of coding using Spheros.
What are Spheros?
A Sphero is a spherical robot designed by Sphero. It is a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate, capable of rolling around, and controlled by a smartphone or tablet. A Sphero can roll at a speed of up to 7km/h in any direction and change colour. Using a range of Apps, students can accurately direct the movement of the Sphero using code.
Why do we use them?
Creatively designed lessons incorporating Spheros can develop many of the attributes. We can design and create a code to direct the Sphero while connecting, communicating, collaborating, problem solving, testing, failing, and retesting. It is one of the first ways that we are introduced into the world of coding.
What do we need?
Our school is lucky enough to have a set of Spheros in the library that we can borrow.
We also need our device with the Sphero Edu app which is free to purchase in the App store.
Our first task was to work in small groups to create a code so that the Sphero would create a square by moving around on the floor. This was quite challenging as we needed to make sure that we chose a good speed and distance that the Sphero would travel to make sure each side connected together. We also needed to select the correct degree or angle that the Sphero needed to turn to create each corner of the shape.
For our next task, Mr Philbrook taught us about the “If/Then, Else” code using the blocks program type on the Sphero Edu App. We used this code to create and play ‘The Toss Game.’ For this game we needed a group of 4. The aim of the game was to throw the Sphero to each other. When we threw the Sphero, it would make an animal sound. The person who catches the Sphero must guess the animal sound correctly. If we didn’t we had to act out that animal instead.
Before we could play the game we had to create the “If/Then,Else” code CORRECTLY! If one piece of the code was missing the game would not work. This was quite challenging. Mr Philbrook demonstrated how to use the code up by watching the video below. It really showed us how important it is to have a correct code.
The game was so much fun and it was a great reward at the end of the activity once we worked really hard to create a code.