This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sphero. The opinions and text are all mine.
I am thrilled to partner with Sphero Edu today to tell you all about the SPRK+ robot.
Technology is the way of the future. There is absolutely no denying this fact — but I still get faint at the sound of it. In fact I got a little light headed just writing that sentence.
Truthfully, I think I am getting much better with it. Plus most technology is now SO user friendly. Since my confidence has been slowly building, when I had the chance to review this Sphero SPRK+ robot I took the leap. We love all things STEAM related and I adored the creativity aspect of this device as well.
It arrived and then it sat on my counter untouched for a week.
My kids were aching to try it! But I wasn’t quite ready. It was the word “coding” that made me nervous. Very technical sounding. I wanted to wait until I had a nice long bout of time that I could get to know about this robot and how it worked all on my own. And when that time came, I gathered all my courage, sat down for a moment with my feet elevated, gathered my courage for a second time, and opened that package.
And let me just say – the Sphero SPRK+ robot is so, so, so, so simple and straightforward to use! Truly.
I could have easily handled the set up with those little helping hands that so often join me. It was as simple as adding the Sphero Edu app to our iPad and tapping the robot with my hand.
Then it was time to play and explore. I was having so much fun I forgot that it was actually technology. I was having so much fun I didn’t even realise I was learning to code. I was having so much fun I forgot I was suppose to call the kids in to have a turn.
Please let me tell you a little about this robot and how my kids have been learning and playing with him.
We downloaded an app called “Sphero Edu” which includes programming activities and the ability to build and share content. It also lets my little ones program the robot in 3 different ways. Because of their ages, and their Mamas lack of technical know-how, we started with the first two options.
The first way to program SPRK+ is simply to draw! My little ones would move their finger on the iPad and draw a design or a letter or a shape and then press the play button and SPRK+ would move in exactly that way. So simple and so cool.
We popped a clear cup over the robot and taped a marker to it so we could do some ‘real-life’ drawing. It was really neat for the kids to see the lines on the paper and how they compared to the lines on the iPad. For example, when the robot turned a corner, the marker would sometimes make a wide turn causing the angles to look different.
The second way to program is by dragging and dropping instructions onto the screen. We could select “roll” and then add in how long we wanted the robot to roll for, how quickly, as well as what direction we wanted him to roll (an awesome introduction to degrees with this part). We could also drag and drop options such as spinning and colour changing.
The third option involves simple, basic coding. We haven’t tackled this yet, but as the boys get a little older they will move seamlessly into this phase. I love that there are options that make this robot accessible to all ages and ability levels.
I was amazed at all the learning that was taking place! The kids were learning the effect speed had on distance travelled, as the robot went farther over 3 seconds at a speed of 150 than 4 seconds at a speed of 75. They learned that going up hill or through grass required a faster speed. There were constant opportunities for learning.
I love how Sphero Edu goes beyond code by incorporating robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM activities. Within Sphero Edu we found activities that blend coding with real world concepts and subject areas. I truly forgot how technical I was being – I was able to move beyond code!
Here is a fabulous video letting you know all about SPRK+ and the Spero Edu app.
We have been completely impressed with the Sphero SPRK+ robot and I am so thrilled to be able to offer you a chance to win one as well!
To be entered to win a Sphero SPRK+ robot simply visit the Sphero website and leave a comment below letting me know what learning adventure you would try with your SPRK+ robot!
Please be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win!!! Thank you so much friends – and good luck!