As back to school season kicks in for many of my US teacher friends, we still have three weeks to go here in Ontario and I am loving every second of it!
Recently I picked up a Sphero Bolt and Code Mat to explore new coding opportunities for students. I have been a fan of Sphero for as long as I can remember and really dig the features of the Sphero Edu app.
Before I get to the app, let me dissect the Code Mat. For starters, I cannot believe how big and durable it is sitting at 1 metre x 2 metres in length. One side of the map contains city locations with an alphanumeric grid while the back contains a cool looking golf course containing a cartesian grid system. Packed with the mat was sets of activity cards to be used with both sides.
From the Sphero website:
The Sphero Code Mat seamlessly pairs learning with play. Perfect for educators, students, and parents, this two-sided mat offers a simple, accessible way to learn block-based coding, basic math principles, and collaborative problem-solving with Sphero robots. The mat comes with 3 sets of Activity Cards, providing over 40 hours of coding and skill building. It’s the perfect pairing for hands-on coding concepts.
Explore concepts like distance, speed, math fundamentals, and basic coding by navigating around sand traps, mastering a trick shot, or scoring a birdie with your bot.
Program your robot with Draw, Blocks or Text to navigate around the city, plan a road trip or run some errands. There’s so much to see and do in Sphero Town, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a ball.
The Sphero Code Mat opens up unlimited opportunities for learning and play. Including 3 packs of activity cards featuring 20 fun coding challenges and games.
The Sphero Edu app comes with a wicked array of learning opportunities. When you first open it, your first program is created and a test run. Within seconds I was connected to the Bolt and enjoying a round of golf.
I decided to try my luck with the triangle activity and quickly learned how simple it is to program different directions with the built in compass feature. What makes this approach to learning so remarkable in the immediate feedback provided by the app. When I ran my first triangle program, a path was drawn on my phone showing the route my Sperho took.
Apparently I might just be a tad rusty with drawing triangles. But that is what makes this approach to learning so meaningful. Immediate feedback. Freedom to fail. A safe place to take risks. Learning from trial and error. And with a few clicks and edits, my triangle was complete.
Those who know me recognize how important I feel constructivist learning is as it provides a level of authenticity that makes learning meaningful and impactful. The Sphero Edu App and Code Mat are phenomenal tools I am adding to my toolkit as they both grow with students. The activity cards are low floor (approachable by many) and high ceiling (can be advanced as needed for the learner). You’ll notice in the app settings we have many opportunities to do some really advanced programming.
What’s in the box
- Two-sided, 86in x 45in Sphero Code Mat
- 3x Sets of Activity Cards
- Sphero Edu app available for download on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Chrome
- Sphero Play app available for download on iOS and Android
Are you ready for the best part? I just learned about a back to school promotion!
- If you purchase the BOLT 15 Pack, you’ll get access to Sphero Fundamentals, a self-guided 90 day course on all things Sphero, and
- If you purchase the BOLT Power Pack, you’ll receive our Code Mat and 20 activity cards.
My doggies approve!