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Sphero Edu is a Fun, Engaging Way to Develop Coding Skills

by on July 26, 2017
in Sponsored, Family and Parenting, Kids, Software & Games, Blog, Back to School :: 185 comments

When I was growing up, kids at my school were far more likely to be taking a typing class than learning how to code. But computers have become such an integral part of our lives – from the powerful smartphones in our pockets to the Internet sites we use to get our information to our increasingly interconnected smart homes – that it is impossible to imagine life without them. And for our children, developing strong skills in not just using computers, but learning how to create the code that runs them, opens numerous options for their future careers.

As a journalist, I regularly use basic HTML and coding tools to produce the content for Techlicious. Friends of mine who run their own businesses have learned to code to keep their websites updated. And if your child has an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, being comfortable with coding is a must.

Helping kids gain proficiency in coding is the mission of Sphero Edu. Using a simple robotic ball called SPRK+, Sphero Edu offers children of all ages a community where they can engage in fun, collaborative activities that teach them the foundation of coding.

At its simplest, parents can help younger kids program SPRK+ by drawing shapes on a virtual canvas in the Sphero Edu app – ideal for kids who haven't yet leaned how to read. SPRK+ will follow the shape drawn.

Sphero Edu app block codeThen kids can step up to "block" programming, where they can drag-and-drop commands to create an infinite number of combinations to make SPRK+ do whatever they can imagine. There are dozens of commands that control movement and color, make sounds, create logical structures (If Then statements, program loops) and perform calculations to solve problems (e.g., give SPRK+ two sides of a triangle and have it figure out how to move to connect the two with a hypotenuse using the Pythagorean theorem). My 8-year old had no trouble getting up and going to create his first program that made SPRK+ roll to his father, squawk like a chicken and then return home. Pythagoras is in the pipeline...

More advanced learners can dig directly into the underlying JavaScript to see how the block programming gets translated into code. And then they can start building programs directly in JavaScript, themselves.

While kids can use the Sphero Edu app and SPRK+ to learn code on their own, the Sphero Edu community is what makes things special. There you will find an ever-growing list of hundreds of ideas from community members and Sphero experts for fun, educational activities kids can engage in. Some use just the SPRK+ robot, while others are full-blown engineering projects and science experiments powered by SPRK+. Kids can go in to find their own projects or parents can assign projects to them in virtual "classes". This video gives you a quick peek what you can use it for.

If you're looking to help your child explore his or her interest in coding, you can purchase the Sphero SPRK+ in the Sphero store for $129.99, which includes the app and access to the entire Sphero Edu community. You can download the Sphero Edu app for free in the App Store for iOS devices and Play Store for Android phones and tablets.

As a special offer to our readers, we are also giving away a SPRK+ Robot to one lucky winner. To enter, tell us in a comment below how you would use the SPRK+ in your family. The giveaway ends August 18, 2017. See official rules for complete details.

This is a sponsored conversation written on behalf of Sphero.


Discussion loading

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My son would use this

From Kristyn Martin on July 27, 2017 :: 10:14 am

My son would use this to develop his coding skills.

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Grandson

From William Karcher on July 27, 2017 :: 11:23 am

My grandson has autism and this would be a great tool to help him to learn !

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My Grandsons

From Tfunneman on July 27, 2017 :: 11:31 am

I have five grandsons with two of them being old enough now to appreciate learning these skills and one that isn’t far behind.  I love technology and would love to teach that love to my grandkids!

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Granddaughters

From Bill St. John on July 27, 2017 :: 11:34 am

I would give this to my granddaughters to get them interested in coding.

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Grandson

From Mark Haas on July 27, 2017 :: 11:40 am

I’d give to my grandson who is taking coding classes right now!

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Would give it to my grandson

From Sharon on July 27, 2017 :: 12:23 pm

My 10 year old grandson is interested in building robots and other such techie interests.

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Definitely for my little one

From susan on July 27, 2017 :: 12:54 pm

Definitely for my little one who would love to push it to the limit!

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nice but not nice

From Denzil Ford on July 27, 2017 :: 1:37 pm

very cool and i have a 11 year old girl who codes in scratch or busy learning at present .... unfortunately all the cool stuff and offers are never on offer in this country… thanks for the gorgeous headsup though ... stunning what is out there at present…

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My nephews would love this

From Jenny Ham on July 27, 2017 :: 6:15 pm

My nephews would love this I would be the cool aunt if I had this we would have a lot of fun with this.

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I would use this for

From Danielle Bell on July 27, 2017 :: 6:28 pm

I would use this for my son, to help him with learning coding

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My step son would love

From Kelli Bryson on July 27, 2017 :: 6:30 pm

My step son would love this! He is totally into robotics

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Sphero

From Chris Bulfone on July 27, 2017 :: 6:35 pm

I’d try this with my daughter who is autistic and has a fascination with numbers. Coding looks like something she could excel in and possibly a future career.

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My grandkids and I would

From Karen Wilson Bellomy on July 27, 2017 :: 6:44 pm

My grandkids and I would build robots together

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Id love this for my

From Mary Benack on July 27, 2017 :: 6:47 pm

Id love this for my granddaughter it would help her with learning skills.

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I would use this with

From beth cole on July 27, 2017 :: 6:50 pm

I would use this with my son. He is so interested in learning how things work.

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My daughter is on the

From Donna Clifford on July 27, 2017 :: 7:07 pm

My daughter is on the robotics team, and I she could use this to help with the team.

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I would send this to

From Karen Adams on July 27, 2017 :: 7:24 pm

I would send this to my nephews to help in coding

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my son

From John Sweeney on July 27, 2017 :: 7:30 pm

my son

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My son would love this!

From Lauren U on July 27, 2017 :: 9:01 pm

My son would love this! I’d love to help him learn to code.

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As a fun way to

From Austin H. on July 28, 2017 :: 3:36 am

As a fun way to learn new technology, this is excellent.

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As a teacher, I could

From Char on July 28, 2017 :: 8:28 am

As a teacher, I could use Sphero with my students. Thank you so much!!

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I would give it to

From Tammy Shelton on July 28, 2017 :: 10:59 am

I would give it to my 10 yer old grandson who loves cool gadgets.

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To work on programming

From Brian K on July 28, 2017 :: 11:41 am

To work on programming

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I'd give it to my

From Ryan W on July 28, 2017 :: 12:06 pm

I’d give it to my son to introduce programming

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Would love this for my

From Lisa Bourlier on July 28, 2017 :: 1:44 pm

Would love this for my very techie Son!

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My grand-daughters are already interested

From Mary Beth Elderton on July 28, 2017 :: 2:50 pm

My grand-daughters are already interested in coding, so this owuld be a great learning tool.

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My daughter would love this.

From Nicole H on July 28, 2017 :: 4:31 pm

My daughter would love this. It would be great to work on coding skills while having fun!

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I homeschool and my child is a Freshman in high school

From Mardi Horner on July 28, 2017 :: 5:51 pm

My child was accepted to the School of Engineering and Science in Sacramento, but could not attend due to severe anxiety and daily panic attacks. We have no resources other than a set of digital texts and our imaginations. We are on a fixed income and can not afford to purchase something like sprk+, but our child was really looking forward to robotics. We would have fun learning together!

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my son and i would

From carol clark on July 28, 2017 :: 7:07 pm

my son and i would use it for some fun and educational purpose

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I would use SPRK+ and

From Nicole Lancaster on July 28, 2017 :: 11:21 pm

I would use SPRK+ and Sphero Edu to start my children’s coding skills. This would be a great way to introduce them to coding and working on develop basic coding skills along with teaching me the basics too.

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I would use Shpero Edu

From carrie simon on July 29, 2017 :: 8:54 am

I would use Shpero Edu to get my daughter interested in coding.

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I would use this to

From Kelly D on July 29, 2017 :: 9:09 am

I would use this to teach my kids how to program.

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I would teach them the

From Kelly D on July 29, 2017 :: 9:10 am

I would teach them the programming aspect by challenging them to teach sphero new commands.

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I would use this

From Juli on July 29, 2017 :: 2:07 pm

I would use this to teach myself, and my children how to program!

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Comment.

From John Smith on July 29, 2017 :: 2:14 pm

“How you would use SPRK+ and Sphero Edu with your family to develop coding skills?”  I would use this carefully and wisely, so as to promote good, and not evil!

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LOVE

From Ohsweetmel on July 29, 2017 :: 9:57 pm

I would love to learn how to code with my younger brother! I have always wanted to learn to code, but as a 20-something year old woman, I have been embarrassed to pick it up, for fear of looking inadequate in a male-dominated field. I have a 13 year old brother who I really think would bond with me over this. He has the original sphere product, and loves it! Thank you for the chance!

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Teaching Coding

From Justin Johnson on July 29, 2017 :: 9:59 pm

I would use this to teach my daughter about coding!

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I would use Shpero EDU

From Betty Tarcy on July 29, 2017 :: 10:16 pm

My nephew and I would learn coding together.

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I would use Sphero to

From Margaret Smith on July 29, 2017 :: 11:05 pm

I would use Sphero to help my son gain interest in coding.

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To help teach my kids.

From BW on July 30, 2017 :: 11:43 pm

To help teach my kids.

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That maze looks like fun

From Kathy Persons on July 31, 2017 :: 12:32 pm

That maze looks like fun to do

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my husband is really good

From amanda whitley on August 02, 2017 :: 12:51 am

my husband is really good at coding and i think sphero would be a fun way to show the kids his passion in something fun for them.

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I would use this with

From Michelle Hill on August 02, 2017 :: 4:22 pm

I would use this with my nieces and nephews and we could learn together.

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I would introduce it to

From Richard Hicks on August 06, 2017 :: 11:34 pm

I would introduce it to them and get them excited about coding.

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This would make an awesome

From Darlene W on August 07, 2017 :: 6:04 pm

This would make an awesome gift for my nephew and niece who are just starting out on computers! They’d love to learn with this! Thanks!

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My daughter really wants to

From Denise M on August 08, 2017 :: 12:49 am

My daughter really wants to learn how to code and this would be so fun for her

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I have two young boys.

From Jessie Thompson on August 10, 2017 :: 12:03 pm

I have two young boys. This would be an excellent teaching opportunity for them!

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Homeschool

From Stevie Sparks on August 10, 2017 :: 10:38 pm

I homeschool my 3 boys and neice. My oldest son is so into technology sometimes it’s annoying. I would use this as one of his lessons. Thank you for the chance

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My daughter has a learning

From Brittany Fraser on August 11, 2017 :: 12:34 am

My daughter has a learning disability. But she excels in math. I want to keep encouraging her, and this would be a great way to introduce her to coding.she would absolutely love this! Thank you for the chance, good luck everyone!!!!

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He would go crazy

From Anne Ford on August 11, 2017 :: 7:45 am

My 7 year old insists he is going to be a video game programmer and computer programmer when he grows up. He would love this.

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