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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

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

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 girl would love it

From Heather D on August 17, 2017 :: 3:58 pm

My daughter is trying to learn to code. She would absolutely love this!

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My family and I would

From Kortney Lah on August 17, 2017 :: 4:22 pm

My family and I would love to use this for educational purposes!

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We would use this one

From elizabeth miller on August 17, 2017 :: 5:32 pm

We would use this one with my older one using the javascripting to create games and coding.

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This would be perfect for

From Saundra Bowers on August 17, 2017 :: 6:36 pm

This would be perfect for my grandson to learn coding and programming.

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My son would freak out

From Kris Ares on August 17, 2017 :: 6:37 pm

My son would love this he takes the free coding classes at the library. He wants to code when he grows up.

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BigDreamers YouthClub

From Tremaine on August 17, 2017 :: 6:39 pm

I would definitely use this to mentor the youth group I help run . The kids under privileged kids really need this .

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My daughter is so into

From Megan on August 17, 2017 :: 7:19 pm

My daughter is so into anything learning related, especially science and tech! Something like this she would just be ecstatic about!

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This looks like an amazing

From Brittany Galt-Farren on August 17, 2017 :: 9:18 pm

This looks like an amazing tool to help expand growing minds. My children would love this. Thank you for this opportunity.

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The next level

From Sigal on August 17, 2017 :: 9:47 pm

My son 8 yr old would love to move on from just coding in apps and programs to something that would actually respond and move by his commands! It will take his skills to the next level.

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my nieces and nephews would love this

From faith on August 17, 2017 :: 9:56 pm

My nieces and nephews would love this! I would v love this to teach them coding, two of these children are special needs, so this would be an amazing teaching tool… Thanks for the opportunity

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My son Paul!

From Kati Paul on August 17, 2017 :: 10:33 pm

My son would love to learn more about coding and this would be great!

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I'd love it for teaching

From Leela on August 18, 2017 :: 12:29 am

I’d love it for teaching shapes and colors.

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My granddaughter would love this.

From Eileen Boyce on August 18, 2017 :: 2:01 am

My granddaughter would love this.

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I would let my kids

From Rachel Browning on August 18, 2017 :: 2:24 am

I would let my kids have a chance to learn more coding

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Let her imagination roam

From David L. on August 18, 2017 :: 3:01 am

I would let my 11 daughter’s coding imagination roam. This would give her physical results from her coding labor.

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Apple camp

From Rana on August 18, 2017 :: 3:13 am

My daughters had an opportunity to test one of these at mini apple camp this year and loved it! They’d love to have one to explore coding and programming more.

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I have a 1st grader

From Janice Geddings Joyner on August 18, 2017 :: 5:52 am

I have a 1st grader & a child in 4-k & they are needing the new methods of learning! I know Sphero Edu Robot would be a educational & also fun for my 2 girls! If you make teaching & learning an exciting adventure, they will always remember what they learned

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Love it

From Mel c on August 18, 2017 :: 10:02 am

Love this, would be great for my family to use together to have fun but also all learn together.

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My children

From Jacqueline Morillo on August 18, 2017 :: 11:43 am

I definitely use it to teach my children

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Son

From Jessica Liss on August 18, 2017 :: 12:55 pm

My son uses Scratch to code and I would love to expose him to more. He has autism and practices all day everyday!

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I think we would use

From D Schmidt on August 18, 2017 :: 1:19 pm

I think we would use this as a great tool for creating instructions and basic programming. Might even help my son grasp the idea of following an instruction wink ha!

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I would give this to

From Trisha McKee on August 18, 2017 :: 4:44 pm

I would give this to my child so we would have a fun, unique way to learn!

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Perfect!

From Lindsay Kopp on August 18, 2017 :: 4:48 pm

As a homeschooling mom I am always looking for a new way to educate my children.  This would be a perfect fit for my children.  It would help my son flourish in his need to code/technology.

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Twice the fun

From Sharon Ruth on August 18, 2017 :: 5:15 pm

I have two kids, 10 and 12, that would love to have this to supplement the programming they learn at school. We can’t buy all the cool toys, so school is the only place they get an opportunity.

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My son would love this.

From Jess L. Reid on August 18, 2017 :: 5:27 pm

My son would love this. It would be a terrific learning tool.

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My son has been asking

From Tosha Ince on August 18, 2017 :: 5:36 pm

My son has been asking but without know much about it this looks like a great opportunity thank you for the chance!

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My son would love this!

From Danielle Criddle on August 18, 2017 :: 7:13 pm

He is learning about simple coding now and wants to do more and eventually as a career. This would be so helpful!

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I would give this to

From Jerry Marquardt on August 18, 2017 :: 7:25 pm

I would give this to my nephew. He would benefit educationally.

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STEM challenges

From Rachel P. on August 18, 2017 :: 9:46 pm

I would use it in my middle school classroom for STEM challenges that pertain to my curriculum.

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My kids are just starting

From Meme on August 18, 2017 :: 9:57 pm

My kids are just starting to get into coding, i would use this in many different ways to keep their interest. One way i would use this is to let them create a maze and see who can command their sphere through their maze the fastest.

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In the afterschool program ACE

From Rosemary Babcock on August 18, 2017 :: 10:53 pm

Not only when I spark the imagination and motivation of my 10 year old going into 5th grader, but I would also introduce Sphero to many underprivileged and academically challenged children in the after-school program at our local school district. Many of the students have experience with code.org and would continue to be motivated to use block programming with technology such as this robot. Please consider passing this technology to where it can be most utilized to as many children as possible. Thank you!

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This would be perfect for

From Lily Kwan on August 19, 2017 :: 12:14 am

This would be perfect for my friend.

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Developing a brilliant mind

From Sarah Dooge on August 19, 2017 :: 7:16 am

My 10 yr old son has been having trouble at school ever since he lost his dad.  He’s been working with a mentor to help him. His mentor,  Mr. Wolfe, has found he is catching on to coding very quickly and is encouraging him to work on developing these skills.  This would be an amazing blessing for him to have a fun way to see his skills in action and keep him engaged at home!

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Aspbergers son

From Dione Rose on August 21, 2017 :: 3:57 pm

My son has always loved robots & tech stuff.  This could get him to learn the “how” robots work

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Great learning tool

From Nancy G on August 21, 2017 :: 11:46 pm

My daughter saw something similar in our last visit to our local science museum,she expressed interest but I didn’t know where to start. This would be great!

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