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Sphero Spark Robots
Old 01-23-2018, 10:35 AM
 
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Is anyone using these in their classroom? I JUST got ten of them, and I'm trying to best determine how to manage them. I've not used them enough to answer these questions, and hoping someone here might be able to.

I have 10 Sphero SPRK+ and 18 Kindles. All of the Kindles have the app on them. I have 36 students. I was thinking one Sphero per group and two Kindles per group working in pairs to create the block program...

This is what I need to know: Can they be working on a block program WITHOUT being synced to the Sphero? What I'm thinking is the pair could work on their block program, then connect to the Sphero at their table to test, then disconnect to debug. That way both groups could use the same Sphero - but, I don't know if the block program will work without being connected to a device. My Dot/Dash will, because I've had kids create their block program, then each team would take turns connecting to the Dash to test their program.

And if it doesn't work, do you think four people working on one program is too many???

This is all new!


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Old 01-23-2018, 04:59 PM
 
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Congrats on your spheros. As far as I know you need to be connected to block code them. What grade and subject are you using them in? I have middle schoolers usually no more than 3 in a group using them. We just finished up creating mini golf holes. You can have some create the holes and then he other ones can be coding them once they are finished. We had a ball.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:11 PM
 
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You can absolutely have kids work on code while they are “offline”. In fact, I highly recommend that! Connecting, disconnecting, reconnecting Sphero with device can pose some issues. You’ll need to do some trial and error. I find it is best to connect a device to the Sphero in an area away from other devices and Spheros. There tends to be some communication difficulty when there are too many devices with Bluetooth on near more than one Sphero seeking a connection. I have paired specific devices to specific Sphero’s in advance for class use but sometimes things still go awry.

Just try to have fun with it. Fail forward. If nothing else, this can be a lesson in perseverance.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:45 PM
 
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Definitely do it offline if you can! I always have a couple groups who can't connect when everyone is trying to connect at once, and then we waste the whole class time trying to figure it out. Agree that it's better to connect away from others. I will send kids into the hall to connect.

I usually have the kids work in groups of 2. More than that means one kid is always sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing.

I LOVE my Spheros! We have done so much with them. My latest project is having the kids attach carts to them to deliver emergency "supplies" to survivors of a tornado. They have to engineer a cart that works with Sphero (really hard!) and then program the robot to navigate around "debris" from the tornado.
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Thanks!
Old 01-24-2018, 09:18 PM
 
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This particular group is fourth grade. I teach gifted pullout first through fourth. So far first and second have only driven them around. Third has used the Draw to draw a path...this is it first attempt at the coding. The kids love them.


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Old 01-26-2018, 09:17 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this! I've done Spheros twice now and both times it has been a madhouse! But if I have them code offline and then connect to just one and try their code, that could work! I'm going to have to try that next week. That makes me feel better about using them. I hated the chaos they created.
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