Blog Post


I’ll just wait – BUT, did you go back?

Written by: Kyleigh Lewis

Information Overload

Information Overload. Information Overload is probably a more appropriate title to any professional development session or conference that educators attend. We attend keynotes, workshops, and break-out sessions. We take notes. We enjoy networking and viewing the vendor hall for the “swag.” We make it to the last day of the conference, and we are… EXHAUSTED. 

If you are anything like me, I tell myself I will come back to my resources and favorite slide decks next week, or at the next school break. However, life often happens and I miss out on capitalizing on the wonderful resources that so many great educators share and create to ease our workload.

Session Recap

At the Spring NETA Conference in March, one of my favorite sessions I attended was “Robotics Through the Years” presented by Jackson Barnes and Ryan Callan from Ord Jr./Sr. High School. A great progression has been made to implement Spheros into all grade levels. From Sphero Olympics to Battlebots, Spheros can be used to teach coding in block and programming languages. This is a joint effort in their district to allow for computer science advancement, cross-curricular design, and growth of science principles. The presentation link can be found at the bottom of the blog.

Spheros in Education

Sphero robots have gained popularity in education, particularly in K-12 settings, due to their ability to engage students in hands-on learning experiences. These programmable robots offer various features that make them suitable for educational purposes. Here are some ways Sphero robots are used in K-12 education:

Introduction to Programming: Sphero robots can be programmed using block-based coding or programming languages. By using these visual programming environments, students can learn programming concepts such as loops, conditionals, and variables while controlling the robot’s movements, colors, and sounds.

STEM Education: Sphero robots are excellent tools for teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts. Students can explore physics principles like motion, velocity, and acceleration by experimenting with the robot’s movements. They can also design and build structures or contraptions to interact with the robot, fostering engineering and problem-solving skills.

Robotics and Coding Clubs: Sphero robots are popular choices for extracurricular robotics and coding clubs in schools. Students can work in teams to solve challenges, create obstacle courses, or compete in robot races. These activities promote collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Cross-Curricular Integration: Sphero robots can be integrated into various subject areas beyond STEM. For example, in language arts, students can create stories or scripts featuring the robot as a character and use coding to bring their narratives to life. In art classes, they can explore color theory by programming the robot to display different colors or patterns.

Accessibility and Inclusivity: Sphero robots are designed to be accessible to students of all abilities. They have features like built-in LED lights for visual feedback, programmable sounds for auditory feedback, and compatibility with assistive technology devices. This inclusivity allows students with diverse learning needs to actively participate in robotics and programming activities.

Real-World Applications: Sphero robots provide opportunities for students to connect their learning to real-world applications. They can explore topics such as autonomous vehicles and robotic systems. By engaging with Sphero robots, students gain insights into the practical applications of robotics and coding in various industries.

Overall, Sphero robots offer an engaging and interactive platform for K-12 students to develop programming skills, enhance their understanding of STEM concepts, and foster creativity and critical thinking. By integrating these robots into classroom activities, educators can create dynamic learning experiences that prepare students for the digital age.

Take A Glance

If you missed out, take the time to go back and check out the resources from your favorite Spring 2023 Conference Sessions via Sched. Whether you are completing summer work hours, flex hours, or spending some time at the pool, you can look back through the resources and materials you collected at Spring NETA and prepare for the 2023-2024 school year.

Presentation Resources from #yourNETA Spring Conference 2023