SPhero SPRK Review: How to Learn Programming While Having a Ball!
The concept of the sphere has literally been around since the dawn of time.
It began, of course, nothing more than balls of rocks, molten lava and ice hurling through space; surrounded by vast depths of nothingness.
Eventually, these giant balls of rocks found a little thing called gravity and became what we now know as planets.
Flash Forward a few millennia or so and suddenly you got mankind! We may have started as intelligent mounds of living flesh, but eventually found a concept we like to call “intelligence”.
Soon we had towns, built society, created art, and developed education…
but most of all we had fun!
Mankind And Our Need For Fun!
At some point during this time of discovery, man realized we not only wanted to become smart, we wanted to enjoy ourselves while doing it.
What began as simple children’s games are now multiple multi-million dollar corporations. And, some could argue, that it all started with the design of the ball.
But what happens when the ball goes high tech?…
The Sphero SPRK
At first glance, it looks as if it is straight out of some sort of science fiction film.
With its transparent outer layer and constant color changing glow, you may put this aside thinking it to be no more than a child’s plaything. You could not be more wrong.
What you have to understand is that the abbreviation of “SPRK” is actually an acronym for “School, Parents, Robots, Kids”.
This means that, although it may have been deliberately designed to appear to be a simple ball, it is actually designed to teach kids of absolutely all ages the basic fundamentals of computer programming.
Now, before you get frightened away by thought of computers and the very complex concepts of circuitry and data storage, keep in mind the purpose of this toy is not to discourage, but to ENCOURAGE.
In fact, upon opening the contents of the box, you will find a blank notepad for taking notes, simple cardboard protractor, a pencil, and three little numbered cardboard dots.
These will all coincide with the easy to use app which is free to download and does not require any computer learning skills of any kind whatsoever.
The mixture of the clear sturdy plastic ball and charging base with the sleek, classic cardboard accessories really hits home and sends a message to kids that old school and modern tech are NOT enemies and are, in point of fact, life long allies.
Again, the charging base is clear, just like the ball itself, and will light up upon charging. One of the really cool things about the charger is the fact that it comes with multiple plugs to fit multiple outlets no matter what part of the globe you live in.
Now, you may be thinking “Sure, plugging it in is simple enough, but what can a little glowing ball really teach my kids about programming?”
Well, that’s the beauty of Sphero SPRK.
Not only is it extremely easy to use, even for the “not so tech savy” but it is extremely fun as well!
The commands are almost ridiculously easy to maneuver and teach children the basics of programming, various computer coding, and how electronics work in general.
You can use the little extras that come with your Sphero to make it move between 3 set points, or, if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can turn off the lights and have the little guy give you a light show!
There is virtually no end to what you and your child can do with this wonderful product. The price may start out at just around $130, but trust me, in the long run it is worth so much more.
So don’t be afraid, Dad. Even if you may still not know how to program your DVR or have to ask your teen to even just turn on your television, you too can seem like a science wiz with just the touch of a button. If you want more info, just visit www.sphero.com/sphero-sprk.
Now get out there and start programming!