Connecting Through Coding

Exploring shared interests

The small bright balls moved around the cones like soccer players in a dribbling drill. After each completed a successful run, the group of students nearby cheered like proud parents.

They had coded the balls, called Sphero BOLTs, to move, spin and stop—using skills that were totally new to them several months ago.

All this excitement and the school day hadn’t even officially started.

discovering shared enjoyment

Instructional Collaboration

This was the final morning of a before-school pilot program at Increase Miller Elementary.

The school’s instructional technology support, Emily Bocklet, had invited the small group of fourth and fifth graders to play with the robotic spheres. She showed them how to connect to them with their iPads and use block coding commands. The purpose was to use the students’ feedback to help determine how teachers would introduce the robots in their classroom.

Bocklet noted how quickly the students caught on to coding the Sphero BOLTs. “The students are looking forward to bringing some of their knowledge of how the BOLTS work to fourth and fifth grade classmates,” said Bocklet.