At SchoolSphero Team
This month’s STEM Spotlight features CAIMS at Penn State Harrisburg that recently conducted a case study that highlights the effectiveness of using Sphero indi.

It’s time for another STEM Spotlight to showcase an awesome way Sphero robots are being used in classrooms around the world!

This month’s STEM Spotlight features CAIMS at Penn State Harrisburg which recently conducted a case study that highlights the effectiveness of using Sphero indi to integrate math, literacy, and computational thinking concepts in grades K-2.

Key Findings From the Study

The study revealed several key findings that highlight the impact of the innovative approach to using programmable robots to teach early learners. Prior to the professional development sessions studied for the case, teachers identified curriculum inflexibility as a major barrier to teaching coding in early grades. However, online indi professional development sessions, led by Sphero’s expert trainers, significantly increased the value and efficacy that K-2 teachers placed on teaching coding. 

The study also found that professional development sessions positively influenced teachers' views on using hands-on computational thinking tools like indi to enhance K-2 students' literacy and math skills. Teachers provided algorithmic thinking examples most frequently in math problems, highlighting the potential for using Sphero indi to teach this skill. In literacy applications, phonics and word recognition were the most common examples. These findings demonstrate the versatility of Sphero indi in supporting various, and even cross-curricular, aspects of early education.

Takeaways for Educators

The takeaways of this study for educators are highly valuable. Sphero indi offers a tool for seamlessly integrating computational thinking into existing math and literacy lessons for grades K-2. By providing hands-on activities, indi enhances students' understanding of abstract concepts in complex subjects. indi also empowers educators to engage K-2 students in applying math and literacy practices to solve open-ended challenges, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills, all without the need for a device or screen. 

The study also emphasizes the importance of high-quality online professional development for educators as well. By participating in these sessions, teachers can not only gain the necessary skills and knowledge but also increase their confidence in integrating computational thinking within their existing lesson plans. This highlights the potential of professional development to bridge the gap between the demand for coding education and the skills of educators, enabling them to effectively leverage innovative tools like Sphero indi to prepare students for the digital age and future career opportunities.

We’re excited to share more about Sphero indi and its practical – and fun! – uses in the classroom. To learn more about the CAIMS Penn State Harrisburg case study and read the full research findings go here.

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