Coding Gadgets

If you are coding and programming with iPad either within our iCode initiative, or using other apps and resources , just a few additional apps and gadgets can extend learning even further and bring it alive.

But where do you start?

Easy – programmable devices such as drones are cost effective and very powerful add ons to iPad. They work with all versions of iPad, are simple to set up and have lots of help and support available to ensure they can be used for clear outcomes in class. Both of our recommendations are sure to provide engagement and even a little excitement in class!

Pick 1 – Sphero SPRK+
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A motorised ball which can be fully programmed and has a range of apps for design, challenge, coding and competition. Great battery life.

AE-SPRP – £98.50

Read More about Sphero and buying options here

Pick 2 – Parrot Mini Drone

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Give your class its very own flying drone. It’s fully programmable through the Tickle app. It’s safe, easily controlled and simple to land in an emergency. Only small downside is a 7 minute battery life but that’s more than adequate for most lessons!

AE-PAR1 – £74.10

 

 

You can order both of these from our shop.

 

Don’t forget the app!

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The app we recommend for these devices is ‘Tickle’ – a fantastic app for visual programming and applications for any type of drone and also an app we centre a huge number of our activities around.

 

Need help?

 

We can get you coding workshops, get you involved in our iCode after school club, train staff or just provide you with some sample lessons. Drop us an email and we’ll help.

Check out our iCode coding pages for more help, advice, guidance and documents.

 

Some other help…

Hints and Tips

  1. Plan your drone lessons indoors.  Wind may cause problems for smaller drones. If you are using the larger AR or Bebop drones then you are all set!
  2. Be organised and go over the safety tips we have noted or provided in your teacher pack.
  3. Have students organised on one side of the room and plan for the drones to fly away.
  4. Drones may get dropped from the Tickle app and pick up other drones if you have multiple drones flying.
  5. Since there is a lot of room for inquiry in drone/sphero coding lessons, do check pupil programs before they fly to be sure they didn’t get too far off from the program you were hoping they would create.
  6. It is okay to be run as a teacher centred drone lesson for the first few lessons until students gather confidence with programming their drone.
  7. Lessons with Sphero and Tickle first really help to build background skills for safe drone use.
  8. Battery life is only about 7 minutes for the mini drone, so invest in additional batteries and chargers to keep things running.

Mini Drone Pupil Safety Tips:

  1. Always communicate well with your team.
  2. If you are in charge of driving your quadcopter, you must be sure no one is holding the quadcopter in their hands or kneeling near it and be certain everyone on your team knows when it is time to fly.
  3. Be aware of other groups around you.
  4. Act out your program before you hit play.
  5. Do not try to grab the drone while it is flying.
  6. Put your hair back in a ponytail.
  7. Do not run after the drone if it is running astray.
  8. When in doubt, parachute out. (Use the emergency landing button).
  9. Each person in the group has a role. Please share the roles by taking turns.
  • Operator- in charge of the iPad and adding program changes
  • Observer- in charge of quadcopter
  • Recorder- in charge of recording measurements on sheet

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