By: Jeffrey Derrick
Specdrums by Sphero are an Augmented Reality (AR)§ tool designed to engage the user with their environment through sound and color. The Specdrum sits on the fingers of the user, allowing them to tap their environment while connected to headphones, and create sounds and rhythms. The rings are additionally built to pair with the Specdrums MIX§ app, which allows the user to sample music already created and play off that, or create loops and beats. There are additionally numerous resources and activities available online to engage students and involve them in music and STEAM§ education.
The Specdrum is a product from Sphero’s K-12 education program§ – centered around Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics – in order to bring those disciplines together in education development. The Sphero mission is centered around equipping learners from many backgrounds to engage in their interests from multiple angles. The Specdrum specifically was designed with programming and music education in mind, encouraging students to engage with multiple forms of media as they explore music education. It’s capability to bridge the real world and digital media creation are the key elements built to engage students.
Sphero is transforming K-12 education with accessible tools that encourage exploration, imagination, and perseverance through STEAM and computer science. Sphero assists educators worldwide in developing programs for student development and engagement across multiple disciplines. Sphero has also developed such products as the Sphero Indi Education Robot§, the Bolt Coding Robot§, the Little Bits Workshop§, among other tools designed to integrate education and technology.
Uses in education
The Specdrum is a good tool for students to understand AR systems and how they can connect digital and physical environments. As it encourages students to play with color and music, it is a valuable tool for elementary educators looking to engage students in a wider variety of programs. For the same reason, it is able to play a role specifically in music classrooms as an alternative creation process.