Ways To Use Your Drone In The Classroom

by coptrz on May 11, 2016

Ways To Use Your Drone In The Classroom

Drones are no longer for the military, nor are they the sole remit of the commercial sector! In fact, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are perfect for teaching a whole range of different subjects for your school, college, or university.

The use of drones in the classroom has significantly increased even in the last year, because teachers are cottoning onto the fact that they’re great teaching tools. Not only can many classes use the technology for subject-specific skills, drones also help to develop innovative thinking, problem solving, and encourage group participation.

A Quick Word On Drone Law In Education

This is a tricky one, as it varies from country to country. However, all air regulators agree on one thing: if you fly a drone for commercial gain, you need a drone pilot’s license to do so. This means that your students can fly drones in the classroom no worries – as they’re using it for education – but some countries may have a strict ruling on teacher operation. For example, the FAA in the United States says that, because teachers are paid, that’s commercial gain and you’ll need a license. In the UK, however, the rules are different. In the EU, they’re different again – best to make sure you know what’s what before you bring your drone onto campus!

Cool Ways To Use A Drone In The Classroom

OK, legal stuff out of the way (sorry, had to be done), let’s look at the different subjects which can benefit from using drones…

– Science: Get your students to design a drone! Or for younger students, use a drone to demonstrate physics principles such as aerodynamics and push/pull lift of rotors.

– Mathematics: Mastering a drone means applying theoretical maths in real life! Learning to fly means understanding certain principles of maths: get your students to pre-plot a GPS flight where the drone must follow a particular path or distance.

– English: Ah, everyone loves a grand old debate, right? Drones are perfect: kids will engage with the idea of new technology and be able to get stuck into a discussion on the ethics of drones. Alternatively, use them in a creative writing class to imagine the future, or what could happen if a drone developed AI.

– Media: This is a bit obvious but we’ll stick it here anyway: media studies students can easily make amazing films with cameras fitted to drones. Great aerial footage can be gathered – why not set your media studies students a project to create a film that raises awareness of the bee population problem, telling the story from the air?

– Engineering: Build a drone. We don’t even really need to explain more here.

Higher Education And Drones: A Match Made In Heaven

Higher education courses in particular can benefit from using drones as part of course studies. Some universities, such as the University of South Florida, run a ‘drone loan’ program: once students have been trained how to fly one, they can borrow one from the library for any course project they like.

This has more than the obvious advantages to improving the student body’s creative opportunities: increased usage of the library – in any form – is likely to help boost grades. Keeping up with modern technology is one way to ensure your campus library is still used to best effect – no more students sitting on Google, they’ll be getting out there to apply theory to practice!

Higher education courses using drones also offer another clear and immediate advantage for students: the massive booming industry for UAVs is only going to grow exponentially in the next few years. Any organisation offering drone building or flying as part of their curriculum is immediately giving their students a strong advantage for their upcoming graduation and new careers. A business already using drones is going to want new graduates who are already familiar with the technology – or, even better, ones who have studied the technology and improved it during their course.

Drones And The Law For Students

We’re banging on about the law, we know, but now you’ve seen just some of the many ways you could use drones as part of your teaching toolkit, it needs to be mentioned again.

If you’re lending drones to students, you need to make sure of a few things:

1) They MUST be aware of local and state UAV laws to avoid getting in trouble or causing risk, such as not flying within 5 miles of an airport;

2) Your public liability insurance covers use of drones off-site by a non-qualified pilot.

3) Your drone is insured against accidental damage (see Point 2).

4) Your students are trained on campus before they’re allowed to go anywhere with a UAV on their own!

As you can see, we’ve only touched on the very briefest of ways a drone can make all the difference in the classroom. Soon, you’ll be able to download our totally free whitepaper on drones in education, which will have far more detail included. Until then, if you have any queries or want to have a drone trial at your school, college, or university – get in touch! Email info@coptrz.com with your requests.

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