The future of education: how drones are transforming teaching and learning

The following guest post about educational drones was written by David Santana, a blogger who focuses on writing about the evolution of modern education. 

Drones and their rapid development have entered a new era of learning and teaching. Drones are at the forefront of innovation — and using them as technological tools has become an integral part of education. Here’s a look at some of the most standout ways that drones have transformed both teaching and learning:

Enriching STEM Curricula

One of the main areas where drones find their application is in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. Drones allow students to practically explore these fields in practice, often used to conduct experiments and research in real conditions in a way that makes learning more exciting and effective. Students can learn fields including physics, programming, and geography by flying drones and analyzing the data they collect.

The use of drones in classrooms follows all sorts of changing approaches to learning. As workload requirements for students grow, more and more students turn to personal academic experts — often via online services where writers provide qualified online help. Such actions are the last ones the modern world requires. Students might use a research paper writing service, which many argue can simplify learning and allow students to focus on developing important skills. And for students seeking a promising career in the drone industry, that time very well may be spent focusing on drone flying — making it so two forward technologies support each other.

Enabling immersive, virtual tours

Another unique use case for drones in classrooms is to enable virtual tours and excursions. Learners can fly high above geographically remote regions — from Acapulco to the Exclusion Zone. With a drone, students can visit the most famous places on the planet.

The impact of drones on technological skills

Drones support a myriad of technological skills including remote control, programming, data analysis, and other modern technologies. Here’s a deeper dive into some of those things:

Sensor technologies

Drones are equipped with various sensors, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, GPS, and cameras. No matter which of the modern sensor technologies a student is learning, a drone likely offers a hands-on opportunity to use them.

DJI Tello review Ryze drone
The Tello drone in the box

Programming and control

Even simple drones like the $100 Tello drone can be incredible tools to teach the basics of coding and algorithms. For example, the Tello drone utilizes Scratch, which is a programming language targeted at children, as its coding platform. Essentially, you can program the drone to fly certain directions based on the “code” you have written.

For more advanced coding education, students might use something like the Raspberry Pi drone kit to build and program their own drone using the tiny onboard computer. Raspberry Pi drones can range from programming basic flights to far more in-depth applications including automating drone delivery missions, drone swarms and computer vision missions.

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer.

Data visualization and analysis

Drones collect a huge amount of data. Most folks will use them to gather photos, but they can also gather video, temperature measurements, NDVI data and more.

Many drone industry experts view gathering data with drones as the easy part — stating that actually interpreting data is the challenging part. But with that data, students learn how to process it, such as by building spreadsheets or creating visualizations.

And armed with that knowledge, there skills can prove useful in fields including science, geology, ecology, and agriculture.

Teaching teamwork and communication, while solving real-world problems

Working with drones allows students to solve real-world problems — often in a team environment which can be critical to getting a job in drones. 

Drones used in classrooms can be used to study ecosystems, identify environmental problems, analyze traffic and perhaps even help in emergency situations.  And often in such classroom situations, the use of drones often requires teamwork given requirements for visual observers, Part 107-certified drone pilots, and team players with the above skillsets like piloting and interpreting the data. For many teachers, drones aren’t simply a STEM teaching tool, but also a tool to teach students how to collaborate effectively, distribute tasks and solve problems together. 

Drones have great potential to transform education. They make learning more accessible, exciting, and innovative. Learning with drones allows students to develop technological skills and deepen their knowledge.

–By David Santana

If you’d like to submit a guest post, contact The Drone Girl here.

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