Drones In The Classroom

27 July 2015
This summer I ended up buying a little handheld drone to use around the house and torment my pets.  So far, so good.  In playing with it, I realized that it’s a perfect toy for school because it has a lot of educational benefits.  Yup, drones are good for school.  With that being said, here are some simple reasons why it could work for you.

-Requires students to learn responsibility and how to follow rules to make them work.
-Allows for problem solving and critical thinking.
-Directional Thinking.  Drones have fronts and backs and students must be able to navigate by placing themselves in the machine.
-Moving video games to real life.  Your kids love video games, so why don’t you move 
 one to class.  Later Minecraft….okay, maybe not.
-The science behind flight.  I’ll guarantee that students will pick up on clues for how the 
 drone moves around using rotating speed, acceleration, and more.  
-Curiousity.  Kids will want their own, they’ll do research, they will learn.

...and here are some reasons why it might not.

-It can break.  Then again, anything can break.
-Unintentional haircuts.
-When the computers take over the world it could destroy us.  Look, we know Skynet is going to happen. 

Drones aren’t just fun toys for pets to chase (I should know).  I've listed some simple ways you could use a drone in your classroom. 

Obstacle Course: Have students create an obstacle course on the floor and then test their speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
Hit the Target:  Have students see how close they can have it land on a target.
Build a Base:  Students love to create.  Let them design a hangar or base for the drone. 

Fly on the Wall:  Simple writing prompt—If they were a drone in the school, where would they go?
Sequential writing:  Control the drone, make it do something, then allow students to practice writing exactly what happened.  Or let them test the drone then write exactly what they did.

Number line fact fluency:  Put a number line on the ground (or have students create their own).  Start the drone on a number, allow a student to fly it along the number line, solve the problem based on where it ends.

Incentive:  An end of the week incentive is a big thing.  The chance to play with a drone and a buddy is kind of a big deal.

Some of these are simple, some are just for engaging students, and some don’t even require a drone to be used.  I know I didn’t even think of the best uses because those come from you (the teachers).  This is just another way we can pull the real-world into our classrooms and make kids want more.
The drone I use can be found here on Amazon.  It costs between 15-24 dollars and I've spend a little more for extra wings and a protective case (in case of crashes, because you know that will happen).

If you need me, I'll be making sure the government isn't using my drone to steal information from me.  

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