In a world dominated by emerging technology, drones might be the most versatile and, as such, controversial tech currently available. Drone technology continues to progress and become more dynamic. Meanwhile, the real-world applicability for drones is constantly evolving.
From inmates who use drones to get contraband delivered; to firefighter crews who use drones to better understand fire mitigation; to national parks using drones for insights into the impact of invasive species on ecosystems; to novice individuals who fly drones into areas where they aren’t allowed; and even to siblings who have used them for more nefarious actions, it is clear that the applicability of drones is both broad and deep, but also dangerous and controversial.
It is also clear that drone technology will not be going propeller down anytime soon, with the drone industry expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, and into the foreseeable future. While this growth is a welcome advent of modern society, it is important that drone ethics, safety and basic concepts of flight accompany the growth of the industry itself, particularly in younger generations enamored with the technology. This is where the use of drones in education comes in.
Luckily, the potential for drones in education is seemingly limitless. The tech can also be applied across disciplines, from math, science, art, history, english or PE, making it a no-brainer when it comes to implementing the tech into learning environments.
So, how can you ensure that implementing drones into your learning environment is accompanied by real-world applicability, and also by drone ethics and safety?
Let’s get started.
Start with the Basics
Introduce Students to Basic Concepts of Flight and Drone Ethics
Understanding the basics is imperative. Students must first know how to use aerodynamics to their advantage, how the physics of flight can impact a drone’s movement through the air and how the “Four Forces of Flight” contribute to safe flying.
Beyond the basic concepts of safe flight is the all-important issue of drone ethics, something that is even being discussed and contemplated on a national scale.
In order to ensure that students enter into drone learning on the right foot, they must start with an introduction into why it is important to fly safe, and why it is important to ensure proper use of drones.
Interested in Bringing Drones to Your School or Classroom?
Drones are capable of accomplishing amazing feats because they can reach areas humans and other technology cannot. Due to their unmanned nature as well, they are capable of going places that endanger humans. However, this unmanned nature can also lead to a disconnect in the emotion attached to any given action.
In other words, by first understanding the power of what drones are capable of, students can then learn how their ethics and morals as human beings can be impacted by the misuse of drones. Without starting here, students may lose respect for what they control, which leads to improper use, dangerous flying and a breach of ethics.
The more students are made aware of the basics, the easier it will be for them, and you, to apply the use of drones to exciting real-world problems and circumstances.
Ensure Understanding of Flight Challenges
Safe Flying is Imperative to Proper Use
There are many circumstances that can lead to unsafe flying of drones, from wind patterns, to improper care of drone parts, to a lack of understanding around basic maneuvers. Students need to pay attention to all of these details before flying, and while flying.
For example, drones need to be properly cared for before, and after, each and every flight. Parts often deteriorate unless preventative measures are taken, and when parts break it can have unforeseen consequences in the air. If students are are first made aware of the intricacies behind drone parts, then they can learn how to troubleshoot issues in the moment.
Control is imperative to safety, and while the environment plays an integral role in control, it is often a lack of attention paid to drone maintenance that leads to issues.
With that being said, it is also important for students to possess the knowledge of when and when not to fly. While drones are extremely resilient -- and certain drones can fly in bad weather or in nonideal circumstances -- students should first be equipped with knowledge of how to mitigate these uncontrollable circumstances with maneuvers that will help when these crop up.
Some of the most exciting and incredible drone applications are often some of the most dangerous and difficult to navigate, not only from a drone control standpoint, but also from an ethics standpoint.
In order to introduce students to these remarkable drone applications, and let their imaginations dream about solutions, it is important that they are first prepared with how to best encounter these circumstances.
Apply Drones to Real-World Problems
Drones Can Be Used to Accomplish Amazing Feats
Now that drone safety and ethics have been covered, it’s time to get students excited about the potential in front of them with the real-world applicability of drones.
Drones can be used to accomplish amazing feats, and the technology is constantly being used to reach new heights with innovation. Furthermore, the future is bright, with drone coding and programming becoming more complex and advanced. As such, drones can now be programmed to complete tasks with little hands-on operation, and moving forward these capabilities will only expand.
As such, drones are beginning to enter many industries and these industries are beginning to devise solutions to problems that were previously out of reach.
For example, firefighting crews are using drones for advanced fire mitigation, the agriculture industry is using drones for soil and field analysis to better plan seed planting patterns and they’re even being used to identify disease carrying mosquitoes.
In other words, the applicability is growing exponentially, and the sooner students are introduced to this potential, the sooner they can begin exploring ideas of their own.
Drone technology is certainly controversial, but its versatility and applicability is only just starting to be discovered. The students of today have a unique opportunity to be a part of the cutting edge growth of drones and be an integral part of creating the future of drone applicability.
It’s just important that they first start with a proper introduction into the regulations, basic concepts of flight and ethics that come with the territory before taking their own adventure to new heights.
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