Texas teachers bring drones into classrooms across STEAM spectrum
- Walnut Elementary School in Dripping Springs, TX, ran an after-school drone club with support from a parent software engineer and popularity among students and teachers has prompted use of drones in classrooms districtwide.
- According to eSchool News, lessons have been developed for grades four through eight in science, engineering, math and art, including using drones to explore landscapes and habitats, practice coding, conduct land surveys, and map and track building progress on construction sites.
- The drones have also been used in art classes to take aerial photographs and experiment with dropping paint from different heights to analyze the splatter patterns as well as in math to study angles, geometry and formulas.
Bringing new technologies into the classroom can be engaging and exciting for students. The challenge is always to make sure the technologies do not tempt teachers away from the curriculum but instead are used for creative learning experiences that align with existing curricular priorities.
Virtual reality can offer a similar danger and opportunity. It is easy to give students a break from standard lesson plans to take a virtual expedition and harder to find virtual reality materials that push students to think and understand content more deeply. Professional learning communities can help teachers identify the best resources and ways to incorporate them in the classroom.
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