California Educator

March 2016

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D R O N E S A R E E V E R Y W H E R E these days — including in the class- room. It makes sense that the unmanned aircraft systems (their official technical name) be used in learning environments, as drone projects enable students to explore the intersection of tech- nology, science, math and art. Edutopia suggests a number of ways educators can incorporate drones into the curriculum. ese include: • Language arts: Illustrate different points of view. Photograph the school close up and from far away to see the school from a different perspective. Take photos of little-seen areas of the school, and have students write predictions about where the photo might have been taken. • PE: Send the drone up during PE class to watch students demonstrate a particular play. Then land it and hook your device to an LCD projector so the kids can see what they did. Have them discuss where they should have been and what they can do better. Run the drill again, and see if their perfor- mance improves. • Science: Look at the micro world and the macro world. Have a few kids be "cells" of an unknown creature. Pin signs to them with different labels giving hints as to what the broader organ- ism might be. Slowly zoom out and at each 10 feet of distance or so learn a little more about the macro environment in which the cells live. Zoom out entirely to see the plant or creatures in which the cells function. • Community building: Produce a video that promotes the school or a particular class or subject. Drones give you inter- esting camera angles, and seeing the school from above, for example, can be very celebratory. • Current events: Debate. Form a student congress. W hat about privacy issues? What is the future of our workforce if companies like Amazon use drones for deliveries? Are dron es a go o d t e chnolog y, or are we on e st e p clo ser to automaton domination? Before you attach a camera and start flying one around your school, however, you need to be aware of some of the dangers and consequences. California Casualty notes that due to multiple inci- dents, including close calls with airliners, drones over sensitive or national security sites, and the grounding of firefighting aircraft during explosive fires because of drones, the Federal Aviation Administration is now requiring all noncommercial users to reg- ister them. While noncommercial drone pilots don't need to get permission to fly from the FAA, you do need to know these rules and guide- lines for their use: • Fly no higher than 400 feet. • Keep the aircraft in eyesight at all times. • Remain well clear of manned aircraft operations — you must avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times. • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles and remain at least 25 feet from individuals and vul- nerable property. • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport. • Don't fly in adverse weather such as high winds or reduced visibility. • Don't fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, military installations or government facilities. Be aware of privacy issues. Don't take pictures of people or prop- erty without permission, or use those pictures on the Internet, in social media, or in a publication without permission. You should check with your school or district about rules and policies they have in place regarding drones. Mark Goldberg, communications specialist at California Casualty, contributed to this report. Celebrating 100 years, California Casualty partners with CTA to provide members auto and home insurance tailored to their professional needs since 1951. To learn more, visit or, or call 800‐800‐9410. How to Drone On Class projects with drones let students explore multiple subject areas 46

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