Drones 101 for teachers – Thursday 12 April 2018: Post Event Report

Drones 101 for Teachers held on Thursday 12 April 2018 at the Centre for Teaching & Learning (Hedley Beare Centre) was attended by 10 early adopters keen to learn how this technology will impact (don’t take that literally) on classrooms.

The small group size allowed for lots of ongoing discussion with qualitative questions coming think and fast on subjects ranging from CASA rules and regulations and the future role of drones to operator responsibilities and 21st century learning for our students.

By the time we broke for lunch we’d covered most of the morning’s content including videos on everything from drones and bushfires to the Britain’s Got Talent drone performance. As a group it was great to achieve a perfect 100% (15/15) for the CASA quiz on RPAS rules in Australia… though nominating the “Yell Satan” answer for one question was tempting despite it compromising the likelihood of a perfect score!

Well done to all in attendance. Early departures and the 50km/h wind for the afternoon flying session meant a group photo was not possible. I’ll definitely change the day’s schedule to ensure ‘dronies’ (aka drone selfies) are conducted during the morning tea break.

Go forth one and all to fly safely and responsibly and please bring the positive aspects of this great technology to our 21st century students.

Here is a list of tips, tricks, and recommendations to cap off of topics discussed and debated on the day:

  • Always consider ‘risk’ before flying (refer to the ACT ED Risk Matrix and document your drone flying intentions)
  • Ask yourself “…is it reasonable?”
  • Know and abide by the rules
  • Have a TOP-DOWN drone policy at your school inclusive of all stakeholders to ensure that your school understands and complies with the rules and regs
  • Apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) and/or source the stakeholder responsible for your Education Department
  • Have a drone ‘brains trust’ at your school as go-to people for policy purposes
  • It’s up to you to confidently inform senior staff of the do’s and dont’s
  • Communicate and collaborate to eliminate the myths, ‘red herrings’ and crisis management that can surround drone operations and policies
  • Help to create, shape and foster a positive, informed and proactive understanding of RPAS within your school
  • Refer to your apps for pre-flight info (i.e. Can I Fly There, Aero Weather etc.)
  • You may be near a HLS – refer to the Can I Fly There app
  • Don’t fly OVER people
  • Remember Murphy’s Law – don’t push your luck
  • Operate drones with transmitters only rather than a tablet or phone exclusively (unless it’s Tynker for coding)
  • Don’t let students bring or fly their personal drones at school
  • Ensure any imagery posted online complies with the rules and regs (caption it as per “All drone operations complied with the CASA rules and regulations for the <2kg commercial RPAS category”)
  • Use Drone Bootcamp as a conduit to provide correct information and to provide further instruction to teachers and students at your school

Mark Will
Drone Bootcamp

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