Unleash the Drone!

Unleash the drone!

A crowd of over 350 students and teachers cheered and watched in awe as the DJI Phantom 3 drone was unleashed on middle school during chapel announcements. The drone is the newest piece of interactive technology to be purchased for student and teacher learning. While many fascinating learning opportunities exist with such tech (students will learn to fly, as well as design new uses and explore ethical decision making in current events), our drone has become a vehicle for introducing another emerging technology: digital badging. Unleash the drone!

As a way to expand the learning measures, Mrs. Wilkes and Mrs. Levinson spent the summer researching, designing, and planning how to launch badging with our faculty. In pre-planning, our teachers earned over 60 badges (the Drone Flying Ace) is only one of many exciting new badges that Mount Vernon faculty can earn. Our IT Director Mikey Canup has been awesome at not only supporting our ideas, but helping us implement them! Even when we crashed the drone outside a few weeks ago (two propellors broke in half), he smiled like a forgiving father.

Unleash the Drone
The DJI Phantom 3 flies overhead at Middle School at chapel during announcements.
Unleash the Drone
The crowd cheers wildly as the newest member of the Middle School community is unleashed – the Drone!
Unleash the Drone
Mr. Townsend is thrilled to receive a physical sticker badge to match his digital “Drone Flying Ace” badge!

Although many of the faculty have already received their earned badges via an electronic file, today we recognized those who earned the Drone Flying Ace badge with a secondary, physical sticker to match the digital badge. The sticker can be posted anywhere (mine are on the clear, plastic case protecting my laptop) to display and share new knowledge and skills you have demonstrated. Other badges include demonstrations such as operating a Clear Touch, presenting at a conference, blogging, designing formative assessments, and others.

Unleash the Drone
Mrs. Wilkes and Mrs. Levinson have done the heavy lifting to introduce badging to our faculty. We are exploring ways to expand the learning measures beyond a single, numerical grade. Will it catch on with students?
Unleash the Drone
Two physical sticker badges affixed to my computer cover that match their digital counterparts (posted on Haiku, personal blogs, and Credly). They fit nicely next to the DC super heroes – that’s what our team is – a legion of super heroes with incredible powers!

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 2.15.19 PMFeatured on Mount Vernon’s News Site!


Interactive Tech: Learning Drones

Thanks for Mikey Canup for saying "Yes!" to our wild ideas. I love my School!
Thanks to Mikey Canup for saying “Yes!” to our wild ideas. I love my School!

Interactive Tech: Learning Drones
The Student Engagement Plan of Mount Vernon’s iPlan17 calls for educators to “provide appropriate access to emerging technology where students actively engage in using interactive tech…”

As if Chromebooks, Clear Touches, ePortfolios, Google Docs and other interactive technologies aren’t enough, I’m “flying high” with excitement to share that we’ve purchased a drone.

I believe there are unlimited applications and possibilities for learning with this new machinery. Drones and other aerial tech will play an increasingly relevant and complicated role in the lives and futures of our students. They should not only know how to operate these vehicles, but consider their many positive and potentially harmful uses, as well as devise systems and strategies for maximizing the best this tech has to offer.

So, don’t be surprised, when walking around the campus or surrounding neighborhoods if you hear the light hum of our newest experiment or see (insert cool nickname for our drone here – maybe we should have a contest) soaring overhead along the sidewalks and athletic fields.

How would you utilize drones and other interactive technologies to teach your students about math, science, physics, law, ethical decision making, and so much more?

How can we solve real world problems with drones?

Anti-Drone Defense System (Could students design these?)

Facebook to deliver internet to remote parts of the world with large drone.

Drones can be used to enforce property rights.

NASA is working on drones that can fly in space.

Using drones to transport blood samples could speed diagnosis, treatment.

Concept video where drone responds to 911 call, then uses infrared camera to guide police to the fleeing burglar at night.