Take Learning to New Heights With Drones

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Listen and learn : Lecture

Dr. Kimberly Crowley  
Drones can significantly change the learning environment and engage and inspire students. Learn how to take your classroom to new heights by using drones to engage K-12 learners while motivating, inspiring creativity and facilitating computational thinking.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Visionary Leadership
  • Contribute to the development, communication and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive use of technology to support a digital age education for all students.
  • Contribute to the planning, development, communication, implementation and evaluation of technology-infused strategic plans at the district and school levels.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

As drones continue to grow as a means to promote engagement, creativity, and computational thinking, the ideas covered in this session are on the cutting edge of innovation. The perspectives shared will be from administrators that have successfully implemented these technologies in their district. The insights that these individuals bring to the session will allow for classroom teachers to take the information and feel confident implementing these technologies. Participants will also receive curriculum and lesson examples that they could use in their own classrooms.


10 Mins - Introduction to types of drones used and implementation plans
15 Mins - Discussion of actual lessons robots were used to complete and student outcomes.
5 Mins - Audience questions and discussion.

Supporting research

The use of robotics, in general, allows for students to have concrete examples of how mathematical concepts are applied and utilized in the real world. Often a short exposure to robotics can have a lasting impact on students to pursue complex careers that they may have never considered. It is projected that the nation will have up to 8 million STEM jobs by 2021, with at least 248,000 jobs in STEM in New Jersey alone. The use of drones is growing in momentum in the work place. Applications are no longer limited to military or police operations. Scientists, construction workers, realtors, first responders, sports teams, band directors and many more professionals are finding the utility of these quad copters fueling a demand that this technology will quickly become a staple for college and career readiness. Drones present a possibility of a broad range of mathematical applications. Just to take simple flight or plan a route, students need to consider weight, height, angles, and speed. The key to the learning experience is to reinforce content knowledge with these drones. The drones grab the students’ attention and engage them in an activity while they are applying and mastering the skills that they learned during instruction. This professional development will provide teachers with the technical and conceptual knowledge that they need to include this technology into their classrooms to engage young learners.

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Dr. Kimberly Crowley, Jersey City Public Schools