I'm looking to buy drones before I start the course. Where should I go?
There are a range of micro-drones out there. We use the Parrot Mambo and are also trialling the Tello.
Is it running face-to-face or online?
This course is 100% online. For Face to Face options, please email us
Is this online version the same as the face-to-face option?
Yes and no :-) While the curriculum is the same, in our F2F programs, you experience the learning from a students' perspective in a fairly intense 2.5hr session. This online version is designed more like a behind the scenes view as I share all the tips and tricks that go into making our programs a success. I want every student and teacher in Australia to have access to geospatial and drone technology as part of their education, but I realise that we can't achieve this solely through F2F programs. That's where the online course comes in super handy! Through the online portal you can also take your time and re-visit our learning points, videos, resources, and lesson plans as often as you like. You control when and where you want to do this, as long as you have wifi :)
When does it start?
You can access all of the resources as soon as you purchase the course, including the previous Term's Ask the Expert Calls. At the start of each term, three new LIVE Ask the Expert calls are held so you can have your questions answered.
When does it finish?
This course will be open for you to explore, download the resources and watch the replay of the calls for six months from the date of purchase.
Can the course be undertaken at any time within the start / end date? i.e. I normally do this type of PD in the evenings.
Absolutely! Whenever you like, totally flexible.
When will the 'ask the expert calls' take place?
We will schedule these for after school / early evening AEST. The calls will be recorded so you can catch up if you miss the live chat. You can also submit questions ahead of time.
How long will the course take?
It's self-paced, so this is entirely up to you. It will depend on your incoming level of expertise and the degree to which you explore all of the resources. For example, we have many optional suggested links and readings that might be of interest to expand your learning, but not necessarily mission critical.
Do I need a drone to undertake the course?
If you don't have a drone, your learning will be theoretical, i.e. you won't be able to practise the activities. However, you may choose to do this course to figure out if teaching drones in the classroom really is for you, in which case, do the course before you buy the drone :)
Do I need a specific type or brand of drone?
The course has been designed around the Parrot Mambo, however most of the activities are still relevant with any other micro drone.
I already have a drone, but it's not the Mambo, will the course still be useful?
I believe there are certainly many parts of the course that you may still find valuable even though you're not using the Mambos. The course is approached from the perspective of creating 'a day in the life of a geospatial scientist', so I break down what I do on a mapping mission. I go through all the safety and manual flight aspects before embarking on a mapping scenario. The only technical part that you wouldn't be able to do is capture aerial photos as I think that the Mambo is the only microdrone that has a downward facing camera. However, you can still get the students to plan and fly the mission - they just unfortunately won't see any photos. Having said that, I have taught this program face to face many times and a lot of students forget to code for the photos anyway so the experience would be the same!
If you sign up for the free resources, that will get you into the system and you will be able to see the break down of the course. You can also see the Litter Bugs lesson plan, which although isn't drone related, it will give you a really good idea of how the sections of the PD course look. There are activity sheets and extension ideas as well.
The other thing that you would just need to use as a guide is the flying and coding apps - but just substitute those names for the ones you are using and the concepts are all still the same.
What coding program do you use for the course?
I show how to use Tynker, but also give options for more advanced programs if you and your students are ready to extend yourselves.
I can find some drone lesson plans online for free - how is your course different?
This course goes far beyond a series of lesson plans. It is designed as a course to teach you how to teach drone and geospatial technology in your classroom. Lesson plans are just one of the resources that we offer to supplement this. We have video demonstrations, a troubleshooting section, activity sheets, extension options, and of course, our 'ask the expert' chats where you can join our online webinar to delve deeper or broader on any topic you need.
The course looks great, but we are already doing this sort of stuff at our school - do you offer anything more advanced?
We have two more courses under development - one is for advanced use of the microdrones, the second will use larger (though still <2kg) drones for capturing geospatial data and incorporating that into GIS. Let us know if you are interested in either of these and we'll make sure that we keep you updated!
Are there any additional costs for the course?
No extra fees, though you may wish to purchase a drone and tablet.
Do I need to take any time off my classes during the day to complete various components?
Not at all - feel free to follow along as you like. The only exception to this may be if the majority preference time for the 'ask the expert' call is during the day, though we suspect this is unlikely.
Is the course accredited with the NSW institute of teachers for PD hours? If so, how many hours?
Not yet, unfortunately. We are working on it though.