Drones Take Off in Education

160108-F-LX370-002Unstaffed flying objects, unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely piloted aircraft. These are all alternative names for drones. According to two educators who have introduced them in the classroom, no matter what you call them, these small flying vehicles can be a useful response to drooping attendance, high discipline counts and low student satisfaction. Best, whether the subject is math, science, English, history, art or PE, there are drone lessons that can help bring abstract concepts to life for students.

As a K-8 math supervisor in Jersey City Public Schools, Kimberly Crowley wanted to figure out how to use drones to make math engaging for her students. Armed with a conviction that she could succeed, she got the backing of an associate superintendent who found funding to kick off the program for her to do a research project. Crowley held an information meeting and invited all of the schools in the district to send teachers who might be interested. This wasn’t going to be a mandated program, she insisted. She shared her idea with the teachers in a 30-minute presentation and asked for volunteers. Out of 50 people in attendance, while a few “rolled eyes,” another 24 emailed her as soon as she was done talking. They became her initial cohort…

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10 Steps to Achieving Active Learning on a Budget

Active learning is a great way to increase student excitement and participation, facilitate different kinds of learning activities, help people develop skills in small group work, promote discussion, boost attendance and give an outlet for technology usage that stays on track. It also requires remaking classrooms to enable that hands-on, collaborative student work — and that can often mean a six-figure price tag. But at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, a $12,000 experiment proved successful enough that the institution now sports two permanent active learning classrooms as well as a brand-new active learning lab. Here are the 10 steps this school with just under 2,000 students followed on its road to active learning victory.

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