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How drone technology impacts education and student learning

The education sector is one of 38 industries that could be disrupted by the ever-growing drone technology market. CB Insights, a tech market intelligence platform, has reported that the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at $127 billion and will continue to grow in the coming years.

So how would drone technology impact the academic community? Students can envision themselves in class using drones to learn high-tech jobs and handling real-life challenges with drone technology. Lecturers have an opportunity to make this happen and let their students’ creativity soar. School Governance, however, cautions Australian schools about flying drones in aid of learning on campus and came out with reminders as to what the schools should know before they do.

Post-secondary educators in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) institutes and universities can also harness the potential of drones to aid them in their teaching through a multi-platform aerial robotics program that students can actually man themselves to retain their learning experiences.

Learning with drones

CB Insights predicts that drones may soon become an integral part of a dynamic classroom atmosphere as educators try to make learning more conducive for students. They would be able to teach a wide range of skills and supplement more traditional lessons to help students retain information in a new way. For instance, lecturers might enhance international students’ English language skills by using drone photography to inspire writing exercises.

Over the past few years, commercial applications of the drone technology have emerged and its growing impact can no longer be ignored. Drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are piloted by remote control or on board computers through a combination of computer vision, artificial intelligence and object avoidance technology. They used to be the domain of the military and deployed in combat to spare the lives of human pilots. A growing number of drones have also been manufactured for ground and sea operations.

High-quality drone photography

Drones are now popularly used in real estate marketing. Using high-quality drone photography and video tours in online listings, real estate companies are able to produce sweeping shots of landscapes, ocean and mountain vistas to highlight the property’s location. Moreover, drones are also useful on land surveying for real estate development or geological mapping for earthquake risk or flood-risk areas.

Job outlook and future drone careers

While some jobs may be made obsolete by drone technology, more jobs will be created to man the drones and ensure an efficient system in the delivery of services for various industries, for instance, in the agriculture sector where a farmer can increase crop production and monitor his herds of stock without having to go around his property for a day or two. Emergency response teams in search and rescue can also use drones for missing persons and beloved family pets.

The CB Insights Report cited that with the rising accessibility and affordability of UAVs, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are now ripe for displacement by drone technology. It listed the 38 sectors that will be affected by the technology and with it, opportunities for new job roles.

  • Advertising
  • Agriculture
  • Airlines
  • Air travel
  • Conservation
  • Construction planning
  • Defence
  • Disease control
  • Education
  • Emergency response
  • Energy
  • Fitness
  • Food services industry
  • Gaming
  • Healthcare
  • Hollywood filmmaking
  • Humanitarian aid and disaster relief

  • Infrastructure development
  • Insurance
  • Internet access
  • Journalism and news coverage
  • Live entertainment
  • Manufacturing and inventory management
  • Maritime
  • Mining
  • Personal transportation
  • Realty
  • Retail
  • Security
  • Space
  • Sports
  • Telecommunications
  • The outdoor industry
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Underground economies and fighting crime
  • Urban planning
  • Waste management
  • Weather forecasting

From pizza delivery to weather forecasting to waste management and vacuuming up ocean waste, drones are here to stay and will continue to be more and more useful to improving quality of life – but they need humans to make this happen and harness the potentials of the technology.