5 Effective Techniques For Improving Student Performance With the Help Of Psychology

 

Guest Writer: Michael Gorman

5 EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES FOR IMPROVING STUDENT PERFORMANCE WITH THE HELP OF PSYCHOLOGY

There are many different methodologies that exist today that claim to improve learning for the student. They promise to improve the way students learn as well as the way teachers teach. Having worked with services like EssaysOnTime.com, and also running an essay service, I can confidently say that I am firmly in the education industry. I have attended tons of seminars, team meetings, conferences, and watched a lot of media on the matter and all I see is a plethora of different methodologies by well-meaning speakers that claim they will work. 

Granted, some of the information out there is actually helpful. However, some of the stuff that is being peddled to teachers really has no empirical data to back it up and turns out to have little to no utility in the classroom. 

I decided to go out and do some thorough research, and I came across a publication by the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE). The whole idea behind the document was to outline 20 principles that are based on psychological science and seek to show what parts of a student’s psychology are the most instrumental to learning. While the principles are 20 in number, they are divided into 5 thematic areas that cover individual psychological functions in a student. These are:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Motivation
  • Social and Emotional Dimensions
  • Context and Learning
  • Assessment

It doesn’t end there, either. There was also a study done by Dunlosky, et al. that looked into the utility of various learning techniques that students can use with or without the assistance of teachers to help them learn more effectively. While there were ten techniques, they were grouped according to their utility, with some having high utility, some having moderate utility, and some having low utility. There were 5 techniques that had either a high utility or a moderate utility, and they are:

High Utility

  1. Practice Testing
  2. Distributed Practice

Moderate Utility

  1. Elaborative Interrogation
  2. Self-Explanation
  3. Interleaved Practice

These 5 techniques were shown to be the most effective when it came to enhancing a student’s learning outcomes. 

So what we’re going to do today is start by looking at the psychological principles that affect a student’s ability to absorb and retain information, and then focus on the specific techniques they can apply to become more effective at it. In a sense, we will start with the broad strokes and then fill in the details with more actionable techniques. 

Psychological Principles

Division 1: Cognition and Learning

There is plenty of research out there on how to improve the learning and thinking methods used by students in the classroom. There are at least 8 principles that relate to this:

  • Having a growth mindset – Essentially, how a student thinks about the limits of their ability and intelligence has a profound effect on their ability to learn new things. A growth mindset lets a student believe that they can always improve their abilities and intelligence through practice, while a fixed mindset lets them believe that they will have to make do with the hand that they were dealt at birth. The student that writes the best dissertation isn’t necessarily the smartest or most talented; they are just the ones that never gave up due to limiting beliefs.
  • Having prior knowledge – The knowledge a student already has when they enter a novel situation will affect their learning. They add to what they already know, and they correct errors and misconceptions that they previously had. 
  • Stage theories are limited – Contrary to what many stage theories say, the cognitive development of a student is not limited by their general stage of development. The interactions they have with challenges and those more capable than them can cause their cognitive development to be far ahead of their general development.
  • Context facilitation – The kind of learning a student does is based on their context. In order to take learning to a new, general context, that shift needs to be facilitated by the instructor. They need to ‘hold the hand’ of the student.
  • Practice – Knowledge, and skill only stick in the long term through practice. Specific types of practice are a lot more effective than others, as we will see when we explore techniques.
  • Feedback – Feedback that is timely, clear, and explanatory is very crucial to a student’s learning progress
  • Self-regulation – Skills like organization, planning, self-control, memory strategies, and attention improve the ability of a student to learn and engage better in the classroom. 
  • Creativity – It is possible to foster creativity in students, especially by encouraging them to design their own projects. 

Division 2: Motivation

Generally, motivation is an important factor for success. Here are the principles related to motivation. 

  • Intrinsic motivation – Students will enjoy the learning process and also succeed more when they are motivated intrinsically, rather than extrinsic motivation. 
  • Mastery goals – Students that adopt mastery goals will persist more when faced with challenges and absorb new information better than those with performance goals. Mastery goals are about getting better and mastering a skill. Performance goals are about just showing that you’re good enough.
  • The expectations of the teacher – What a teacher believes about a student, and the beliefs they communicate to the student through their expectations, have an impact on the motivation of the student to learn and their learning outcomes. Higher expectations translate to higher outcomes and vice versa.
  • Setting goals – It is better to set specific short term goals that introduce medium challenges to the learning process than long term goals that are general and very challenging. 

Division 3: Social and Emotional Dimensions

Basically, the well-being of their student, their community, culture, and relationships will all have an impact on learning. 

  • Social context – Learning happens within social contexts. A student’s community and culture will affect how they approach learning, and therefore, this dimension should never be ignored.
  • Interpersonal relationships – The relationships the students have with their instructor and each other will affect not only the learning process but also the social development of the students.
  • Well-being – The emotional well-being, including such things as self-esteem and motivation, have an effect on the learning, development, and performance of the student.

Division 4: Context and Learning

This division is all about developing the right climate in the classroom for learning. 

  • Conduct in the classroom – The expectations for social interaction and conduct in the classroom should be taught early enough to make for a conducive learning climate.
  • Expectations and support – The effective management of the classroom is based on setting high expectations and communicating them, nurturing positive relationships consistently, and providing a high level of support to the student.

Division 5: Assessment

This is all about the methods in which the students are assessed. It has to be fair, valid, and enhance the learning process for the student. 

  • Formative and summative assessment – Formative assessments are basically everyday practice done in the process of learning. Summative assessments are overall evaluations of how much a student has learned or how effective a program was. Formative assessments should be done as frequently as possible, which would lead to better performance on summative assessments.
  • Assessment development – For a student to develop their knowledge and skill, the assessment processes should be fair, of high quality and standards, and be based on psychological science. 
  • Assessment evaluation – The interpretation of assessment data should be fair, appropriate, and clear. 

 

The most effective Learning Techniques

So now that we know all of these principles, what learning techniques can we apply? How do we get the skills of the student with the best essay transferred to the rest of the class? Well, here are the 5 most effective techniques;

High Utility

 

  • Practice Testing

 

Basically, this technique involves taking practice tests or self-testing. A lot of research, done over more than a century, shows that practice tests are the most effective way to get students to absorb material for exams. While most testing is of the summative kind, where the stakes are high, and the climate is formal, formative tests are proven to be more effective for knowledge retention. When coupled with clear, explanatory, and timely feedback, the result is an enhanced learning process for the student.

 

  • Distributive Practice

 

The idea behind distributive practice is that study and practice sessions should be spread out over time, such as the semester, or the day, rather than being done in a flurry near the deadline. Studying a little bit every day for the entire term is a lot more effective than doing some last minute cramming near the exam. Also, cramming is better than not studying at all. 

“We’ve always found it better to distribute your practice. If you can’t do it beforehand, you’re better off outsourcing it to an essay service at the end,” Says Peter Marsh, a researcher at essayshark

The distributed practice should be combined with practice testing to make it more effective. 

Moderate Utility

 

  • Elaborative interrogation

 

This is the generation of an explanation for a concept or fact. It is the answer to the “why” questions behind facts. It is most effective when the students have a high amount of pre-existing knowledge, when they are encouraged to generate the elaborations themselves, and when the elaborations are not too general, but rather precise.

 

  • Self-Explanation

 

This is all about encouraging the student to put the information they have learned in their own words and to relate it to what they already know. It helps them to connect the dots between what they already know and what they have just learned, helping them integrate new knowledge into the knowledge tree in their head. 

 

  • Interleaved Practice

 

Interleaved practice is all about mixing different study material and associated problems in a single section. To understand it better, we can compare it to the conventional approach. Take learning the volume of solids, for example. Students are taught about how to calculate the volume of a single type of solid first, and then do practice problems on that solid. Then they move to the next type of solid, and so on. With interleaved practice, students are taught about calculating the volumes of the different types of solids in a single session and then given practice problems that involve calculating the volumes of all the types of solids. This helps them to better understand the interrelationship between the solids and their volume calculations, which are clearly related in certain ways. In the process, they absorb the information better. 

 

Conclusion

Student performance is very possible to achieve, provided the correct psychological principles are applied. With the right techniques, you can raise the level of all of your students and ensure they realize their full potential.

Michael Gorman is a highly skilled freelance writer and proofreader from the UK who currently works at https://www.college-paper.org/. He writes different blog posts on everyday development for https://www.essaywritinglab.co.uk/assignment/ and the best essay writing service in the UK and loves to cover education and technology. Feel free to contact him via Facebook or check his Twitter.

 

10 Things Every New Teacher Should Know

Guest Writer: Kurt Walker

Being a teacher is a tough job, and the toughest part of it is usually the first year because it will be a completely new experience for you that comes with many unexpected factors and responsibilities.

In your first year as a teacher, you should accept and embrace your status of “the new teacher”; denying it would be pointless. This year you will learn a lot, so you might feel overwhelmed at some point.

Therefore, to help you make your first year a bit easier and less stressful, in today’s post we’re presenting our top 10 things every new teacher should know.

 

  • Learn About Classroom Management

Even mothers have trouble managing their kids and they only have to deal with 2-4 of them, not a whole classroom. Therefore, you should learn about classroom management for your own good and peace of mind. Kids can be hard to manage, but with clear expectations, consistent followthrough, and mutual respect, your first year can be a success. For good advice on classroom management, check out Michael Linsin’s Smart Classroom Management, as well as his books on the subject.

  • Build a Classroom Community

In order to live a peaceful teacher life, you must get to know your students and establish clear ground rules. Prepare yourself for as many situations as possible ahead of time by planning what you’ll do about late students, disrespectful gestures, interruptions to instruction, and so on. Let students know how you’ll handle these situations up front and they’ll come to realize you’re looking out for them by establishing a secure environment where they can feel safe and where learning can take place. 

  • Be Flexible

As a teacher, keeping your schedule flexible is crucial, because you’ll never know when an administrative chore will pop up. Paperwork can be the death of you, but if you accept it as a part of your job instead of getting mad, your life will be much easier.

  • There’s No Manual

You’re probably thinking that all you’ll have to do is teach the students from a manual with well-designed lessons. While in many cases you will be provided with a curriculum to use, no one size fits all and you’ll find most programs lacking. Most of the hard work is on you and because every teacher is busy, you’ll have to figure most of it out yourself. 

  • It All Comes Back to Literacy

No matter if the subject you’re teaching is English or math, you’ll still need to read facts and definitions while you’re teaching, said a source from AssignmentHelper.com.au. The amount might differ but literacy will be still crucial for your career. If you’re not a reader, you’ll need to become one. 

  • Screaming and Yelling Won’t Help

Kids can be challenging and the job can be stressful. It’s easy to lose your cool, especially if you’re prone to emotional outbursts. But if you start screaming at your students it’s a sign that you’ve just lost the battle and the kids won. You’ll also lose the respect of your colleagues and your principal if you handle problems this way. 

  • Constantly Work on Your Personal Growth

As a teacher you must present yourself as a stable person who always seeks to improve herself, otherwise, it will be hypocritical of you to expect the students to work on their personal growth. You must not teach and preach the benefits but show them how lifelong learning has changed your life.

  • Why So Serious?

Yes, as a teacher you must be professional. But professional doesn’t mean you can’t bring some levity to your classroom. You are allowed to have fun, to make jokes, and make your lessons more interactive and humorous. Otherwise, you risk boring your students to death. The experts from Assignmentmasters.co.uk advise you to remember that you are teaching young people who tend to take life less seriously than adults. Leverage this.

  • Don’t Let Your Students Get to You

There are some kids in every classroom whose sole mission in life seems to be to challenge and anger his or her teachers. Remember that you have to play smarter and never take the bait simply because you are better than that. To be more efficient in this way you should do your research on how to deal with difficult students.

  • Hang in There Until Next Year

The first year is the hardest one, but eventually, believe it or not, it will come to an end. And while reality may have not matched your lofty expectations when the year started and you may close out the school year wishing you had been more effective, remember that teaching is a marathon and you will get a little better every time you do it. Hang in there and it will get easier.  Use your summers to recuperate and gear up for next year, but don’t forget to also take stock of how far you’ve come and to reflect on your practices so you can keep those that worked and tweak those that didn’t. 

  • Conclusion 

To be a teacher is no easy job and it’s even harder when you walk down this path for the first time. You just have to keep your calm, don’t let stress get the best of you, and be patient because this year will come to an end and your mental health is precious.

Bio 

Kurt Walker is a professional writing expert that is offering his assignment writing help at Essaygeeks.co.uk and My-Assignment.Help in London for about 3 years now. Kurt started his career from a young age, working for companies like Bestdissertation and Edu Birdie. In his free time, Kurt enjoys writing blog posts about education, personal growth, and inspiration.

 

4 Ways Teachers Can Make Money From Home This Summer

Guest Writer: Lizzie Weakley

With summer here and many people leaving on vacations, making ends meet can become a little more difficult than usual. Fortunately, technology has opened up countless ways for anyone to make extra income while they aren’t at their regular jobs. These four tech-based solutions can help you earn some extra spending money during your summer vacation.

Writing

You can do online writing assignments from anywhere you have an Internet connection. A number of sites give writers the opportunity to sign up and accept orders or bid on jobs offered by clients. This can be a solid way to make extra money during summer vacation that is done solely from your computer. Be prepared to write a few samples to get jobs, as well as be rejected from assignments.

Online Teaching

Teachers can earn some extra money during the summer by teaching students online. You can seek out private clients on your own or go through digital tutoring services that match you up with students who need help. To get approved for these platforms, you will need to go through the application process and pass all relevant checks and interviews. An alternative would be to teach English online to foreign students wanting to learn the language. Another idea is crowdfunding through apps such as TeacherFunder, which teachers can leverage to fund projects, get enough money for needed classroom supplies and reach financial goals.

Foap

Foap is an app that allows photographers to sell photos they take directly from their smartphone. This makes it a perfect option for vacationers who would like to earn some extra cash by selling photos of the exotic places they’ve been. Marketers can run Missions where they request certain types of photos based on their campaign needs. More recently, Foap has expanded to offering videos to their business marketing clients as well.

Slidejoy

Slidejoy is another app that can earn you some additional cash through no extra effort of your own. Slidejoy adds advertisements to the lock screen of your device and pays you for them. The app is designed so you can’t accidentally click on the ads and you don’t have to engage with the ads to be paid. You can choose to receive your rewards to your PayPal account or as gift cards to major brands and stores.

Tech helpers offer innumerable ways for individuals to make money during summer vacation. Many of these options can be fun, easy or even develop into a primary source of income. Leverage any of these technological ways to help ends meet this summer.

Squeeze Fewer Lemons

 

I have, on a few occasions, enjoyed a delicious glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. I would say it’s superior to the kind of lemonade I usually drink, which comes from this:

But that could just be priming at work; tell me it’s fresh squeezed and I’m inclined to believe it’s going to be better before even bringing the glass to my lips.

For the sake of this article, though, let’s say that fresh squeezed lemonade is, in fact, a better product than the stuff that comes from mixing flavored powder with water.

In spite of its superiority, how often do you drink it?

How often do you buy lemons and squeeze them yourself?

My guess is not very often, and for good reason. Fresh squeezed lemonade is a hassle to make, and while it might be better, it’s not that much better. The payoff is rarely worth the extra effort, especially when you have an alternative that takes seconds to make and tastes enough like real lemonade that you can overlook its inferiority.

We make choices like this all the time. We don’t need top-of-the-line running shoes because we just don’t log that many miles. The Kraft cheese is fine for our purposes; we don’t need the expensive artisan stuff for a cheeseburger. Sure, the $4500 saxophone produces a better sound, but the $270 one on Amazon will do.

Most people have no problem admitting they sometimes settle for an inferior product because it’s not worth their time, money, or effort to have something better.

But not teachers. We rarely make such an admission.

Teachers, many of them, are spending too much time and effort squeezing far too many lemons, and people who aren’t in the classroom are encouraging them to do so. Too often, we aim for “best” practices when “good enough” practices would be the better choice.

There is no better example of this than how administrators shove John Hattie’s work down teachers’ throats, the unmistakable message being that good educators employ those practices with the highest effect sizes, without giving any thought to what those teachers sacrifice to do so. They want their teachers to make fresh squeezed lemonade because fresh squeezed lemonade is better, but they don’t ask how much better it is and if making it is worth the effort.

It’s not just Hattie’s effect sizes that get misused by hard-charging administrators. There are many practices teachers are made to feel they ought to be using that are the educational equivalent of fresh squeezed lemonade. Sure, teachers could do them. Yes, they might work better than what those teachers would otherwise do. But teachers should always consider the tradeoffs. Before deciding on something you’ve been told is wonderful, you should ask:

Is this going to lead to significantly more learning, or just marginally more? If just marginally more, then is it worth my time and effort or might those limited resources be better deployed elsewhere?

Here are five of those times:

Having Students Track Their Own Progress

I love this practice. It’s motivating. It’s visual. It can help reinforce a growth mindset when students see their own progress recorded in hard numbers or pretty bar graphs. When I’ve used it, I’ve seen students excited to improve their performance.

But…

it’s a hassle. At least in the grade I teach (third), it’s time-consuming and I simply have too many other more important things to do (like, you know, teach). Have students record their progress on paper and at least three of them will regularly lose all of the data they’ve collected. Have them use a device and it takes even longer to get the thing out and enter their numbers.

Instead of squeezing this particular lemon, just keep track of the students’ progress for them and share it periodically. Even better, take advantage of digital solutions that score and keep a record of student performance automatically.  Many curricular programs do this for you, and websites like Quizizz, Kahoot, and Prodigy produce reports that can be downloaded, printed, and shared with students.

Class Discussions

I’ve been told time and again how important class discussions are. Hattie found that they have an effect size of .82, so they have the potential to make a real difference in student understanding. But, to his credit, Hattie also cautioned that it’s hard work to establish a climate of trust and respect where classroom discussions flourish. And that’s not even half of it. They’re difficult to manage. You’ve got students who want to dominate and others who won’t talk at all. To address those issues, you have to design systems that limit the speech of some while encouraging the thoughts of others. Then there’s the issue with what you do when someone says something certifiably wrong or universally offensive.

And they take forever.

You’re also never quite sure if those who aren’t talking are getting anything out of the discussion and you might have the sneaking suspicion that some of what students are saying is not what they actually believe but what they think someone else (possibly you) wants to hear.

Having sat through countless discussions at staff meetings, I’m left to conclude that discussions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, or, if they are, then they’re so difficult to do well it might be better to avoid them altogether, which is largely what I do. I prefer digital alternatives that allow students to submit their thoughts anonymously. Padlet, the Google Question feature in Google Classroom (with student comments enabled), Jamboard, or even a shared Google Doc all work well, and they’re far easier to manage. You might also save discussion for smaller groups.

Inquiry-based learning

The idea here is that kids learn by doing and that knowledge uncovered in the pursuit of a (preferably student-generated) question sticks better than knowledge that is dispensed from the front of the room or absorbed from a textbook. Probably true.

But as anyone who has led an inquiry-based unit knows, it’s fraught with peril. An experiment doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to and students’ misconceptions are reinforced instead of challenged. Some kids do a lot of inquiring, while others freeload. Experiments are inefficient; they’re time-consuming and usually include a number of false starts. There’s also an incentive problem: students aren’t tested this way, so a teacher who’s concerned about standardized test scores might decide that reading about a topic makes more sense than designing and executing experiments that will be a management challenge and might not lead to the kind of learning the standards demand students attain.

Students might learn better this way, but there’s a real risk they won’t learn anything at all. And, of course, this all assumes your district is willing to spend the money to purchase the materials you need for whatever students are inquiring about. Experiments are fun. Students will like science class more if you do them, so do them you should, but it’s worth asking if this method of teaching and learning is worth the costs.

Feedback

Feedback is great. Research shows that timely feedback works; kids learn more when they receive it. But providing timely, individual feedback is labor-intensive and many teachers give more than is useful. I’m thinking specifically of writing. Whenever I write about not taking student work home, I inevitably hear from writing teachers who tell me such a practice is impossible because when would they ever read and respond to 25, or 75, or 160 student papers?

And the answer to that is they should not be reading and responding to all of those papers. I wrote about this in detail in my book Leave School At School, but to save you the purchase, here are some ways to stop squeezing the feedback lemon:

  • Have students give each other feedback. Yes, feedback from you will probably be better (it’s fresh-squeezed), but student feedback isn’t worthless (it’s Country Time). If you’re using paper, do a gallery walk where students have sticky notes that they can leave their classmates after reading their work. Require they leave two positives and one area to improve (and for the love of all that is holy please don’t call these “glows and grows.” Ick). If students are typing, have them share documents with one another and require a certain amount and type of feedback.

 

  • Provide feedback while students are writing. I have my students write their papers in Google Docs inside of Google Classroom, which allows me to jump into their work at any time and leave comments right on the screen. This saves me tons of time at the end of the process and gives them assistance when they need it and are still willing to use it. If you want it more personal, you could try Catlin Tucker’s station rotation model.

 

  • Limit your feedback to just one or two areas. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your students by trying to “fix” everything; you’re not the only writing teacher they will ever have. Focus on some high-leverage areas that will translate into other writing genres and provide feedback on those. If students can’t write a complete sentence, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to tell them they need richer imagery.  Feedback to student writers is like salt: a little has the potential to make the final product better, but too much makes kids want to gag.
Feedback to student writers is like salt: a little has the potential to make the final product better, but too much makes kids want to gag. Click To Tweet

Rubrics

I used to be guilty of squeezing this particular lemon. Before any writing unit, I’d design my own rubric or I worked with colleagues to design them for our grade level. The process was messy and not worth the results. To start, designing a rubric is a painstaking process. You have to figure out which writing traits to include and how much weight to give each of them. Then you’ve got to come up with language for each level. Those levels have to be distinguishable from one another and you’ve got to make sure you imagine every possible contingency. What happens if a student writes beautifully but off-topic? What exactly constitutes a detail? What if the spelling and grammar are on point but the kid forgot to paragraph? And finally, on top of all that, you have to make sure the rubric is student-friendly and not verbose so there’s actually a chance it will get used.

And what usually happens after you pour in all that work? You go over the rubric in class and start explaining your criteria and students nod off after about three minutes. Then, when they turn in a draft, it’s obvious they haven’t used the rubric. Finally, when it comes time to score student papers, you wish you hadn’t created the thing in the first place and you’re chagrined to find that most papers need little consideration and you only need to refer to the rubric for the handful that fall somewhere in the middle.

These days, my first stop for a rubric is the Internet. If it’s already made (and with the Common Core standards, why wouldn’t it be?), then there’s no sense recreating the wheel. I look for single-point rubrics because they’re easy to use for both teachers and students. If I can’t find one, I’ll make one, but because they’re single-point rubrics, they take much less time to create and are quicker to use.

————————-

If you read this article then you’re probably interested is optimizing your practices as a teacher so you can focus on the stuff that matters the most. The master class for this mindset is Angela Watson’s 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, of which Teacher Habits is an affiliate partner. If you’re looking to cut back on the hours you work without sacrificing your effectiveness, then give the club a look. Here are some links that may help you decide if it’s right for you:

12-question quiz to see if the club is right for you

Reviews from club members

Summer Secrets Video Series

 

 

 

How Teachers Can Use Drones as an Educational Tool in the Classroom

By Frankie Wallace

In recent years, drones have shed their military roots and joined the mainstream, used by businesses and individuals alike. Approximately 2.2 million drones were sold across the world in 2016 alone, according to Business Insider, and drone sales are expected to surpass $12 billion by 2021.

Those estimated sales numbers lump the three main types of drones together: Consumer, commercial (also called enterprise drones), and government. All facets of drone technology share similarities and benefit society in a number of ways. At the commercial level, drones have positively impacted many industries, such as real estate, agriculture, and cartography. Drone technology is so useful and ubiquitous, in fact, that it has even entered the classroom. 

Students of all ages are likely to be captivated and engaged by drones, and the academic value of drone technology cannot be denied. Today’s forward-thinking educators view drones as an educational tool that could steer their students toward a particular career path. No matter the age of your students, you can easily introduce them to the principles and applications of drones, and even show them the technology firsthand. 

Integrating Drones within the Classroom

Some educators are so dedicated to the use of drones in the classroom, in fact, that they have become Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified drone pilots. Two educators in Colorado Springs recently made headlines for doing just that. Ray Sevits and David Steele, who teach middle school and high school, respectively, spent two weeks during the summer of 2018 to learn about drone technology firsthand, and they now bring that knowledge to their classrooms.  

Their students learn to operate drones, design and build drones, and sometimes work as a team mechanic, maintaining and repairing any issues. But working directly with drones is just a small part of potential classroom applications. Students can also interact with flight simulation software, or study the myriad applications of drone technology. 

As an educator, you may choose to teach under the SOAR model of drone instruction. SOAR stands for:

  • Safety (ethics and legal use)
  • Operation (flight and maintenance)
  • Active learning (engagement in problem-solving)
  • Research (practical applications)

By adhering to the principles of SOAR, you can bring a well-rounded and comprehensive model to drone instruction for students of all ages.

Drone Technology in Commercial Industries

An understanding of drone technology and/or flight experience can give your students a leg up when they eventually enter the job market. Drones are used in a growing number of industries, and one of the most common uses for drones in commercial settings is in the realm of photography, especially for marketing purposes.

Within the real estate industry, drones are becoming an integral marketing tool that gives potential buyers a bird’s eye view of properties and the surrounding neighborhood. Real estate professionals report that successful commercial real estate drone photographers are those who have a keen eye for photography and can skillfully operate their own, quality drone. When those skills are honed in a primary- or secondary-level educational setting, students have a better chance of making a splash in the real estate photography industry.

Another industry that has a growing demand for drone operators is e-commerce, especially where shipping and logistics are concerned. Amazon is the biggest name in e-commerce within the U.S., accounting for a full 50% of total e-commerce growth in 2015 alone. The company continues to seek out innovative technology that can streamline its order fulfillment process, and drones have become part of the Amazon business plan. In the near future, autonomous delivery drones may carry packages from Amazon warehouses directly to consumer doorsteps. 

How Drones Can Benefit Society

Students with a background in drone operation may be able to quickly secure employment in the fields of real estate photography and e-commerce. But drone technology isn’t solely used for commercial purposes, and you can introduce your students to the potential humanitarian aspects of drone operation.

“Drones have shown particular promise in disaster recovery efforts and global health initiatives, becoming a key tool for public health and humanitarian agencies alike,” according to The Keck School of Medicine at USC. Drones have a number of uses within disaster recovery, such as assessing damage, locating victims who rescuers on the ground may have missed, and transporting supplies and medication to rural areas. 

In the classroom, you can initiate discussions about the use of drones in public health settings and encourage students to find similar applications in which drones could be beneficial. Further, students can test the efficiency of drones within disaster relief situations by performing mock supply drops. Teams of students can compare drone supply drop times with those of on-ground vehicle supply drops, and it can even become a race to see which team reaches victims more quickly.

Modern technology, from language learning apps to drones, continues to alter our classrooms in profound ways. Teachers have a responsibility to harness these technologies in order to improve the chances of future success among their students. Drone technology provides a fun, hands-on opportunity to prepare students for jobs in emerging industries.