Drones in Australian Curriculum

I recall watching a documentary many years ago about children's giftedness being ascertained by the number of crafty ways they could identify a paper plate could be used. My efforts to source the media has proven fruitless. Regardless of the plight, I still feel like the giftedness of teachers could be calculated through evaluating pedagogy and blended learning methodologies and the degree to which technology is seamlessly woven through the curriculum.

Skilled educators are discovering new ways drones can be used to augment learning and support classroom investigations. Using drones at a very basic level allows children to view aerial photography to promote the ideology that they are part of something much larger than themselves. To truly harness the brilliance of drones within the classroom, I have extracted text from the Achievement Standards of the Australian Curriculum and at times expanded Content Descriptors to identify practical examples of how drones can be used from P-10.

  • Primary School can collect data and use aerial photography to assist investigations of Measurement.
  • Middle Years can prepare graphs; plotting distance, time and height.
  • Senior Students to explore data, statistics and variables by analysis of flight data in relation to flight performed to test triangle and angle properties to prove congruence and similarity.
  • Create literary texts regarding flight and in Primary Years show the differences between the language of opinion and feeling and the language of factual reporting or recording.
  • Middle School Students can explain sequences of images and compare these to the ways hyperlinked digital texts are organised by create and publish an instructional manual on drone use.
  • Senior Classes can use DJI and Phantom Drone software as well as word processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements for an individual research project.
  • Primary Children can capture images of mock natural disaster scenes made with cardboard or Lego and analysis data to ascertain needed response and program Sphero or EV3 to deliver required aid.
  • Middle School collect evidence of litter and lay map calculations and plotting over Google Maps to study topography and determine if wind is a contributing factor toward rubbish deposits and design wind breaks to prevent the occurrence.
  • Senior Classes can become researchers and survey large fields and observe how different plantations react to different conditions.
  • Aerial photography can provide opportunities for Primary Students to to explore a range of factors and behaviours that can influence health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Middle School Students can demonstrate control and accuracy when performing specialised movement sequences and skills by using footage as feedback to evaluate performance.
  • Senior Students can make judgments about and refine their own and others’ specialised movement skills and movement performances, while working collaboratively to design and apply solutions to movement challenges such as Rugby positioning and scrums.

  • Students can use drones in Primary School to recognise and explore digital systems.
  • Replicate Uber and Amazon delivery options by defining and investigating real-world problems taking into account functional requirements and economic, environmental, social, technical and usability constraints in Middle Years .
  • Define and decompose real-world problems precisely, taking into account functional and non-functional requirements and Senior Students can interview key stakeholders to identify needs to prepare business plan for drones use.
While many of these ideas are yet to be tested, I am confident they provide real, relevant and realistic learning opportunities. The lesson ideas for Primary, Middle and Senior Years are not a complete list nor by any means exhaustive because there is an endless number of ways drones can be used to support classroom investigations. Drones can be used across multiple Key Learning Areas and will capture the interest of every student while taking their learning to new heights.


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