Integrating Drone Technology in STEM Education: A Case Study to Assess Teachers’ Readiness and Training Needs

Wing Shui Ng, Gary Cheng
InSITE 2019  •  2019  •  pp. 397
[This Proceedings paper was revised and published in the 2019 issue of the journal Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Volume 16]


Aim/Purpose: Drone technology has been increasingly used in education. This paper reports a study of assessing teachers’ readiness and training needs for using drone technology in their teaching.

Background: New technology promotes new ways of practices. With the sophisticated design and the affordance to explore our world from a bird’s eye perspective, a drone has been increasingly used to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. However, it also brings challenges to teachers to integrate drone technology in their teaching. It is therefore important to obtain a better understanding of various aspects of integrating drone technology in education.

Methodology: A group of pre-service teachers was engaged in a case study conducted using a designed-based approach. The participants were randomly assigned into three groups. They were required to develop lesson plans with the application of drone technology in teaching. The lesson plans were subsequently analyzed using the TPCK framework to identify teachers’ readiness and training needs.

Findings: The participants, to a large extent, have sufficient competence to master the skills and knowledge of drone technology and to integrate it into their teaching. However, they were required to strengthen the pedagogical knowledge, subject content knowledge, and technological content knowledge in order to maximize the potential benefits of drone technology in education.

Contribution: This paper reports the level of readiness and training needs of teachers regarding the use of drone technology in their teaching.

Recommendations for Practitioners: To conduct teacher training regarding the use of drone technology in education, a particular focus should be put on enhancing teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, subject content knowledge, and technological content knowledge.

Recommendations for Researchers: Researcher may further explore the strategies to integrate drone technology in teaching.

Impact on Society: This paper suggests the area of teacher training regarding the use of drone technology in education. The teaching and learning effectiveness could be improved.

Future Research: Future research may study the safety issue and ethical issue of using a drone in education.
drone, unmanned aerial vehicle, teacher education, STEM education, TPCK
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