When I ask my students what are the best technologies for the classroom I always hear the same: smartboards, computers, ipads, etc. But never do I hear anything like robots. Well this christmas I got a small remote control helicopter. These small helicopters, which fit into the palm of your hand are less than $30 and are designed to be flown indoors. Not only that but while they have a remote control, they can be controlled with your mobile phone or iPad. As I was flying it, my 2 year old son was watching. I began to realize all of the things he was learning from just watching me fly it. I then started to think of all the cool things I could teach K-12 classes with something like this. There is so much involved from learning how a helicopter flies, physics, science, engineering, etc. So for less than $30, I could purchase one of these and use it in my class. What is an advantage? Well its really fun to fly. Anything that students can have fun with while learning is something I recommend. So today in my undergraduate class, I am going to begin class by flying a helicopter without saying a word to my students. Then I am going to ask them how this could be used in education. The point I am making is that when we think of technology in the classroom we need to get past the notion that it only means computers and ipads.
Here is a video of one of these helicopters: