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johnelle

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Based on the Droneblocks contest announcement I volunteered to donate 5 drones to the local district which has nothing now.

The district is excited about it but we are struggling to come-up with an affordable way to get a small drone/programming program going at the middle school. Droneblocks posts an "inclusive" bundle of hardware and software on their site but it turns out if you ask about it they just pitch a $500 curriculum package with no hardware (up here in NE that is called bait and switch).

So if you were me and were willing to donate $500-$600 towards getting the middle school up and running what would you do?

I have been following Droneblocks for a while but I am hugely disappointed in their clueless responses to my questions. Are there any educators out there using Droneblocks for their education program?

All in all I thought this would be as simple as filling out an Amazon order and shipping it to the school but no joy...
 

volate!lo

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If I'm not mistaken the DroneBlocks app itself is free, or no? So what is the $500 for? Just some educational materials to be used in a curriculum ?

IMO all you really need is the drone and the phones / tablets, the free app and someone who teaches the kids what to do with this.

What do the teachers say? Maybe they don't really need or want pre-fab curriculum materials because they have their own ideas how to teach the kids?
 

johnelle

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Apparently the course is a bunch of videos. The teacher is on vacation this week so I don't know what she was going to use for curriculum. Generally they bring something in because doing your own is a lot of work.

However I do know that without the hardware nothing is going to happen so I was going to focus on that for now.
 

volate!lo

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Maybe offer the teacher to sponsor an individual video course so she can develop her own curriculum based on that? This is block based programming and not rocket science.
 

volate!lo

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In the meantime I looked this up on the Droneblocks website: Home

The Droneblocks app is free to use.
The droneblocks "academy" offers a couple of courses, each consisting of a handful of videos. Some courses are free and some are $60 per individual / $580 per class.
Drones are not included in that, only access to a few videos.

The introductory courses are all free. Only advanced features cost money: Computer vision, Python, Node Red and swarm orchestration


So I guess a few drones and downloading the course videos should get the teacher started
 
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johnelle

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Yes I was referring to this page:
EDU — DroneBlocks

When I asked about the included hardware, the person at Droneblocks said that this refers to a 3rd party offering and they would "refer me" if I wanted but there were pitching their $500 video instruction package. Never heard back.

So unless somebody knows of an actual package that includes hardware I guess you are saying I should buy some hardware and the teacher will use free materials(?)
 

volate!lo

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Yes I was referring to this page:
EDU — DroneBlocks

When I asked about the included hardware, the person at Droneblocks said that this refers to a 3rd party offering and they would "refer me" if I wanted but there were pitching their $500 video instruction package. Never heard back.

So unless somebody knows of an actual package that includes hardware I guess you are saying I should buy some hardware and the teacher will use free materials(?)
IMO that certainly is enough to get any good STEM teacher started, but I fear some aren't motivated / persistent / smart enough for such an approach. Some just need tons of materials ready to hand-out to the kids so basically all they have to do is start the video player.


I'd suggest to ask the teacher to check out their free video courses and see if that's enough to get the classes started. Droneblocks isn't hard at all, it's basically Scratch editor pre-packaged with Tello bindings.

Alternatively they can follow some more generic Scratch programming guides, or some other programming language of choice (Tello SDK has tons of bindings).


But as said, it all depends on the teacher.
 

Kyle Knox

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Based on the Droneblocks contest announcement I volunteered to donate 5 drones to the local district which has nothing now.

The district is excited about it but we are struggling to come-up with an affordable way to get a small drone/programming program going at the middle school. Droneblocks posts an "inclusive" bundle of hardware and software on their site but it turns out if you ask about it they just pitch a $500 curriculum package with no hardware (up here in NE that is called bait and switch).

So if you were me and were willing to donate $500-$600 towards getting the middle school up and running what would you do?

I have been following Droneblocks for a while but I am hugely disappointed in their clueless responses to my questions. Are there any educators out there using Droneblocks for their education program?

All in all I thought this would be as simple as filling out an Amazon order and shipping it to the school but no joy...
If you have a teacher to give my info to, I teach coding with Tellos to 4th and 5th graders st my campus, and can help point them in the right direction. Ther basic Droneblocks app is free, but there are dinne higher level programming tutorials and software tasty they do charge for. I only use the free one. There are other programming apps out there too, for free. I've been building out my own curriculum. You can check out my website link. I can be reached here, or at my work email on the website.
 
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GLogic

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Based on the Droneblocks contest announcement I volunteered to donate 5 drones to the local district which has nothing now.

The district is excited about it but we are struggling to come-up with an affordable way to get a small drone/programming program going at the middle school. Droneblocks posts an "inclusive" bundle of hardware and software on their site but it turns out if you ask about it they just pitch a $500 curriculum package with no hardware (up here in NE that is called bait and switch).

So if you were me and were willing to donate $500-$600 towards getting the middle school up and running what would you do?

I have been following Droneblocks for a while but I am hugely disappointed in their clueless responses to my questions. Are there any educators out there using Droneblocks for their education program?

All in all I thought this would be as simple as filling out an Amazon order and shipping it to the school but no joy...
I agree with Volate!lo, simply buy the drones. I DO understand your predicament because I am here to seek help also in putting together a drone program for my school. I purchased the Tello EDUs. What I need assistance in is in establishing a curriculum. To be effective, programming principles must be taught (logic) and this requires a "Dummy's" approach since I plan to use this for young children and adults alike. Teaching by the seat of your pants is not a way I would recommend. You will not get as much out of it.
 

GLogic

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So I guess a few drones and downloading the course videos should get the teacher started
[/QUOTE]
I am using Scratch and the basic block programming is cool but to get the most out of it you need to know exactly what feedback the Tello EDU can provide and the syntax in order to use IF/ELSE and other programming parameters to show greater functionality, interaction, intelligence and overall usability to spark innovation and creativity. I plan on using a laptop to get the most out of it. Do you know where I can find that type of help to steer down that path?
 

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