New Media Students Become Drone Experts

 DRONE: Students are now flying machines like this one. (PHOTO: RL GNZLZ/Flickr)

DRONE: Students are now flying machines like this one. (PHOTO:RL GNZLZ/Flickr)

The first educational project of ViSmedia will soon be disseminated across Europe. An experimental course in drone flying and programming is featured on two full pages in this year’s issue of the UiB Magazine.

“No wonder the drone course was selected this year,” says ViSmedia leader Astrid Gynnild.  “This is an unusual course. By applying innovation pedagogy experiments with flying and programming drones, the students got to learn this new technology from the inside.  This course is one of the first of its kind in Europe.”

Students collaborated in teams and developed three prototypes during the course, directed by Professor Lars Nyre.  Nyre says, “The students were required to develop prototypes relevant for journalism, but otherwise they were free to design what they wanted.”

In the UiB Magazine Professor Nyre explains how the students were engaged in the course.  Nyre comments, “The projects that these students are undertaking can make important contributions to the future development of video journalism and visual presentation of reality.”  An interdisciplinary team of teachers, including professional drone pilot Giedrius Statulevicius, was involved in the course.

 IN PRINT: From this year's issue. (FACSIMILE: UiB Magazine)

IN PRINT: From this year's issue. (FACSIMILE: UiB Magazine)

The drone course also provided valuable research data, which will later feed into one or more articles on innovative pedagogy and the potential of drone innovation in journalism.  According to ViSmedia researcher Frode Guribye,”the course as a whole should, in this way, be seen as a design experiment where we systematically study how the students can learn about technologically advanced topics in a creative and innovative way. Organizing educational activities in this manner gives students an opportunity to reflect on fundamental issues of responsibility, privacy and professional ethics.” Guribye was on the supervising team of the course and is particularly interested in human computer interaction and technology enhanced learning.

Sara Pedersen Stene