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Maths classes drone on

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Holy Spirit Community School Year 5–6 teacher and eLearning Leader Ben Lannen will show delegates attending the TeachTechPlay conference how drones can teach maths and team work.

He has his primary school pupils coding instructions for drones, to learn about coding, angles, distance, space and height.

Lennen, 32, spent five years as a video game designer before moving to teaching and won last year’s TeachTechPlay Nathan Jones Award for innovation in the first five years of teaching.

He says the $150 drones are a big hit and a great way to develop and reinforce coding skills, which students now learn from about Year 3.

“They absolutely just engage as soon as you bring them into the room,” he says. “The idea of using robotics in the classroom is really taking off.”

As well as using drones, Lennen runs a ‘Skype-athon’ that sees students talk to others in the USA, Europe, Asia, Kenya, the UAE and Russia. “It's a geography, culture and digital pen pal experience all in one,” he says.

He will demonstrate his drones at TeachTechPlay, which three Melbourne teachers run voluntarily. The third TTP conference will be held Ivanhoe Grammar School on April 12-13. It costs just $445 for two days, with an optional $249 + GST Masterclass on Wednesday, April 11.

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