Now is a great time to be a Ball State student who's interested in getting hands-on experience with a "drone." A new course featuring unmanned aircraft systems will be introduced at Ball State University in Fall 2013, with an emphasis on how the device can be used to enhance digital storytelling.
According to an email from Ball State's Tim Underhill, the course will include discussion on legal and ethical issues and aesthetic best practices.
The seminar is particularly notable because while it is categorized as a telecommunications course, professor Tim Pollard (pictured) is inviting graduate students from any discipline. Part of the discussion will include applications in non-media sectors, such as agriculture and resource management. Basic photography or videography skills are a necessary prerequisite, however.
And yes, students will be able to fly an unmanned aircraft.
The course is a semester away, but it's been making local news. Indiana News Center has a story about the privacy and regulatory concerns, along with the benefits, of UAS technology, which features interviews with Underhill and Pollard.
A flier advertising the course, which is attached to this post, mentions the negative connotations attached to the word "drone," and refers to the devices as UAS throughout. This is consistent with FAA and industry practice, which identifies these aircraft, whether they be semi autonomous or totally controlled from an iPad, as unmanned aircraft systems.