Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Ex-teacher films drone videos for schools

NEW PERSPECTIVE:The YouTube hobbyist is trying to make videos of all of the schools in Tainan for them to use both as a historical record and for promotion

By Liu Wan-chun and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former teacher Huang Ming-pao shows a video of a local elementary school in Tainan that he filmed with his drone on Sunday.

Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times

Former teacher Huang Ming-pao (黃明寶) has made more than 300 drone videos of Tainan schools for school officials to use for promotional or educational programs.

The videos, made over a two-and-a-half year period, are available on his eponymous Youtube channel, the 52-year-old said.

“Students can learn about their schools and the community around them, while graduates who left their homes to work or live elsewhere can also revisit their alma maters through the films,” he said.

A few schools have sent him thank-you notes, saying they had wanted to make such videos themselves, Huang said.

When he worked as an administrator, he frequently attended meetings with teachers from other schools and would wonder what their schools were like, he said.

Six months before his retirement, he impulsively bought a NT$1,000 discount drone from a catalog and started making aerial films, Huang said.

His first drone was bulky and crashed due to turbulence after just a few uses, but he was inspired to replace it with a NT$20,000 custom-made unit, Huang said.

Footage from the second drone was shaky and he continued to have trouble controlling it, and also lost it in a crash, he said.

With his third drone, he began learning how to control it through practice and by watching videos made by others, Huang said, adding that the quality of his footage eventually improved.

The sight of a campus from the ground is familiar to students and teachers, but an aerial view offers an entirely new perspective, he said.

Like the cityscape around them, local schools are changing rapidly and the videos would one day become a historical record of not only the schools’ layouts, but the communities around them, he said.

However, his activities have also gotten him into trouble.

On one occasion, a school he was filming was near a military base and he was detained by a squad of soldiers on suspicion of espionage, Huang said.

He was allowed to leave after the soldiers were satisfied with his explanation and he had deleted the files, he added.

He is trying to make videos of every school in the city before the law changes, as the government has been tightening laws regulating drone use, Huang said.

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