To clarify regulations in the U.S., academic use falls under commercial drone 
rules. The good 
news is that, as of August 31, you can now legally teach and do research using 
drones under the 
new license. Its a written exam only (no flight tests) with a $150 test fee 
(good for two years). If 
you want more information on the process, 3D Robotics posted a decent recap of 
a Part 107 
webinar. 

Its free on Youtube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zygbga-E_zk&feature=youtu.be

Other good news is that student use of drones as part of an organized course 
fall under 
'hobbyist rules'.  This was announced by the FAA back in May.  If you want more 
info on these 
rules, here is a link to that announcement: 

http://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/uas_regulations_policy/media/interpretation-educational-use-
of-uas.pdf

Taken together, the new rules allow for the use of drones as tools and I 
suspect we will see 
widespread adoption in the near future.

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