Webcams and Videos for learning about animals!
I recently read a blog article at TeachThought.com that referred to today’s student as the “Netflix Generation,” and I have to admit the label fits the students in my household. The internet has opened up the whole world to my students in a way that I could not have imagined when I was a student devouring every book I could find.
With so many resources to choose from, I enjoy the thrill of finding something that is just right for my lessons. What is even more thrilling is seeing the way incorporating real videos of the things we are studying engages my students. I particularly appreciate being able to show my students animals and places that are out of our reach and how real scientists work all over the world.
I’ve made a list of some wow websites that will give you the resources and ideas you need to leave you and your students asking for more:
- Explore the World at Explore.org
This website provides access to a wide array of live and recorded nature videos. The site also offers lesson plans to accompany many of the videos. There are a lot of live cams here. Make sure you have some time to explore them all.
Science-themed video selections at the site include films about the arctic sea, an avalanche research center, a puffin hatchling and wild bison. The video images I viewed were clear and detailed and some even had sound. In addition to animals, the site also offers locality videos. You and your students could study the effects of changing weather on the surf conditions in Hawaii daily.
- Join Scholars and Scientists From All Over the World at California Academy of Sciences
This website has a wonderful collection of live streaming and recorded science videos. In addition, the site’s Library of Life provides images from its collection of over 46 MILLION scientific specimens.
This facility has over 38,000 live animals on site to maintain its ongoing studies. Now that makes me say, “Wow!” With accompanying lesson plans and specialized video lessons, this site offers lots of ways to show young students what a scientist can do.
- Watch and Learn About Pacific Marine Life at Aquarium of the Pacific
This aquarium shares live views of the Southern California steelhead fish, weedy sea dragons, and penguins!
(I just love penguin cams.)
The website also offers an encyclopedic online learning center with printable information including scientific details and fun facts about many marine and land species.
- See the View From Across the Pond at Wildlife Trusts
This UK based organization shares live webcam videos of birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat from locations throughout Great Britain. Of particular interest to me was the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project Cam in Devon. Your students can learn about bats and watch them in action at this site.
The Wildlife Trusts website offers resources to assist students in learning about European plant and animal species and habitats. What beautiful lush greens you can see in a temperate climate zone!
5. Webcams at the, The San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo has been helping students learn about animals for over two decades. The zoo itself is a great place to visit and Zoobooks have been in publication since my grown nephew was a boy. Now you can view issues of ZooNooz online or study the zoo’s full glossary of animals, plants and habitats. The San Diego Zoo also provides full curricula on several different topics to encourage your young biologists.
Webcams: Bringing Observations to Life
While at its simplest, a video can allow students to see and hear the subject they are studying, the opportunity to take things further shouldn’t be overlooked. Instead of considering video viewing a passive activity, you can make it an engaging one by treating the video as the subject of your study then selecting a lesson plan to enhance the experience.
Many websites provide ready-made lessons plans to accompany their videos. Or, you can select the video that best fits your existing lesson.
Here are some lessons plans on scientific observation that you can use with your video selections:
Unlocking the Power of Observation from the National Science Teachers Association
Making and Recording Observations from National Geographic
Animal Diversity from Advanced Science, Serving Society
So the next time everyone is getting a little bored, take them on a trip to visit the penguins, or beluga whales, or black bears… The world is out there waiting for us all.
Thanks for visiting Science is for Kids.