Teachers love live animal cams in their classrooms because they are powerful tool to take little learners INTO the animal world to see the animals for free. Students also love live animal cams because they are spectacular!
Integrating live cams into your classroom can be fun and education. No two days are exactly the same and nothing is as AWEsome as seeing the animals in their natural habitat. My students personally enjoy watching the live cam on our smart board throughout the day work when things quiet down.
Here are some LIVE Cam classroom tips:
- Make sure your administration and parents know what Live Cams you are watching in the classroom. Including them in on the process. Many times they will be a huge help in the process and encourage animal conversations at home.
- Connect the animal cam to classroom learning. Make a journal of events in the animals daily activities. Use the animal to connect to writing activities and prompts. Research the animal to answer questions posed by students instead of giving them an answer. Integrate the animal into STEM activities like constructing a home for the animal.
- Keep in mind that this is real life. You will see the animals do real things. For example when we watch the bald eagles, we can see them lay eggs, eat snakes or fish, go to the bathroom, and more. It is like visiting the zoo… sometimes it can be more or less educational.
- You can’t plan on when the animal will be active or not, so be versatile.
- Once you show them ONE Live cam… they will be craving more. And then the real fun begins with comparing and contrasting animals, their environment, and their habits.
One of my favorite cams to use is this Bald Eagle Cam from Berry College in Georgia.
Another option you could use is this Washington DC Bald Eagle Cam, with the eagles named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady”
And my own daughter LOVES the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta. In the fall of 2016, there were twin girl panda born. This was just in time for an older set of baby pandas to be returned to China in November. We watch this panda cam OFTEN at my house.
Zoo Atlanta also has a live sloth cam!
The Georgia Aquarium also has several animal cams you can check out here.
I know these live cams can and will capture the attention of any learner who is researching an animal or writing a paper. How better to generate questions about an animal than to SEE that animal in action to generate questions.
Here is a list of live cams that you may be able to use in your classroom.
Edinburgh Zoo in Germany is on a different type zone and has several animal cam for penguins, pandas, squirrel monkeys, and tigers.
Houston Zoo has a plethora of animal cams such a elephants, giraffes, zebras, gorillas, and even ants!
Pacific Reef Cam has an awesome cam of a coral reef. This one is fun and calming to me as well.
Monterey Bay Aquarium has a sea lion cam. When they are awake, these creatures are FUN. I know each time I take my own children to the aquarium, these are a HUGE hit.
San Diego Zoo has more than four cams for Pandas, elephants, apes, and polar bears. They even have a new Penguin Cam that would be awesome for antarctic animal units or to compare birds like the penguin and bald eagle. THIS link to the San Diego zoo shows 8 types of animal cams.
Save the Manatees has a cam as well. They run live during the day and rerun that stream at night.
The Smithsonian has 3 animal cams; lions, pandas, and elephants.
The Vancouver Aquarium has a jellyfish cam that I find fascinating! I think this video is calming and relaxing.
Woodland Park Zoo has cameras on tigers