Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tech Thursday {}

Technology Thursday is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. Check out our Linky Parties page for details on how to link up! This week I am sharing about one of my favorite free time apps/websites.
This website ( completely amazing. It offers LIVE webcams of a variety of different animals. My students love to click into the app to see what animals are around the cams at that time. It is the go-to app during free-choice time. My students are so intrigued because you never know what animal will be just a click away. Here are a few screenshots of some animals that I have seen recently.

There are tons of options for live animal cams. It is super easy to switch between the cams because the site has this little tile grid underneath the live video feed. Just click to head over to a different camera. 
Yep! There are kittens and puppies on the website/app too. They are all animal shelters and rescue centers so it is pretty cool to see the puppies and kittens thriving. They also have some options to see oceans and surfing. You can also view "previously filmed footage" from a variety of places (including out of season places). There are polar bears, grizzly bears, sharks, penguins, jellyfish, stingrays, owls, monkeys, pandas, deer... the list goes on and on!

You might be wondering how I use this in my classroom. Every morning, my students do morning work. When they finish their morning work they can get on a device for free choice time. During this time, my students can choose from a variety of apps (all educational). Free choice is usually between 5-10 minutes so I ask that my students be prepared to share one sentence about something that they learned during that time or something they saw. I pick 3-5 students randomly to share at the end of the time. This holds all of my students accountable during free choice time because you never know who is going to be called on.

Correlation to learning? My students are investigating, they are making predictions, they are activating prior knowledge, they are building empathy and awareness of the world. One week our reading series story was all about life in Antarctica. That week, during free choice time, I had students specifically use this app to check out animals that live in Antarctica. They were able to make connections between what we were reading and what they were seeing on the live feed.

**You never know what students are going to see when they click into a live feed. I had a conversation with my students when I introduced this app about "bathroom discussions". Yep. Animals have to go too, but we don't need to know about it. I haven't had any issues with students giggling or freaking out about the bodily functions.**

I have to share two really cool things that have happened this year that we saw. Way back in November, one of my students clicked into an elephant feed and they saw that the elephant was giving itself a bath! Of course I had to pull it up on the projector so the entire class could see. It was so cool to see how they use their trunks to shoot and spray water all over themselves! But even better than that, we saw a LIVE GIRAFFE BIRTH! YEP!!!! How cool is that? One of my students clicked in a few weeks ago to the safari channel and boom. There it was! Happening live. Right in front of our eyes. Definitely brought that up full screen! Yes, it was ishy and gushy, but so COOL. My students were able to look past the nastiness and look at the precious life that was brought into the world. We even checked in on our new friend later in the day to find him/her walking around by his/her momma. Note: I had a parent e-mail me to say THANK YOU for showing that to their child. They said that is one experience they will never forget and it is definitely special. It was the only thing my student would talk about for 5 days straight! Ha. Poor parents!

I hope that you will check out this website and try it with your students! Link up with your Tech Thursday Tips Below!

1 comment:

  1. So Neat! I love this weekly linky party---you always have the best tech tips!

    Mind Sparks


We LOVE to read your comments, and prefer to reply by email so that you will receive our responses. Make sure you're not a "No Reply Blogger" or leave your email address in your comment.Thanks for stopping by! :)