This post is written by ESL teacher, Mrs. Teresa Cross. Mrs. Cross attended the ISTE technology conference in Philadelphia this past summer. She is sharing various resources and ideas on the TL2014.org website throughout the year.
During the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia this past summer, I had the opportunity to attend a poster session titled Using Animal Webcams to Promote Children’s Writing. The facilitator, Bruce Wilson from New York City Public Schools, shared ways to motivate children to write using live animal webcams. The use of animal webcams provides opportunities for students to grow in inquiry learning as they observe and develop their own questions about the life of animals. There are many webcams set up throughout the world in animal preserves and zoos. The technology allows anyone to observe wild and domestic animals in different living environments. Through careful planning and guidance, webcam viewing can be a fun and educational strategy to promote authentic writing. After sharing these resources with fellow teachers, several used the easy availability of webcams to reinforce curricular objectives in science. For example, fourth grade students viewed live animals through various webcams and then classified the animals while recording similarities and difference.