The Wildlife Center’s live, online Critter Cams offer unique insights into the lives of our patients and education animals and is a fun and interactive educational platform for viewers of all ages.
The Center has more than a dozen cameras as a part of the “Critter Cam” network. These cameras provide a live web-broadcast, giving viewers the chance to watch these animals as they fly, eat, bathe, exercise, and prepare for release. Viewers may choose between three camera "channels", which provide a variety of patient choices.
In conjunction with the web-cam feed, a moderated discussion is featured on the Wildlife Center’s Critter Cam page. Viewers may submit questions or comments; staff and trained volunteer moderators approve these comments to ensure a vibrant and educational discussion.
There are a variety of online learning opportunities centered around the Critter Cams and moderated discussion – scheduled classes and special guest sessions as well as live question-and-answer sessions with classrooms around the country. The Wildlife Center also has a library of educational videos and virtual tours.
Cam in the Classroom
Our “Cam in the Classroom” sessions promote positive attitudes toward wildlife and emphasize how the personal choices we make affect the health of the environment.
Cam in the Classroom sessions take place on the moderated discussion, at a time selected by the host teacher, with a member of the Center’s outreach department. A classroom’s students are the only active participants during these question-and-answer sessions; teachers may submit questions to the outreach staff member ahead of time, or may ask the questions “live” during the session.
Read our archived “Cam in the Classroom” sessions to get a feel for these educational online classes.
Interested in scheduling a Cam in the Classroom for your class or group? Please fill out our Cam in the Classroom Session Request form.
Please note: teachers and classes do not need to set a scheduled session to participate in the moderated discussion. Classrooms are always more than welcome to submit questions on the discussion when moderators are present – we suggest that you identify your class by the teacher’s or school’s name [E.g., “Mrs. Matheson’s 4th grade class” or “6th Grade students at Copeland Middle School, NJ”].
Wildlife Center Classroom Series
On the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, the Center’s outreach department offers a class on the Center’s moderated discussion on a pre-determined topic. Whether it is information on a particular species treated at the Wildlife Center, common causes of admission of patients at the Center, or a particular rehabilitation technique or treatment, the Classroom Series is a great opportunity to learn more about wildlife and the work at the Wildlife Center!
The Wildlife Center Classroom Series is a great informal opportunity for teachers and classes to become familiar with the moderated discussion and the caliber of online programs that the Wildlife Center can offer.
Caring for Critters
Adopt an education animal for your classroom and receive a sponsorship package as well as regular email updates on your animal throughout the school year. Academic-year sponsorships are available; these include additional updates on Critter Cam events and other animal-specific information upon request.
Looking for more specific ideas on how to incorporate this information into your lesson plans? The Wildlife Center has compiled a list of subjects and ideas to showcase how some teachers around the country are already using “their” Caring for Critters education animal ambassador information in their lessons. Check out some of the inspired assignments that other teachers have created!
Some caring individuals underwrite the cost of an academic Caring for Critters sponsorship each year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to see if we have any available for your class!
Additional Online Education Resources
The Wildlife Center Critter Cams and detailed patient case studies and stories on the website can be used to support a variety of lesson plans for teachers – many of which correlate to Standards of Learning in Science, Biology, and Life Sciences.
Looking for ideas on how to incorporate virtual wildlife lessons in your classroom? The Wildlife Center’s website contains an ever-expanding and changing library of resources about wildlife and wildlife medicine. Explore more of these online resources here.