Forum Friday – Africam: A Webcam Safari
This post comes fresh out of the forum as it was posted this morning, just before school. Steve (aka falconphysics) has found a wonderful site that allows users to view an African watering hole and the surrounding wildlife through the use of a webcam. Not only does it stream live video, but audio as well, so you can hear all of the insects buzzing, birds chirping, and animals slurping as they drink. Below the originnal forum post is an image taken today with the camera.
My wife saw this the other day and it’s pretty cool. Its a web cam that streams video and audio from a watering hole in Africa. Its on a game preserve and there’s a lodge near by where they can control the camera.
I don’t know if you could really use this in class as there’s no guarantee that there will be any animals there at any given time. So far we’ve seen elephants, zebras, lions, wildebeests, monkeys and other assorted animals.
http://www.africam.com/ then click on Nkorho Stream near the top left of the page.
It is simply….amazing! I watched the stream for awhile today during my plan time, and since it’s early afternoon here in the States, I got to see the camera’s night vision in action as it peered out over the African night. Insects were chirping and clicking as the camera panned back and forth, and even though I didn’t see any animals at the time, there was a low grunting noise periodically as some nocturnal creature rooted around near the camera. It got my brain wondering; are those warthogs, trying to get a drink in the relative safety of the night, or are they perhaps larger herd animals grunting to one another as they settle in for the night?
Imagine studying biomes, and being able to see one live in action, or studying Africa and it’s wildlife and watching African animals in their native environment, interacting with one another. What’s even better is that the Africam site has an active forum for sharing webcam discoveries, learning materials, and resources about African wildlife. You can even participate by opening the webcam window and submit a highlight for the picture of the day. Several images on the site include elephants, cheetahs, hyenas and more. There’s an extensive archive of daily images in the forum, with many new images posted each day. This is a perfect example of how various tools on the internet can come together and provide an amazing resource for the classroom. Without just a single computer you could take your classroom to Africa and back, while having access to all of the answers as to what you’re looking at, why, and how you can find out more.
Great find Steve!