Monday, 21 March 2016

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Kids of the Live Drives

The kids of the live drives, are not limited to the cubs, calves, lambs, pups and chicks of the wildlife we see on Djuma and Arathusa. Curious, humorous and eager to learn, the human children who join us for safariLIVE always have something to say. From the sweet Gracie in Ohio, to the kids of Virginia Beach, WE have come to expect their wonder and enthusiasm for safari.

Scott pours chocolate milk for Gracie at their Arathusa Airstrip tea party.

Erik Moore, viewer and the force behind a collaboration between Landstown High School and WildEarth, saw the value in bringing the sunset drive to kids. He and Krissy Sanderlin, Instructional Technology Specialists at the school, have created a program at the school to include safariLIVE in their lesson plans. "Although I have done most of the communicating and 'found' the stream initially, Krissy has been involved in every aspect of the planning and implementation here in Virginia Beach," says Erik.

Hyena cubs at play during drive.

"I discovered safariLIVE purely by chance on YouTube while searching for live wildlife feeds for biology classes," he explains. When he first found it, the Djuma cam was on prior to the sunset drive. He left the feed as he went about his work, but a few minutes later, he heard a woman speaking on the feed. That was safariLIVE's Jamie Paterson discussing a sighting. At first, Erik thought it was an ad, but soon realised it was not stopping and Jamie had started up the vehicle. "Needless to say, after a few minutes I realised that she was answering questions from viewers. To prove to myself that it was live, I submitted a question in the chat on YouTube."

After they had followed safariLIVE for several weeks, they "began to see tremendous educational value in this LIVE platform". "We thought it was engaging, provided real-time educational feedback from experts, and broke down the walls of the classroom by giving the students an opportunity to travel somewhere that most will never have the opportunity to go in their lifetime."

Curious calf trying out his trunk.

And the reaction from the kids?  "While explaining the live drive and the process of submitting questions to the students, only a few students showed more than the usual amount of teenage disinterest. However, once they participated in the actual live portion of the drive, they became very much engaged and excited. Students who normally do not participate in class are seen busily writing questions for the presenters!"

The teachers who have brought this virtual safari experience to their classes, "are amazed at how well their students behave and the level of participation and engagement". "We are even getting comments from staff that they are finding students talking about their experience outside of the classroom. Many students have told us that they are tuning in to the stream on their own time," says Erik.

Erik and Krissy believe the safariLIVE stream is an "online activity that adds real-world and personalised elements of instruction to the students’ studies of curriculum related concepts and also allows students to develop cultural understanding and global awareness". They gain the valuable experience of a safari in the wild with the addition of this wonderful technology from half the world away. safariLIVE has become the biggest classroom in the world, for all our viewers, irrespective of age, location and learning curve.

If you have an interesting story to tell about your #safariLIVE experience, and would like to be featured in a future #safariLIVE Viewer Profile, contact us with your contributions, photo and video submissions at mystory@wildearth.tv. You could be interviewed next!

2 comments:

Erik said...

Thanks to WildEarth for allowing us to bring this experience to our students! As I write, more and more schools here in Virginia Beach are requesting 'school drives'. Thank you WildEarth and the entire safariLIVE team!! Erik

Stacey Moore said...

Thank you to Erik Moore for bringing this amazing drive to the schools in Virginia Beach Schools System! After attending the pilot program he and Krissy initiated with WE at Landstown High School, we immediately recognized the power of the live drive for the elementary children. Not only did they recreate the pilot program in my third grade class, but they came to my school and gave an in-service to the entire staff. Erik and Krissy also set up numerous Skype sessions and meetings with the Instructional Technology Specialists (ITS) system wide. The educational drives have spread like a wild fire and the sign up calendar is full until the end of the school year. Once the teachers have completed a drive with the amazing staff at WE, they are hooked and so are the children! The educational power of a live interactive drive is amazing!!Thank you so much! We love safariLive in Virginia Beach!!