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Digital Wildlife:

For more information about the Wildlife Center of Virginia, please visit www.wildlifecenter.org
by

Raina Krasner

on 18 September 2014

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Transcript of Digital Wildlife:

"Adopting a critter provides my students with an emotional investment in the critter. The 'critter' (with the help of WCV staff) provides real world applications of math and science, plus provides high-interest in reading and writing, especially with expository (non-fiction) text. The critters that are available to watch on the cameras provide many small 'teachable moments', where a brief 5 minute discussion can provide a lesson, such as the 'apple core', or why bears don't hibernate in Virginia."
-Lynda Matheson
Digital Wildlife:
Critter Display Board
Assignment: chart information about three scientists.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia
Hospital for native wildlife


Mission Statement:
teaching the world to care about and to care for wildlife and the environment


Use patients as real-life examples
Wildlife Center Classroom Series
Format
Live sessions on the moderated discussion

Scripted sessions with input from the public

Crafted by staff members/outreach externs

Topics related to wildlife we treat or the Center operations

Archived (on website) for future reference

Tie in to other programs
reference during assemblies/tours
Cam in the Classroom
Concept
Teachers from various locations connect with the Center in a
virtual setting

Simplest form:
Classrooms log-on to the moderated discussion for Q&A sessions
One time or Recurring
Questions Submitted Ahead or Live Submission





Moderated Discussion
tied to the Critter Cams
discussion board moderated by staff/volunteers
allows cam viewers to interact with people while watching the animals (e.g. ask questions, make comments)

Tool: CoverItLive
module on our website
selected for ease of use, ability to moderate, drop-in media
moderators have screen names/avatars
users have screen names




Relationships with WCV People
moderators personalities/voices

Relationships with each other
"know" each other
develop a community

Relationships with the animals
"know" the patients/education animals


engaging an audience through online education
Why Digital?
Development and donations
Strong outreach
Costs
not inexpensive to maintain but ...
better value for the reach

Reach
national ... international

Accessibility
teachers/public

Trends in Education
emphasis on utilizing digital resources

Relationship building tool
Debate about digital ...
General Q&A
Members of the public log-on and ask questions about:

general wildlife
specific patients
education animals
cam happenings
Cam in the Classroom
Classroom Integration

Teachers relate grade-level lessons back to the WCV

Utilize all available WCV resources for teaching various lessons

Lesson plans range from math to literacy

Imaginative, innovative, engaging



Classroom Integration Spotlight:
Mrs. Lynda Matheson's
Elementary School
Bullhead City, Arizona

Dissecting owl pellets from the Wildlife Center.
Assignment: use persuasive writing to convince Amanda and Raina to bring Edie to Arizona.
Line graphs based on Edie's weight.
Assignment: create a timeline of Pignoli the Eastern Screech-Owl's life.
Esther captioned a cartoon of a hummingbird.
Skype session
Website


Critter Cams


Moderated discussion


Various digital tools

Education
Tools for Digital Education
Live-animal Presentations

Digital Education (free)
Push for being "unplugged"



Live vs. Digital
Different but equal in value

Live
Hands-on Experience
Non-education benefits
(e.g. activity/health)




Digital Education Benefits
Accessibility
Real-time interpretation
Website
foundation of our education efforts
links to resources
social media
Critter Cams
Wildlife Assistance Documents
FAQS
Research Papers
Infographics
animal info
education animal bios
patient stories
live-feed, online
In 2011, WCV admitted three eaglet patients known as the "rock stars"

Eaglets were on a live-feed camera in the Norfolk Botanical Garden

Brought a community of
"displaced" viewers

Anatomy of a Patient Update
What's next?
Website Traffic
Social Media Engagement
Critter Cam Viewership
Digital Event "Attendance"
Teacher Participation
Public Engagement
Analytics
Website
Advantages
Central location for all information
Permanent links to resources
Easy to construct a patient story and create updates
Reaches a large audience - not exclusive
Strong opportunities to generate public awareness
Moderated Discussion
Q&A
Moderated Discussion
Moderated Discussion
Challenges
Read the story all the way through
Continued Engagement
Direct people to website
Advantages
Engaging for the audience (give and get)
Answer important/relevant questions
Wide reach
Challenges
Can stray off-topic
Requires skillful moderation
Challenges
Assessing potential engagement
Time/Effort for monthly class
Wildlife Center Classroom Series
Advantages
Engaging for the audience (give and get)
Specific topics + set times = “event”
Chance to focus on seasonal issues
Archived versions accessible
Inclusive - wide reach - open sessions

Advantages
Set time = “event”
Archived versions are accessible
Engages classrooms with the website
Broad audience - open sessions
Reach without the travel
Challenges
Curriculum requirements in schools
Dependent on teacher involvement
Hard to sell - difficult to convey concept
Cam in the Classroom
Expand use of other digital tools
Blackboard - virtual classroom
Skype
GoPro Live Streaming
What
we
learned
have
Treat your website like your outreach cornerstone.
Produce "events" through digital forums.
Start with tools that are free, simple, and accessible.
Strive to be inclusive and engaging.
Website
Increase library of wildlife FAQ docs
Viral campaigns, memes
Critter Cams/Moderated Discussion
Room for growth
More cams
Develop Wildlife Center Classroom Series
Put more effort into engaging teachers
Hosting events
Literature/mailings
Full transcript