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Using webcams in geography

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Author: Alan Rodgers, TRE Moderator (27 Mar 05)

At a Glance
Age RangeKey Stage 1Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3Key Stage 3
ScopeIndividual studentIndividual student
Resource TypeInteractive WhiteboardInteractive Whiteboard
Class TeachingClass Teaching
Development StageDeveloping IdeaDeveloping Idea

DescriptionWebcams can be used in many geographical contexts. They are a comparatively new resource which brings many localities within reach of the classroom. These can be in parts of the world which could not otherwise be seen and in locations which could otherwise be dangerous.

The activity can be adopted for a variety of topics and age groups. See the links to the resources targeted at specific topics. It can also be completed as a group activity with an IWB, encouraging discussion.
ObjectiveTo support the teaching of topics in geography.
To enable visits to locations otherwise inaccessible.
To use the internet for research.
AssessmentAre there any shortcomings in these sources? (They are mostly funded by businesses which relate to the tourism industry. They may not be likely to show us people living in the mountains.)
Did the children realise that some of the town scenes relate to these areas?
Were the findings on the worksheets pertinent to the topic being studied?
Prior Knowledge Children need to be able to follow instructions carefully, they must not stray from the sites they are allocated.
They need to be able to type in an URL, use favourites or follow hyperlinks from a document.
ExpectationsTo increase the interest in the topic being taught.
To be able to use experiences of locations otherwise inaccessible to primary pupils as a class.
To be aware of the power of ICT.
HintsThe use of webcams needs to be carefully monitored. Avoid webcams with links to sites you would not like the children to see. Select those which are obviously intended for use by families and educational institutions.
Have something for the children to do whilst the webcams are loading and encourage chidlren to be patient.
MaterialsRich text format Lesson plan - Details the ways in which webcams can enhance learning in geography.

MS Word Webcam guide and list - A guide to webcams and their use. Includes a list of useful webcams round the world. (Updated May 2009)

MS Word Webcam worksheet - This is just one idea of the type of thing which children mught be asked to do to record their findings. This can be adapted for use in many topics.

Website Webcams for rivers - Example adapted for teaching a topic on rivers.

Website Webcams for mountains - Example adapted for teaching a mountains unit.

Website Webcams for coasts - Example adapted for teaching a unit on coasts.

Website Using Webcams for Seasides - Useful URLs and a worksheet.

Website Using webcams for the Weather - URLs and supporting materials.


Nic Fielding, Computers at School
(19 May 05)
TRE comment TRE moderator - Nic Fielding - Webcams are a great resource to support Geography. But, as the author explains in the various resources he has published on using cams, they have to be monitored carefully. There is no predicting if the cam is online at the time of the lesson or what might be viewed which internet filters can't see!

Always check and expect the unexpected but a GREAT RESOURCE for teaching.

Take care and enjoy this well targeted TRE resource.
Alan Rodgers, TRE Moderator
(28 Dec 05)
TRE comment Links checked - These links worked on the 26.05.09.

By Author
Rich text formatLesson plan (49 kb)
MS WordWebcam guide and list (63 kb)
MS WordWebcam worksheet (28 kb)
WebsiteWebcams for rivers
WebsiteWebcams for mountains
WebsiteWebcams for coasts
WebsiteUsing Webcams for Seasides
WebsiteUsing webcams for the Weather
Download all (zip)

See Also
165 other resource(s) by this author

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