July 29, 2012

California Wolf Center Collaborates with HPWREN for LIVE Activity for Little Feathers Pre-K Classroom

Earlier this year, HPWREN staff worked with the California Wolf Center to prepare and present a Live Interactive Virtual Exploration activity to a group of youth at the Little Feathers Pre-K, which is located on the Pala Native American Reservation in rural San Diego County. Using Skype, the youth interacted in real-time (video and audio) with a Wolf Center biologist, who was strolling a wolf enclosure at the California Wolf Center.

Prior to the LIVE activity, Little Feathers students and staff were able to explore the California Wolf Center's Traveling Trunk. The hands-on activities were facilitated by HPWREN staff Kimberly Bruch, Pala Learning Center Coordinator Veronica Peralta, and the Little Feathers staff.

Once the youth were seated and ready for interacting with the Wolf Center educator via LIVE, there was approximately ten minutes of technical difficulties at the Wolf Center site. During this time, the students at the Little Feathers site were shown a video of a wolf in the wild via YouTube; the students were quite intrigued by the howling noises made by the animal and it peaked their interest in seeing the California Wolf Center enclosure.

This screen shot captures the streaming video seen by the students via Skype. This imagery allowed them to talk in real-time with the educator, who was located inside the enclosure with the wolves and transmitting the video via Skype with a camera firewired to an HPWREN-connected laptop. While the video quality was excellent, the audio quality was not great due to wind noise. However, the students didn't mind the poor audio quality as they were able to understand the educator's responses to their questions. One of the teachers suggested that the less-than-optimal audio quality actually added to the overall experience as it made the students realize the wind at the remote site.

More than twenty Pre-K students attended the California Wolf Center LIVE activity at the Little Feathers site, which is located on the Pala Native American reservation and managed by the Pala Learning Center.

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