How to Virtually Visit the Zoo

Published On: November 28th, 2016·By ·

Take Your Students on a Field Trip and Virtually Visit the Zoo

Field trips are a great way to immerse students in an experience and they can greatly enhance education. Field trips can also provide a respite from the daily grind of class. Zoos are a great choice for a field trip spot because they offer plenty of learning experiences. But what if you don’t live close to a zoo and it is too cost prohibitive to visit one? Or, what if you want your students to experience something specific that you don’t have access to? In this 3-minute problem solver, Monica Burns shares one of her favorite tools for virtually visiting the zoo.

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The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has thousands of animals. They are best known for their giant panda exhibit, but the zoo  also houses big cats and Asian elephants. Because not everyone lives within a reasonable distance of the Smithsonian, the zoo has provided animal cams so that anyone can visit these exhibits.

To access the elephant cam, simply go to the Smithsonian’s website. However, you'll need the app in order to access the lion cam and panda cam. The app is available on both Apple and Android devices. The zoo uses high-definition cameras for the best possible virtual field trip. These cameras stream live 24-hours/day so you can see animals any time.

The elephant cam on the website also includes elephant news, information about the specific elephants, and science facts about that species. That means you can learn about the elephants as you view them in their exhibit.

Do you know of any other tools to virtually visit the zoo? What resources do you use for virtual field trips? Let us know in the Comments below.


About our “How to Virtually Visit the Zoo” Presenter
Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Monica works with teachers to make technology integration exciting and accessible at all grade levels. She has conducted well over 40 unique training sessions for SimpleK12, click here to take a look at more videos from Monica.

About the Author
Carolina Fransen is the EdTech Apps and Tools Editor at She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and she loves investigating teaching jobs in some of her favorite locales. If you have an app, tool, website, or service that you think we should know about, please send your information or tip to


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