Bring the World to Your Classroom with Live Cams!

Although most of us may have been unable to travel very far beyond the walls of our homes or the boundaries of our communities this past year, glimpses of faraway places are always possible from right where we are. 

With live cams like EarthCam, you can view the world from virtually anywhere. Even better, could you evoke an Explorer’s Mindset within your students by pairing these fascinating lenses alongside thought-provoking resources and well-crafted critical questions?

Here is a list to inspire you, then take your Explorer’s Mindset to the next level with our 1 hour online course for educators!

National Elk Refuge in Wyoming

From the website:

Located at the Flat Creek Inn East at the National Elk Refuge this webcam is able to capture the grandeur of the Jackson Elk Herd. Primarily used as a winter habitat area, the National Elk Refuges seeks to provide, preserve, restore and manage winter habitat for elk. If you are lucky enough you may even see a variety of other wildlife getting their moment of fame in the webcam view. Other species that frequent the area include bison, coyotes, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and the gray wolf.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom: 

Explorer’s Mindset critical thinking question:

What actions might humans take to better protect wildlife ecosystems?

Tsavo East National Park, Kenya

From the website:

Elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, leopards and other animals live from Savannah.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom: 

Explorer’s Mindset critical thinking question:

One of the linked resources provided says, “Dr. Kahumbu says that protecting Kenya’s wild areas does not mean that Kenyans have to choose between houses and businesses for people and conservation of land and wildlife. Instead, decisions need to be made with both goals in mind.”

How might people coexist with the natural world and still thrive?

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

From the website:

Live stream views of the Great Mosque of Mecca, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Saudi Arabia. The largest mosque in the world has as centrepiece Islam’s most sacred shrine, the Kaaba, a stone cubic structure covered with black cloth that is considered the House of Allah. It is precisely in this direction that all Muslims should pray, no matter what part of the world they are in.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom: 

Explorer’s Mindset question for critical thinking:

What impact does the past continue to have on the present?

Katmai National Park, Alaska

From the website:

Watch salmon leaping up the falls, while brown bears compete with each other for the best fishing spots. The largest and most successful bears can catch and eat more than 30 salmon (over 120 pounds) per day! Bears are most abundant at Brooks Falls in late June and July during the sockeye salmon migration, but also keep an eye out for bald eagles, lots of gulls, and maybe even the occasional wolf trying to partake in the salmon buffet. 

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom: 

Explorer’s Mindset question for critical thinking:

How are wildlife interconnected with one another, the natural world, and human beings?

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

From the website:

Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. Experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom:

Explorer’s Mindset question for critical thinking:

What role do humans play in protecting the ocean and its inhabitants?

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

From the website:

Admire these adorable koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, in the Australian state of Queensland! The koalas shown love to cuddle and to stay close to each other despite having plenty of space! Don’t be surprised if you see them napping as they need to sleep about 18-20 hours a day due to koala special diets and metabolism. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is in the suburbs of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom:

Explorer’s Mindset question for critical thinking:

What impact has human migration had on wildlife and the land over time and what can we do to approach the future more sustainably?

Wolong Grove Panda Yard

From the website:

The Wolong Grove live cam at the Shenshuping Gengda Panda Center in China’s Wolong Valley Nature Reserve provides views into 11 different panda yards. Watch as these giant pandas go about their day in this lush bamboo oasis.

Relevant resources to connect to your classroom:

Explorer’s Mindset question for critical thinking:

How do humans contribute to the endangerment of species and how might we shift our behaviors to conserve wildlife?

From wherever we are, exploration is possible. Bring the world to your classroom and inspire your students to consider new perspectives, ask complex questions, and take action toward a better future. Check out even more live cams on the world map and let us know how you put live cams to use in your classroom @NatGeoEducation.


Interested in learning more about applying Explorer’s Mindset to your classroom? Consider taking National Geographic’s 1 hour online course for educators!

Lead photo by Michael Nichols

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