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Elephants in the classroom: Meet ElephantVoices

Petter Granli & Joyce Poole One of our objectives is education - to share our knowledge about the behavior, abilities and interests of elephants and their conservation in the wild with you the public. We accomplish this in a number of ways - this website and ElephantVoices on Facebook being just two. Articles, documentary films and lectures are other important avenues, although with the travel involved the latter is, admittedly, not the most eco-friendly alternative.

With this in mind we have decided to try out the use of Skype to communicate directly with students in primary, middle and high school classes. The blurb below describes one such a meeting from March this year where, via Skype and a computer connected to a data projector, we chatted with enthusiastic kids and their teachers in Atlanta, Georgia.

We welcome teachers or students from any where in the world to mail us with their thoughts about how they think a discussion with ElephantVoices and Joyce could fit into their class work. We are pleased to discuss a range of issues including elephant biology, social behavior and communication, elephant conservation in the context of human development, elephants and the ivory trade, and captive elephant welfare, among other topics.

Our time and capacity is limited, but we would like to try doing an "Elephant in the Classroom" meeting once a month. Get in touch with us and we can take details from there!

A fun meeting with a school class in Atlanta, Georgia, 11 March 2010

"Five and six year old students at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia have been studying elephants in depth with their teachers, Jonathan and Kristi. Students have been busy creating life-size elephants, making models of elephant habitats, and researching interesting animal facts that they will share in a podcast. As part of their research, they Skyped with Petter and Joyce to ask them their unanswered questions about elephants. Students had a chance to ask them the questions they had written in their journals earlier in the week. The class enjoyed learning that the female elephants never leave their families. They also found it interesting to hear about the many ways in which an elephant uses its trunk."

Amy Valk, Instructional Technology Specialist, The Paideia School