From the classrooms to Zooms, Master Falconer takes his birds to the internet to educate

COVID 19 is changing the way he teaches kids about birds of prey
Zoo Zoom's 6 p.m.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 6:43 PM EDT
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COVID 19 continues to change the way educators instruct.

As the battle rages on of how do children start the 2020-‘21 school year, one teacher in Letcher County is getting creative.

”We would do a whole gymnasium of kids, you know there would be 500 kids in there, and you know we could walk around and it was always great to pull a kid out of the audience and dress them up as an owl. It was a fun little part of our program and it’s that interaction that we’re missing now,” said Master Falconer Mitch Whitaker.

Whitaker works at the Letcher County Extension Office and travels amongst schools to teach kids about birds of prey.

”We have had close to 20 different species of hawks, owls, the eagle, and you know to get to show these species up close, it’s actually priceless,” said Whitaker.

His lessons stopped in February when schools started to begin tighter restrictions because of the coronavirus.

These birds they’re wild animals they’re not really missing that interaction I guess as much as I am. But, the educational end of our program is the most important I think,” said Whitaker.

Zoo Zoom's 4 p.m.

Whitaker is now using the app Zoom to do his lessons.

”Through this, we’re right here at the facility, we’re able to get the birds right out. It’s made it more easy on me and in turn, I think more easy on these guys too,” said Whitaker.

He is calling the lessons ‘Zoo Zooms’. He says while not the interaction he longs for, there could be a future in doing these zoom lessons.

”So those kids were at home getting to see it, so I thought that added another thing to it but, nothing beats getting to see these things up close,” said Whitaker.

If anyone wants to have a ‘Zoo Zoom’ they’re asked to call the Letcher County Extension Office at (606) 633-2362

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