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Creating Digital Access to California State Parks With PORTS

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Thursday, December 3, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Erin Gates  
Brad Krey  
Jennifer Langer  

PORTS is well known for its free interactive distance learning programs that help teach students about California’s unique natural environment and culturally important places. Learn how PORTS continued to provide on-demand programs and expanded their reach for your students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Expeditions (Apple/Google app)
Flipgrid (Apple/Google app)
Smithsonian Digital Learning Lab (
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Social studies, Science
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
Content Knowledge and Professional Growth
  • Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement the ISTE Standards •S and ISTE Standards •T.
Digital Citizenship
  • Model and promote diversity, cultural understanding and global awareness by using digital age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents and the larger community.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Purpose: To introduce participants to the concept of digital access to resources provided by a vetted educational content partner (California State Parks) including augmented and virtual reality, videoconference presentations and open education resources.

Tools used: Zoom Video Conferencing, AR/VR, Flipgrid, Agents of Discovery, Smithsonian Digital Learning Lab.

Models employed: through multiple engagement points using digital tools, we are engaging students in more meaningful ways including virtual reality experiences of parks, allowing teachers to differentiate learning through OER, engaging in conversation with students via live videoconferernces, and allowing students to speak and create via Flipgrid.

PORTS has a proven track record of success since it's inception. We collect teacher feedback every year and have overwhelmingly positive responses to our programs and resources. The common refrain from educators is that their students have no access to parks, so this is an important piece of learning for their curriculum and for personal growth.

Supporting research

The concept of combining nature and technology is still in it's infancy.

More [+]


Erin Gates, Calfornia State Parks
Brad Krey, California State Parks
Jennifer Langer, California State Parks

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