The school field trip to California State Parks is being reimagined thanks to a new partnership between California State Parks, Parks California, and Computer-Using Educators.
California is home to some of the country’s most unique and precious cultural, natural and historic resources; and a new passPORTS online adventure will help make it possible for students from across the state to experience them.
The new pilot program, passPORTS, will use a blended access approach that combines quality teaching practices with the latest technology to reduce barriers to park access. Using videoconference technology and web resources, the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) program introduces K-12 students to live State Park interpreters, allowing them to connect their classroom studies within the context of California’s state park system.
“We are excited to embark on a new partnership with Parks California and CUE to provide deep and meaningful digital learning experiences for K12 students and invite them for an in-person class visit to our parks, recreation areas, natural reserves and culturally important places when the time is right for schools,” Brad Krey, PORTS program manager, said.
“PassPORTS is an exceptional opportunity for kids to connect with and learn about California’s State Parks from the comfort of their home. Programs like this play an important role in making state parks accessible for all people, regardless of where they live,” Geoff Kish, vice president of programs at Parks California, said.
This enhanced initiative builds on 15 years of PORTS programs with a new combination of digital instructional materials for use in the classroom as well as in-park use; and provides funding to school districts to cover bus and transportation costs, giving students their passPORTS to the Parks.