California State Parks is proud to offer a variety of live, interactive opportunities for K-12 students to stay connected to our state's precious natural, cultural, and historical resources. Connecting your students to State Parks will allow them to explore a wealth of topics delivered by interpretive rangers across the state.
How do you connect your students to California State Parks?
There are two ways: PORTS Home Learning Programs & PORTS On-Demand Programs.
PORTS Home Learning Programs
Our Home Learning Programs were created in response to the need for home learning opportunities for K-12 students. State Parks interpreters broadcast live from parks across the state, connecting with students through Zoom webinars on a set schedule.
If you're interested in tuning in for a live PORTS Home Learning Program, view the program calendar below and follow the steps to sign up. These programs are offered to the general public.
PORTS On-Demand Programs
For more than 15 years, California State Parks has been utilizing technology to provide access to our parks. We are proud to continue offering PORTS On-Demand Programs for digital classrooms across the globe.
If you're interested in connecting your class to a PORTS On-Demand Program, select the park you want to connect with from our interactive map below.
Connecting to PORTS Home Learning Programs
Connecting your students is easy. Follow these simple steps:
- Review the PORTS Home Learning Program calendar above and select the program you want to share with your students.
- Click on the calendar event to view the Zoom registration link. This link will need to be shared with your students. You can highlight, copy (Ctrl+C), and paste (Ctrl+V) the link into an email to your students or share it in your Google classroom.
- Follow the link to register yourself for the Zoom. You will need to provide your name and email address.
- Zoom will send you and all students who have registered an automated email with a link to join the broadcast.
- Click the link for the broadcast at the designated start time.
PLEASE NOTE STEP #3: If you want your whole class to join, each student will need to register independently. Student names and email addresses will not be shared or used for any other purpose.
Connecting to PORTS On-Demand Programs
Setting up a PORTS On-Demand Program for your virtual classroom is easy. Follow these simple steps:
- Use the map above or visit http://www.ports.parks.ca.gov to review which PORTS On-Demand Programs currently on offer.
- Email the PORTS presenter at the email address included in the program description.
- Send the PORTS presenter the following information:
- Your Name and School Name
- Grade Level
- Number of Students (minimum of 10)
- Minimum of two dates and times that would work for you
- Any special notes or requests
PLEASE NOTE: It may take the PORTS presenter several days to respond to your request and book your program. Please give them as much lead time as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does this cost?
All PORTS programs offered by California State Parks for K-12 students are FREE.
How do I share a PORTS Home Learning Program with my students?
See the instructions above.
My students are using Chromebooks, how do I help them access programs on Zoom?
Please see the following Zoom Blog article for How to Use Zoom on a Chromebook.
Can I just share out the link to the PORTS Home Learning Program? Do all of my students need to register?
It is a best practice for all students to register for the PORTS Home Learning Program independently. This reserves their space in the Zoom webinar. To share the registration link please copy and paste from the calendar above.
When I follow the link, it does't show the date I want to register for.
Click on the date listed after following the registration link in our calendar. Scroll down to the program you want to attend. Complete the registration. Please note: If your chosen date is not available, it has reached it's program capacity.
Are programs recorded?
I'm still confused!
We're here to support our teachers! If you're still struggling to connect or you still have questions, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I share PORTS Home Learning Programs in Google Classroom?
- Visit our website to share with your students and click on the Google Classroom icon in your browser to "Share to Classroom".
- If you can't see the Google Classroom icon in your browser , visit Google for more options.
- Before sharing our website, make sure you are signed-in with your G Suite for Education account.
- If your account doesn't appear, click on your account icon and scroll down to click "Add account".
- Click "Choose class" and select the class to share to. If you don't have any classes, you'll need to create one first.
- Click "Choose action" and select one of the following options:
- Create assignment: This allows you to check whether students attended the webinar and include additional assessment or activities.
- Ask question: This allows your students to respond to your question in addition to accessing our site.
- Make an announcement: This is a great tool for sharing resources with your students but doesn't allow you to track participation.
- Click Go to post.
- Include our website (http://www.ports-ca.us) and a message on how to register (instructions above).
- (Optional) To view the announcement or assignment in Classroom, click View.
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