Remote learning about conservation, ecology
California State Parks joined Flipgrid’s Discovery Library this past fall, when Erin started creating Topics akin to the organization’s PORTS Program (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students), a well-established educational hub that has hosted thousands of live field trips across the state’s 280 parks.
For years now, invested stewards like Erin have taken students to California seashores, ghost towns, lighthouses, and reservoirs, each trip with more glee than the next.
Now, as they’ve adjusted to remote learning, you can still find staff grabbing their own phones and then jumping into a kayak to talk about a kelp forest, visiting the seals at Hearst San Simeon, or hugging a grandfather Sequoia tree to teach fire protection.
Between March and June of last year alone, they reached over 75,000 students on virtual field trips.
“I was not a fan of digital anything five years ago, but I’ve recognized now that digital access means increasing physical access,” Erin says. “Yes, we want to educate, but we also want to foster in any way a sense of stewardship and conservation in all students.
“If they can somehow create a personal connection to these natural, cultural, and historical places of our state, they will grow up to become citizens who want to help us protect these spaces.”