Using the high bandwidth of the K-12 High Speed Network (HSN) and multiple technological approaches, PORTS delivers units of study to classrooms statewide. There are two technology components to PORTS units of study. The first is the online, on-demand lesson plans and the second is the videoconferencing portion.
Units of Study - Online and On-Demand
The online units of study offer lesson plans to help prepare students for the videoconference program. The units of study use a variety of digital media and formats that can be downloaded and used in the classroom at any time. An internet connection and computer are needed to access these materials.
The requirements to participate in a PORTS videoconference program are:
- High Speed Internet--Videoconferencing with PORTS requires a minimum connection speed of 384 KB per second. If your school has a connection to the HSN, it is most likely you will have the necessary connection speed. Connection to the HSN is helpful but not required.
- Standards-based Videoconference Unit--This technology does not communicate with proprietary software like Skype and Apple iChat .
- TV or LCD Projector
If you are unsure whether your classroom has the technological capability to participate in these programs, then direct your IT staff to contact Shawn Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org .
California's K-12 High Speed Network
PORTS continues to partner with the California's K-12 High-Speed Network (HSN) to bring high-quality educational videoconference programs directly to students in their classroom to enhance students' learning experiences. The HSN enables "educators, students and staff across the state to have access to reliable high speed network which has the capacity to deliver high quality online resources to support teaching and learning and promote academic achievement." Much of the material presented in the PORTS program requires the classroom to be able to receive information at speeds in excess of 300 KB per second. While it is possible to participate in PORTS without a connection to the HSN, we highly recommend that your classroom be connected to the HSN if you want to participate in these programs.