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Jabra Case Study

Bringing Nature to the Classroom with Jabra and California State Parks

Nowhere is California’s beauty more evident than in one of its 280 state parks. Beyond sheer beauty, they offer an inimitable learning environment. Students who venture to state parks can observe and interact with the natural world around them – an experience that’s hard to replicate in the classroom.

However, not every student can visit these wonders. To bring California’s vast natural treasures to every pupil, California State Parks established the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS)® program. The PORTS Program offers free live and on-demand presentations, allowing students to explore the state’s outdoors – virtually.

PORTS immerses students in experiences like dynamic videos of kayak rides around Point Lobos, and interactive, field trip-style explorations of Hearst Castle. The program reaches classrooms across the state in more than 5,000 virtual learning presentations a year.

Key Facts


United States



  • Jabra PanaCast 50
  • Jabra PanaCast 20
  • BlueParrott C400-XT

The Challenge

The PORTS Program currently has 60 park staff working from 55 California state parks across all corners of the state. For PORTS to succeed, park staff must be able to communicate clearly with everyone listening, which can include up to 10,000 students in one hour.

Students must be able to hear and engage with these experts who are streaming from unique environments like windy mountaintops and rivers with rapids. They also need to be able to see the expansive views of forests and zoom in to blacksmithing demonstrations in action.

Park experts needed technology to bridge the divide between their vantage point in nature and the classroom. Because of their unique environments, they needed tools that provide high-quality audio and video for immersive experiences, long battery life to accommodate extended time in remote locations, durability to endure natural elements, and above all – tools that are flexible, easy to use and plug-and-play.

The PORTS Program needed audio and video solutions that could contend with these challenges and make outdoor learning a reality.

The solution

Jabra PanaCast 50

  • Unique 180° field of view in Panoramic-4K
  • AI-driven intelligent features
  • Plug-and-play
Jabra PanaCast 50

Jabra PanaCast 20

  • 4K Ultra-HD video
  • Intelligent Zoom
  • Lightweight, portable
Jabra PanaCast 20

BlueParrott C400-XT

  • Premium noise cancellation
  • Compact, versatile design
  • Water and dust resistant
BlueParrott C400-XT

Bridging the divide with technology

The PORTS Program’s goal is to bring students closer to California state parks through digital storytelling, while addressing both the needs of digital-native students who are accustomed to a high level of production quality and park staff leveraging technology in unique environments. These challenges led PORTS to Jabra, whose innovative audio and video technology creates seamless collaboration, regardless of where participants are located.

“We're constantly evolving and trying to have more and more high-production quality experiences for students. That's what they get with gaming and social media today, and that's what they're expecting from virtual learning as well. Jabra tools are helping us achieve this.”

Brad Krey, California State Parks, Interpretation & Education Program Manager

Putting California in panorama

For PORTScasts featuring panoramas like sweeping forests and wide museum rooms, the Jabra PanaCast 50 intelligent video bar provided a unique 180° field of view in Panoramic-4K, allowing presenters to capture expansive views with no distortion. PanaCast 50’s intelligent features helped everyone feel like they’re in the action together, even when they’re spread in classrooms around the state. For one PORTScast, the program brought PanaCast 50 a quarter mile into the redwoods for a Women’s History Month live broadcast on the “Heroines of the Redwoods” – providing panoramic views and bringing viewers an immersive learning experience.

Jabra PanaCast 20 provided a lightweight and portable, yet powerful tool for park staff to leverage for PORTScasts. With Intelligent Zoom to automatically keep the presenter in frame, high-quality video and simple USB-C connection to get up and running from anywhere in seconds, PanaCast 20 helped to power strong PORTS visual storytelling on the go.

Tuning in to sounds of nature. Tuning out distractions.

Utilizing BlueParrott headsets like the C400-XT in the noisiest environments, park staff were able to limit background distractions and create a more engaging audio stream for students tuning in from afar. The headset let in just the right amount of ambient noise, so PORTScasts feel realistic without being drowned out by what’s happening in the background. Long lasting battery life helped to keep experts connected, no matter how deep into a park they ventured or how many PORTScasts for students they conduct. The headsets also provided hands-free and cord-free access, flexibility to wear under hats or helmets, and the durability to weather even the toughest natural environments.

The path ahead

Jabra and BlueParrott have helped the PORTS Program bridge the technology divide and bring to life enhanced learning experiences in unique settings. Experts in parks have facilitated engaging conversations with students without distractions from background noise and students have experienced high-quality video to bring state parks digital storytelling to life.

As more students become native to a digital world, the expectations for high production value will continue to grow. Because of this, the right tools and innovations are needed to go deeper into forests and farther into estuaries to bring students that much closer to California’s state parks.

“The right technology has been and will continue to be a key enabler for us in carrying out our mission,” Krey said. “We look forward to the future of the PORTS Program and will continue to bring California’s state parks to more students across the state – and even across the country – in new, immersive ways.”

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