Above: Third-graders at Bostonia Language Academy watch a virtual tour of the KPBS station, May 29, 2018.
A row of thumbnail images on an electronic tablet show 51 classrooms in the Cajon Valley Union School District. Together, they represent more than 1,200 students waiting and watching.
“So we have Miss Knierim. That’s Blossom Valley. We have Miss Brandt. This is Rios,” said Ed Hidalgo, scrolling through the tiny boxes.
Hidalgo is chief innovation and engagement officer for the district and is helping me prepare to give a virtual tour of the KPBS station.
The platform making this all happen is called Nepris. The online tool lets schools access a full catalog of workplace tours. They can also tap into their local community to schedule live tours like the one I’m giving. All it takes is a tablet or computer with internet access.
The technology comes as more educators are trying to link their lessons to the outside world but are having more trouble doing so in traditional ways. The big, yellow bus has become a prime target for school budget cuts, meaning students are going on fewer field trips.