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Questions about the Electronic Field Trips (EFTs)

What is an Electronic Field Trip?

Since 1995, Colonial Williamsburg has produced award-winning educational programs, known as Electronic Field Trips, which combine live broadcasts with online classroom resources. Our live broadcast programs, also available via live stream, will continue to be known as Electronic Field Trips, and the companion resources will make up HERO.

How is an Electronic Field Trip different from HERO?

HERO is a multimedia library of classroom and homeschool American history resources aimed at grades 4 to 8. HERO features programs from Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip Series and includes video, student web activities, and teacher lesson plans. HERO will contain resources from previous Electronic Field Trips as well as those in the current broadcast season.

How do I find a broadcaster in my area?

See if your local Public Broadcasting Station, educational access channel, or cable provider broadcasts Electronic Field Trips on our Broadcast TV Stations page.

I don’t have a broadcaster in my area. Can I still participate in the live program?

Yes! We also provide the broadcast via live online video streaming. Register now for our Live Broadcast Stream.

Can my local broadcaster carry the live Electronic Field Trips?

Yes! Contact for assistance making a request to your local public television station.

Can I test the stream ahead of time?

Yes, we strongly suggest that you test your setup prior to the each live EFT broadcast!

  • We offer a live test stream from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Tuesday before each broadcast. Since it is live, this is an accurate test of what your stream will look like on broadcast day.
  • On broadcast day, we begin streaming about 30 minutes prior to the live program. You will see the title of the EFT and hear music. The live program begins at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

How many computers may we use during the broadcast?

This depends on the size of your bandwidth. If it is low, we suggest that you stream video on only one computer at a time.

Can I watch the live stream on my iOS device?

Subscribers can watch the live EFTs on the "Video" page on iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Be aware of your available bandwidth. To prevent charges from your wireless provider, we recommend you turn off your cellular data option and stream using WiFi.

Can I watch the live stream on my Android tablet or phone?

Our live stream requires Adobe Flash, which subscribers may be able to install on their Android device. Click here to download the Adobe Flash Player 11 app for Android.

What about firewalls?

Many educational institutions use firewalls to protect users from hackers, spam, or large attachments. These firewalls can limit your ability to stream video. If you have difficulty running the video stream when you test your streaming video setup, explain to your network administrator what you would like to do. You may need to give them access with your login and password to the streaming test page so that they can provide the necessary adjustments. For a one-hour, curriculum-driven program, he or she can temporarily adjust the firewall settings for broadcast day.

How can I interact with Electronic Field Trips?

All of our viewers, whether watching on television or online, can participate in the broadcast.

  • Twitter - Viewers can ask questions and post comments on Twitter @CWFlearn or follow the conversation using the program’s hashtag (for example #ResearchEFT).
  • Instant Feedback Poll - Participate in an instant feedback poll by texting your answers to 22333 or voting online at

How can HERO subscribers interact with Electronic Field Trips?

Students in schools subscribed to HERO have access to exclusive interactivity under the “Live Broadcast” tab on the HERO site.

  • Call-In Live - Students in subscribed schools can call to ask our characters and historians questions. Student questions that do not get answered on air are answered by a team of trained volunteers and content experts.
  • Email - Email a character or historian during the week of the broadcast.
  • Twitter - Classrooms can ask questions and post comments on Twitter @CWFlearn or follow the conversation using the program’s hashtag (for example #IroncladsEFT). Please note that this option is open to the public, and Colonial Williamsburg cannot guarantee answers to all student questions submitted via Twitter.
  • Instant Feedback Poll - Participate in an instant feedback poll by texting your answers to 22333 or voting online at

How do HERO subscribers call in live?

  • Have students prepare their questions before the broadcast.
    • Each broadcast has a different toll-free number. The number is found in HERO on the “Live Broadcast” page for each program. It will not be shown on the screen.
  • Each student will be asked for their question, first name, and city.
  • Questions are screened:
    • To an expert or historian to answer.
    • To possibly go on air.
  • Questions are selected to go on air based on suitability and timing in the broadcast.
    • If your student’s question is in the line-up to go on the air, he or she will be placed on hold. Don’t hang up! Students will be able to hear the program through the telephone. Sometimes calls will be held over from one segment to the next.
    • Time is extremely limited, so the student who is asking the question (not the teacher) must be on the phone when the operator answers.
    • Students must listen for their name to be called over the phone, not on the program itself, because there is a time delay. When the student hears their name over the phone, he or she should ask the question in a strong, clear voice.
    • It is very important to turn down the program volume in the classroom when your student is on the air with a question. Otherwise, feedback will make it difficult to hear! Other students in the room will need to be quiet, too.
    • Cell phones sometimes lose reception or have static. Landlines are best.

Frequently Asked Questions about HERO

This program was underwritten in part
by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.