Google Expeditions is getting new content centered around Major League Baseball, produced hand in hand with the League itself. The content consists of guided tours of two famous fields, along with a look behind the scenes at broadcasting a game, being a sports reporter, and using the MLB’s Statcast tool to examine baseball plays in detail. While casual guides and explorers are welcome to check out the virtual tours and the wealth of information that goes with them, educators can take things to the next level with free lesson plans to match the content, centered around the details of sports journalism, and the math behind the use of the Statcast tool.
The two arenas that get guided tours are the New York Mets’ Citi Field, and Baltimore’s Oriole Park. Those tours contain factoids about the teams, the individual players, and the arenas themselves, and are narrated by MLB Network host and notable sportscaster Heidi Watney. The tours centered around broadcasting and journalism explore the day to day life and work operations of the people in those fields, and how they’re different from work in the same fields outside of the sports world. Finally, the tour that’s centered around the Statcast tool explores not only the usage of the tool, but how it gets its data, and how the physics behind the game work, making it a great real-world example of applied physics for students in related fields or those with an interest in such data.
Google’s Expeditions tool is a great example of using the power of technology for education. Not only are the interactive experiences rendered in 360 degrees to immerse students, but they’re also available in VR. Paired up with interaction by the educator and some headphones, such lessons could be incredibly immersive, and thus vastly more memorable than leafing through a textbook, watching a film, or powering through worksheets and assignments, depending on the subject. The tool has over 700 pieces of content available from a broad spectrum of topics and areas of interest, meaning that there’s something there for just about everybody. Whether an educator, a casual user, or just a curious person with an Android device and a few spare moments, Expeditions is worth checking out.