Breakout EDU: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

BreakoutEDU-logo01(Image Source)

Breakout EDU is one of the newest trends hitting education. Breakout EDU is an immersive game requiring hands-on critical thinking to solve clues. This type of game is completely flipping current education because it requires students to collaborate, problem solve, and think critically.

The CEO, Adam Bellow, says: “There are cheers, there’s frustration, and ultimately, if there is success, it’s that moment of ‘We did it!’ And that is intrinsic. It doesn’t need something else,” he said. “I don’t see kids cheering when they do worksheets” (source).

The video below will explain the basics.

 

How to Get Started

The “Get Started” section of the website lists four steps:

  1. Obtain a Breakout EDU kit.
    1. You can purchase a wooden box for $119 or a plastic box for $89. Both boxes include 1 hasp, 1 word lock, 1 three-digit lock, 1 four-digit lock, 1 directional lock, 1 key lock, 1 UV light, 1 invisible ink pen, 1 small lockable box, 1 USB thumb drive, and 2 hint cards.  
    2. You can also purchase all of these items on Amazon as an open resource kit.
  2. Complete the beta form to obtain the password to access several hundred games.
  3. Facilitate a Breakout EDU game with a group.
  4. Join the community. Breakout EDU offers a facebook and twitter community. The facebook group is extremely active and very useful.

Gaming Tips

I have personally facilitated numerous Breakout EDU games and have a few tips.

  • Use the community: if you have a question chances are that someone has already posted that question on the facebook group and the community has answered
  • Be detailed: read the game instructions carefully well before game day
  • Watch the overview videos: most of the official games have very useful overview videos
  • Play the game before facilitating it to a group of students: often times it can be difficult to see how the clues fit together without actually walking through them first
  • Have extra locks: Locks are finicky (or maybe it is just me) and it can be extremely frustrating when they accidentally get stuck. Have extra locks on hand so that the game isn’t hindered because of one lock getting stuck during your setup

Resources for Breakout EDU

The main resources are the website and the facebook community.

Check out these ten reasons for playing Breakout EDU in your classroom!

Breakout EDU


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.

Pokémon Go Automatically Granting Permission to Read Your Gmail

Pokemon Go

The Verge is reporting that “Pokémon Go has become wildly popular in the days since its release last week, but the app may be hiding a serious security issue. In many cases, users who sign into the app through a Google Account are often inadvertently granting broad permissions over all information linked to the account, including the power to read and send emails. At no point in the sign-in process does the app notify users that full access is being granted” (Source). Read more at The Verge.

Perhaps the app developer will correct this issue in the near future.

3D Printing Pen that Lets you Draw Sculptures off the Page

3Doodler02“It’s a pen that can draw in the air! 3Doodler is the 3D printing pen you can hold in your hand. Lift your imagination off the page!” (Source)

“Forget those pesky 3D printers that require software and the knowledge of 3D modeling and behold the 3Doodler, the world’s first pen that draws in three dimensions in real time. Imagine holding a pen and waving it through the air, only the line your pen creates stays frozen, suspended and permanent in 3D space” (Source).

Learn more about 3Doodler.

Hat tip to one of my co-authors, Sharon Smaldino, for bringing this to my attention.

Blubbr: Play & Create Video Trivia

Blubbr is a free website that makes it possible for you to create and play trivia games with embedded videos. Blubbr calls the games trivs. You can play trivs in different categories, from celebs and music to sport and education. Click on the image below to play a sample triv now.

blubbr-600

I setup my Blubbr account (I’d be glad for you to connect with me) and gave it a test drive. It seems that at its core, Blubbr is about making interesting things into fun games. I see many potential educational connections and personal uses.

Educational Connections

Here are a few ideas that might be useful to teachers and students.

  1. You and your students can create trivs focused on the unit you’re currently studying.
  2. Students can develop a triv focused on personal interests and then extend that into research, writing, journaling, etc.
  3. It can be a useful strategy for pre-testing, review and as a study guide.
  4. Trivs can be an engaging alternative strategy for book reports, science presentations, social studies reports, and more.
  5. Allowing students to design quizzes puts them in the role of the teacher. This technique can encourage higher-order thinking.
  6. You and your students can create trivs to introduce yourselves at the beginning of the year.
  7. Developing trivs can be a fun way for students to reflect on a novel, science unit, historical event, poetry, or the highlights of their school year.

You can challenge your students and their families by sharing trivs on your website, via email, through social networks, or by sharing the links in your print-based newsletter.

Personal Uses

In addition to it’s many educational uses, Blubbr can also be used for fun with family and friends. Here are a few ideas that I considered.

  • Develop a triv about your parents and share it with your family to celebrate your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Prepare for the sights you’ll be visiting during vacation by sharing a triv with your travel companions.
  • Show your support for your favorite team or athlete with a triv about them.
  • Challenge your family to a scavenger hunt with a series of trivs that will lead them to a surprise.

You can challenge your family and friends to complete trivs by sharing them on your blog, through Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, or via email.

Your Turn

Blubbr is simple and fun. With well-designed activities it can make significant educational contributions. So what are you waiting for? Go triv something…and share your trivs in this post’s comments so that we can play, too.

Online Geography Gaming Tips and Resources

I ran across an interesting set of slides via @skipz on Plurk. The slides seem to be the ongoing work of Tony Cassidy. I encourage you to browse through the presentation and consider the ideas for integrating technology with geography.

Online Geography Gaming – Tony Cassidy
A compilation of more than 100 online games and simulations for use in the geography classroom.

Suggested Reading: STEM Education

Texas Tech alumnus Rick Husband was the final ...
Image via Wikipedia

Overview

“The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM fileds are those academic and professional disciplines that fall under the umbrella areas represented by the acronym. According to both the United States National Research Council and the National Science Foundation, the fields are collectively considered core technological underpinnings of an advanced society. In many forums (including political/governmental and academic) the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.”
(Source)


Suggested Reading

STEM at Work: Students become Physicians-in-Training

Where Will Your STEM Education Take You?

NASA Launches STEM Education Video Game

STEM Resources and Discovery Education


Tech & Learning’s Question of the Week

Which device do you think is best for 1:1?
Cast your vote.

Integrating Computer Games

Creating game-based learning environments or experiences using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games is becoming an increasingly tenable, valuable, and popular instructional method. COTS games are computer or video games created for entertainment purposes. A few popular examples are SimCity, Age of Empires, ZooTycoon, and Railroad Tycoon.

My good friend Dennis Charsky invited me to co-author Integrating Commercial off-the-Shelf Video Games into School Curriculum. Ten suggestions to help educators effectively integrate COTS games are shared in this research article. Below is an overview along with a few notes from this publication.

Suggested Mac Software

(Cross-posted from BILD Institute)

Several of you are new Mac users and have asked me to suggest software that can be used on the Mac operating system. Here are some of my favorites followed by resources that I strongly recommend you look through.

Firefox browser – Safari is a nice browser and has its strengths, but I greatly value the ability to customize and extend Firefox through the use of downloadable extensions, add-ons, themes, etc.

Adium – Use all of you different instant messaging services (AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, and more…except Skype) in tool.

Skype – Free video conferencing. Oovoo is good, too.

Tweetdeck – I appreciate being able to use multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook all in one place. It’s also helpful that it syncs with iPhone.

Skitch – Fast and fun image editing and sharing.

Comic Life – Software for creating and sharing comics and artwork.

Cyberduck – Nice software for those that FTP.

Additional Resources

5 Apps to Get More out of Your NEW Mac

Must-Have Mac Software

20 Websites Every Mac Fan Must Bookmark

30 Must-Have Tweaks for Your Mac

Microsoft Downloads for Mac

Windows Media Player for Mac