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.

Fostering Writing and Collaboration with Google Docs

Teaching ChannelHigh school English teacher, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares strategies for promoting collaborative writing inside and outside of the classroom. Wessling highlights that such lessons also promote digital etiquette, provide opportunities for teachers to provide rich feedback, and provide teachers with insights into the individual student’s or the collaborative group’s writing process.

Tour of 3D Printing Lab

3D PrinterYesterday I had the opportunity to take one of my graduate classes on a tour of new 3D Printing Lab in the University of Memphis Library. We received training in computer-aided design (CAD) and use of the 3D printer, and had the opportunity to see it in action. Our conversation about integrating 3D printers with learning was packed with ideas and I left feeling energized. Additional educational uses have been popping into my mind since.

The following video and photos showcase some of the various projects that were printed. The Memphis skyline is my favorite and look even more impressive in-person.

The following album offers snapshots and captions of our tour.

Discussion

  1. What experiences have you had with 3D printing?
  2. Can you see potential ways to connect 3D printing with learning?

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.

Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 – Online Graduate Course

Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0I’m teaching a special topics seminar in the spring for graduate students (3 hours graduate credit). The topic will be Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 Technologies. While we’ll consider common trends and issues and survey many of the popular tools and services related to Web 2.0, the heart of the course will be learning to effectively integrate Web 2.0 technologies and principles with teaching and learning. The focus will be on K-12 education but accommodations can be made for individuals from other fields (healthcare, corporate, military, higher education, etc.).

I’m very excited about this class. I taught the course in Summers 2008 and 2009 and we learned a lot and had a blast! You can view the ebook (authored by the graduate students) and other course materials that emerged from these sections to get an idea of what this class will be like.

In keeping with the principles of Web 2.0 I encourage the participation of everyone with an interest or expertise in this topic. You may contribute to the discussion and fun by using the following tag/keyword: idt7078. Be on the lookout for ways (Ustream, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Hangouts, etc.) to informally participate with us.

You can learn more about registration at the University of Memphis website.

Dr. Seuss Reminds Us to Read to a Child

I saw this quote on the Dr. Seuss Google+ account and thought I’d share it.

Happy Pi Day: Vi Hart Challenges What We Know about Pi

(Repost from 03/14/2011)

Happy Pi Day!

What is Pi Day?
I’m a math educator and I’ve celebrated Pi Day for many, many years. It isn’t the most widely celebrated holiday, so let me explain what it means. Today is March 13, which can also be noted as 3/14. The mathematical notation Pi is rounded to 3.14, so math classrooms around the world celebrate Pi Day today.

Do We Have It All Wrong?
Vi Hart shared this video which challenges what we think we know and understand about Pi.

 

Favorite Theo. LeSieg (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) Story

(Repost from 01/08/2009)

I recently mentioned that while building My Google Library I decided to identify my very favorite Dr. Seuss story. It didn’t take me long to narrow the list down to Too Many Daves (from The Sneetches and Other Stories) and Wacky Wednesday. Wacky WednesdayBoth of these stories grabbed my imagination as a child and hold fun memories. While agonizing over which of these tales I treasured the most (I’m exaggerating a bit.) I was thrilled to realize that Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) had actually authored Wacky Wednesday under the pseudonym Theo. LeSieg. This realization spared me the dilemma of choosing which of these two beloved stories was my favorite Dr. Seuss tale. I admit it’s a technicality but it works in my favor, so I’ll take it (hahaha).

I’ve included Wacky Wednesday in my library because… well, because it’s wacky. It’s all about a boy’s zany adventures on a far-from-normal Wednesday. My friends and I would sit in the library trying to find all the wacky details in the illustrations. We were exposed to figurative language, creativity, word play, imagination, and so much more without even realizing it. Perhaps the best thing I can say about Wacky Wednesday is that I’ve read it over and over – and isn’t that the greatest testament of a good book?