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.

Flipped Learning: Preparing for the New School Year

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Flipped LearningImage Source

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Source).

Why Flip?

Flipped learning allows for a more student centered approach to teaching within the classroom because the majority of the lecture style learning is completed at home; thus, allowing class time to utilize more engaging techniques such as project-based learning, game-based learning, student presentations, discussion, and collaboration. Flipped Learning can also be completed solely within the classroom without requiring students to complete work at home. The main idea with Flipped Learning is simply to allow the teacher to become more of a facilitator of learning rather than the dictator of knowledge.

How to Flip?

The following video from Edutopia will help you understand how to get started.

Examples of Flipped Learning

There are numerous ways to incorporate Flipped Learning within your classroom. The following seven concepts are a good place to start.

  1. The Standard Inverted Classroom: students are assigned any lecture style teaching for homework the night before class so that class time might used for practicing what they learned with the teacher able to give instant feedback.
  2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: lecture style videos, such as TED Talks, are assigned as homework and class time is spent discussing the subject at length.
  3. The Demonstration-Focused Flipped Classroom: teacher records a screencast explaining an activity, math problem, etc so that they students may watch as many times as possible for mastery.  
  4. The Faux-Flipped Classroom: students watch lecture videos or complete assignments via technology at their own pace within the classroom and the teacher acts as a facilitator and supporter.
  5. The Group-Based Flipped Classroom: students learn material for homework and use class time to work together in groups so that they learn from each other through collaboration.
  6. The Virtual Flipped Classroom: classes are offered entirely online and actual class time is not needed.
  7. Flipped the Teacher: students record video tutorials as projects to teach a skill to the teacher thus showing mastery of the skill (Source).

EducationDive showcases the Faux-Flipped Classroom in the article 16 Flipped Learning Uses in K-12 and College Classrooms. A teacher in Florida allows students to complete classwork, take quizzes, and watch instructional videos at their own pace on computers throughout the classroom while she answers questions and provides support to students (Source).

Resources for Flipping

Interested in trying Flipped Learning in your classroom? Checkout the websites below for great information.


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.

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.

Ideas for Using ThingLink in the Classroom

ThingLink Logo

ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers publishers, educators, brands, and bloggers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos and videos…Use ThingLink to create interactive news photography, maps, posters, family albums, infographics, and shoppable product catalogs in minutes” (Source).

Getting Started

The following video will help you start using ThingLink.

Setting up ThingLink for the Classroom

This playlist, compiled by Susan Oxnevad, contains tutorials for setting up ThingLink channels, embedding Google docs, setting up student accounts, organizing students into project groups, and more.

Educational Connections

ThingLink can be used:

  1. To communicate the directions and expectations for class projects, small group activities, independent learning, etc.
  2. With book reports, research projects, and science projects.
  3. To add narration to images.
  4. For teacher and student introductions at the beginning of the year.
  5. To develop interactive posters to communicate with students and parents.
  6. For student reflections.
  7. To integrate multimedia and dynamic data with maps, infographics, Wordles, and other images.
  8. For organizing and sharing professional development resources.
  9. To organize online scavenger hunts and webquests.
  10. As interactive digital bulletin boards.

Examples

U.S. Regions

 

Home of the Cardinals

 

Animal Cells: Their Composition and Functionality

Extended Learning

Creating ePortfolios with ThingLink

ThingLink launches Virtual Reality Lessons App For Education

VR Lessons by ThingLink – iOS App

Interesting Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom

ThingLink in the Classroom – One image. Tons of possibilities.

20 Ways to Use ThingLink in Education

10 Innovative Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom

Historic Images are Everywhere

EdTech Showcase in Memphis

Join us on Thursday, June 18th, for the EdTech Summer Showcase at the University of Memphis. This event will be hosted by the Instructional Design and Technology Program and will feature outstanding Mid-South teachers demonstrating ways that they effectively integrate technology and learning. You won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to gain new ideas for your classroom.

Register soon as seating is limited.

2015 EdTech Showcase

Win Prizes in IDT Memphis’ Picture Scavenger Hunt at #AAIM14

Klikaklu“Treasure hunts are a fun way for students to use problem solving skills, to work in teams, to practice comprehensions skills, and to use technology resources all while practicing subject matter” (Source).

Klikaklu has reinvented the scavenger hunt. The iOS app allows you to create a treasure hunt based on images. It is a photo hunt game that uses your phone’s GPS, camera, and advanced image matching technology. It’s a great way to quickly create and play treasure hunts! Share hunts privately with friends and family, or leave them in public places for students and others to find. Lead people to new and interesting spots. Reveal secrets and rewards when they crack your clues. No geocaching boxes or QR codes are necessary, so you can create hunts around school, in national parks, museums, at the public library, or on field trips – any place you want to add an element of challenge or mystery, or share information with others.

AAIM Conference

Educators at the 2014 AAIM Conference can download the app and begin competing for prizes in IDT Memphis‘ virtual scavenger hunt. Our scavenger hunt is a very simple demonstration of how the app works and the game is played. Browse through the resources below for ideas for using Klikalu at your school.

Tutorial

Resources

Pirate Day Treasure Hunts

iPad Orienteering with Klikaklu

Reinventing the Scavenger Hunt

The Teacher’s Quick Guide to Scavenger Hunts

Make Your Own Treasure Hunt

Social Media: An Overview

Yesterday’s blog post provided an overview of social networks. Today we are going to build on that and look at social media.

What is social media? How do you define it?

“Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share, or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks” (Source). It describes the technology of interaction amongst a network of people. Perhaps because of the current pervasive use of online social media, many mistakenly assume that social media only came into existence with modern-day technology. Consider that African drums have long been used by tribes to quickly pass news about deaths, marriages, and other events. In this case, the drums serve as the social media.

Look over the this provocative article and consider how it fits within your understanding and definition of social media.

Social Media

Conclusion

“Digital social media are mobile and web-based applications that enable users to interact, collaborate, co-create, share, and publish information, ideas, and multimedia. Social media connects people and is built on the foundations of Web 2.0” (Source).

In a broader sense, social media is the technology that might be leveraged to connect individuals or groups, be it digital or other. We’ve had social networks and social media for a long time.