I recently shared a post about about the Breakout EDU movement—a concept that challenges students to work collaboratively in order to solve a series of puzzles to open a locked box (or a series of them) within a designated time frame.
As mentioned, teachers can access the Breakout EDU site to locate all of the info and resources needed to become a breakout junkie—kits, 250+ pre-made games, tutorials, facilitation tools, timers, signs and more. There’s even a place for teachers and students to design and post their own games using a template that is provided.
After checking out the hands-on and digital games linked to the Breakout EDU site, two of my Tech Club students and I decided to develop our own activity, one that would be used in our media center. Yeah, we’re crazy like that. So for the last two weeks we have worked on developing a fun but challenging game that can be played by students who come to our space during study halls.
The Grand Experiment
Before we released our game to the student body, we decided that we should take it for a test drive. So we asked our superintendent, building principals and the instructional technology specialist from our IU to be the very first individuals to play our game.
Named Media Center Madness, this quest required the team of administrators to work together using QR codes, hidden messages and puzzles to unlock six boxes within a 45 minute time frame. The last clue led them to the cafe where they found out more about the meaning of life (well, according to us, anyway).
Here’s the gang participating in B-A’s first-ever Breakout EDU game…
By communicating effectively, working together and demonstrating a great deal of persistence, our admin team escaped—and with time to spare. They had a great time engaging with our activity, and we really enjoyed watching them trying to “breakout”.
After the game was complete, we spent some time discussing the development of the game as well as the game itself, the strategies and skills that were needed in order to “breakout” and the benefit of integrating these types of activities into the classroom setting. We even brainstormed some ideas regarding the creation of games for professional development sessions in the upcoming year.
The Next Steps
In addition to releasing the Media Center Madness game to the student body and planning a district-wide breakout activity for teachers, we would like to begin developing curricular-based games for classroom teachers.
Kudos to Kermit and Bailey for teaming up with me to design a really neat game. I look forward to working with you to create additional activities for our teachers and students!
The Breakout EDU concept incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and inquiry-based learning into the educational setting. It can be used to introduce a new lesson, reinforce a concept and/or to bring closure to a lesson taught—all in a meaningful and engaging way. This tool can be integrated into any curricular area, for any grade level.
It really is time for something different. Get ready to unleash your students’ inner Sherlock Holmes. It’s time to let them breakout!