They let me guest moderate a #DitchBook twitter chat last Thursday on #BreakoutEDU. It was A-Mazing! Matt Miller (@jmattmiller), author of Ditch That Textbook, has a tremendous chat at 9 PM each Thursday. The DitchBook team is very supportive and welcomed a newbie like me in without a blink of an eye. Karly Moura (@karlymoura) was so patient and supportive and co-moderated with me to make the experience wonderful. I do hope they will let me do it again sometime.
I love #BreakoutEDU for the problem-solving qualities and for encouraging perseverance. I have a Breakout box that I made. I purchased a wooden treasure chest at Michael’s and my wonderful husband but a locking hasp on it. I purchased all of my locks at Amazon or Wal-Mart, but Lowe’s and Home Depot have many to choose from also. A really awesome Date Lock was shared on #DitchBook that I need to add to my collection.
As I prepared for the chat, I knew I wanted our group to experience a digital Breakout. I had participated in a chat where we got to do one created in Google Forms and it was fun. But then I stumbled upon (thanks Sean Fahey @seanfahey another awesome #DitchBook team member) some digital breakouts created in Google Sites. THIS was what I wanted. So I set out to figure out how to do it. I’m going to share the process below. Talk about Google App Smashing! This uses Sites, Forms, Drawing & YouTube.
Look through the one I created or the links above to see how everything works before you read the tutorial below. Digital Breakout Data Cruncher
You will want to write your story and have an idea (or a list) of the links and resources that you will use. Being prepared ahead of time will make the process go more quickly.
Sites: If you plan to make a lot of these, you could have one digital BreakoutEDU site and each Breakout would be a new page within your site. That what I plan to do next, I just didn’t think through it this first time, just jumped in feet first (as usual).
You want to set up your page with one column and insert a table with 2 columns. If you choose the site layout with two columns, it won’t leave enough room for your image. You will insert the Google Form into the left column and your Google Drawing in the right column when they are complete.
Drawing: Now you need to create your Drawing with invisible hotspots. Make sure you use images with Creative Commons License to modify and give credit as per the CC License. Once you have your image, create a shape on top of the image. Set the outline and fill to transparent. You can click on the invisible image and insert a link to the resource you want to use. Repeat this process for all the links in your Breakout.
Forms: Next you need to create the Form so participants can enter their answers. I started by inserting a video into the form with a countdown timer. BreakoutEDU has a timer you can use that’s 45 minutes, the typical breakout time, but I wanted 15 minutes for the chat so I selected one from YouTube. Next you want to set your locks. You need to validate the answer so it will only unlock with the CORRECT answer. Here is a link to a youtube video from the digital BreakoutEDU experts Justin Birckbichler (@Mr_B_Teacher) and Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) explaining how to set your locks to validate.
I also wanted a reward for breaking out, so I created a badge in Google Drawing, downloaded it as a .png and put the link to the image in the confirmation page.
Once your drawing and form are complete, embed them into your site. Test the game and have many others test the game to make sure it does what you intend. Once you’ve beta tested, share it with the world (or at least your class) and let them have fun.
I came up with the process on my own, but the experts mentioned above, Justin and Mari, have a page with resources to make your own. I didn’t find that page until after I’d worked through the process. I did link to two of their videos above but there are many more nuggets of goodness on their page.
If you make a digital BreakoutEDU, please share on our crowdsourced Padlet and/or send the link on Twitter with the #DitchBook hashtag and we can beta-test for you.
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