This past year I discovered another awesome OpenSource collaborative project for education and even though it seems relatively new, there are already a bunch of awesome resources available. The concept is based on the Escape Room entertainment venues that have been popping up in cities all over the place. It is really a simple idea. Decide on the content you want students to learn. Gather/create artifacts for students to use as they learn and embed clues that lead students to discovering the codes to unlock every lock. Ultimately the students will be able to open a box that will hold some type of reward.
I know my explanation is overly simplified and leaves out details that are important to successfully using the Breakout idea in class but if I gave you enough information to be interested in learning more of the specifics, then you really should head straight to Breakout.edu
Not sure what you think about it? Let me tell you that I am so sure my students are going to love it that I wrote 2 Donorschoose projects in order to stock up on word locks, number locks, key locks, lockout hasps, and the other supplies I will need. Now, if you've been a loyal follower of my blog even though I've neglected it for several years, you may remember that I am a HUGE fan of Donorschoose... and with good reason. My projects were funded within 48 hours of posting! Amazing, right?!
Of course the locks don't do me much good without some boxes that can be locked up. Thankfully there is an awesome Facebook group called Breakout EDU. Someone on there had the bright idea of asking a local cigar shop for their boxes. I found one locally that was willing to donate 20-30 boxes. SCORE! Only problem -- all that advertising. Obviously taking something with tobacco advertising to school is not happening. Enter the Dollar Store and some duck tape. In just a few minutes I was able to transform one of the boxes so that no one would ever know what it was before.
Is BreakOut a new idea to you or have you heard of it before? Have you tried BreakOut in your classroom? If so, what works for you and what do you wish you knew before you started using it? Any tips for the rest of us?
Please share your ideas and questions in the comments below.