Saturday, May 9, 2015

BreakoutEDU at the MN #gafesummit

How do we bring more fun and learning to the classroom?
A kit that would fit into a toolbox to transform any room into a game to teach concepts.
Themed for whatever is trying to be accomplished
Open or close units,

Currently looking at designing a collection of games from the box. You can buy from BreakoutEDU, or create your own.

He wanted to see what it was like to set up and play in a space he hadn't been in yet.


  1. Don't destroy the room!
  2. Defined space that may contain objects

Move around the room, solve the puzzle, win the game.

He showed us how to reset the lock and then sent us back to our seats.
There were HINT cards that could be accessed.
Probably best played by 6-10 people. What does that mean for a classroom of 30?

This game has been played 4 times previously.

"Dr. Johnson" is the name of the game. He's a bad guy trying to take over the world. There is an airbourne virus that would turn everyone into Zombies. If we move the box, it will create a mess. We need to get it open w/o moving it, or the antidote will be spilled. We have 35 minutes to open the lockbox.
Someone was designated as the "Captain" with the HINT cards. As the teacher, he created the game, and now can sit back and watch.

The plan is to create games on different types of subject areas and get kids to leverage problem solving strategies to solve the game.

The rest now is up to us...

The Play

  1. We started looking at the walls around the room that had numbers created with post-it-notes in different colors, and arrows pointing in different directions. 
  2. A chair next to me had a pile of paperclips. Some red, some blue and some yellow.

There was a roll of tickets with  circles, triangles and squares.

Based on the clues with the arrows down and up, and the colors, we then 

Sara, one of the participants, found something on the floor that had a flash drive that we put into Sanders computer, and it took us to a Website.

Then I found a fake rock, with batteries in it for the flashlight. We used that in the darkened room to explore and found paper.

Some thing on the Website led us to a map, that helped solve the puzzle. 

A few clicks of the lock in the direction based on the numbers and...we had solved the puzzle in about 16 minutes! In the end, we saved the world from the "Zombie Apocolypse!" (A glass of orange juice and a glass of coffee!)

We started by going to the end, rather than looking at all the objects. When we used our strength in numbers, and spread out, it we were more successful. Some clues like the papers with the magic ink to see "red herring."

Sanders talked about the overall goal of the project is to get people to develop and create games (70% should work with the base kit) and share with the community. If you develop a game, and there is a cost, the developer gets 70% in return. The goal is also to involve students in the development of the game, which would be really cool!

I see many applications for this, and am hopeful I can be a BetaTester! The initial kit can be purchased for about $100. It would be a great addition to any Makerspace!! 

Minnesota #GAFESummit Keynote: James Sanders- A Resume of Failure

James SandersDirector of Innovation for EdTechTeam and co-founder of Future Ready Schools, was the keynote speaker at the 3rd Minnesota Google Summit.

He discussed the ways that he has failed in his life, iterated, and moved forward, learning and growing. There were 3 main themes:

  • Take resks
  • Reimagine
  • Put Yourself Out There

The first story of failure has to do with a "little green pill." To prepare for a long flight, he took a sleeping pill, and overslept because of it.

In high school, he learned that just because something was a certain way, didn't make it right. He often shared too much of his opinions, and ended up spending a lot of time in the principals office... Most of what he learned was "non-academic." A lack of adherence...

Tried becoming a professional golfer...failed.
Went to work in the mill in his home town for 3 summers. Learned how to drive a fork lift and bobcat, but not very good at physical labor...3 trips to the ER...

In order to find out who you are, you have to make mistakes...

He talked about the mistakes he made in the classroom, as a history teacher, he made several

The Butterfly Effect
In 2010, this happened...
For the first time in his life, he got to work at something he was passionate about. He was able to partner with a school in Prague, and connect with other schools around the world. Artifacts were assigned to teams of students to research who they belonged to. On KIVA, students made recommendations on who they should give loans too. Authentic learning...

But he forgot the basics....The Chromebooks started to break... "Chromebook Classroom," started. He put himself out there, and looked for ways that students could as well.

He had the students start "KIPP Student News," for students to create and put themselves out there:

Watching 12 year olds do the news is much more interesting..
Decided EVERY studnent should have a YouTube channel.

Unfortunately, on a class trip, students posted video that was a wasn't the most appropriate... One of the students had over 1,000,000 hits! The student asked, don't you make money from this? 

He was taking risks, and knew if he kept pushing, it would be ok. He had students create Web Portfolios. 

Put yourself out there. 
He created, "EduNationCast," to put himself out there and promoted it with the hashtag, "#penismightierthanthesword"..... #Fail

What if we push it further...
He went up to Google to share his vision for the future of Google and education.
Teachers need help, what can Google do...
Google Teacher, Google Classroom,...
Rather than telling people what to do, ask what YOU can do?

He went to work for YouTube, and started "ClassBadges." 
Then he went to work at the Whitehouse, as an "Innovation Fellow."
He helped create the Whitehouse Student Film Festival, as a way to allow students to share their learning, and allow students to talk about what is possible. 

Sanders talked about the problems that we have in the world today. the United States prison population has skyrockedted 400% in the last 30 years...
Prince Charming isn't coming. It's up to us as teachers to create new learning environments and putting the questions out there.
It's when you take risks and put yourself out there is when change happens. Sanders recommended author Austin Kleon, "Steal like an Artist," and "Show Your Work" as worth looking at.  
How big is your Dung Ball? As you fail, and try again, who knows how big it can get?!!

His next risks are "Future Ready Schools..."

He's also looking at bringing Breakout (Escape Rooms), and Game Based Learning into the classroom, with BreakoutEDU.

He'll be leading a session on BreakoutEdu here at the Summit later this afternoon, and I'm excited to be signed up!