Experience Based Learning
Recently, I participated in my first Escape Game. Those of you who aren't familiar with the concept should really check them out. The basic premise is that a group of people are locked in a theme based environment and must break the code / solve several puzzles in order to beat the clock and escape before time runs out. These puzzles can vary from beginner level to advanced leves and are a mixture of all subject areas.
Always an educator at heart, I immediately was drawn to the concept and how it could be used in the classroom! Research is showing that Generation Z studentz are more drawn to creative pursuits and expect technology to be integrated into most aspects of their lives. With that in mind, I began to explore the escape game possiblities.
My pursuit proved fruitful when I came across Breakout Edu (breakoutedu.com) and discovered a rich variety of resources and lessons that embraced the escape game wave being used in the classroom! However, I was still not satisfied with the delivery of the lessons. Yes,they were, embracing creativity, supporting collaboration and team building, and were tied to learning standards. However, where was the technology?! I was so disappointed to see that technology wasn’t embedded in these inspiring lessons!
Technology must be infused into our classrooms if we are to meet the needs of this generation. We cannot simply ask students to enter a code to gain access to another clue and be satisfied that technology is embedded in our instruction. So, the Breakout games are a great foundation but they are still missing a piece of the Gen Z learning puzzle.
Realizing this, and being one to never back down from a challenge, I began exploring the idea of creating a professional development course that embraced the escape game concept using some of the free Breakout Edu resources while infusing them into the Curve Learning Managment System. My thoughts were that if teachers were immersed in this learning experience then they would be more apt to try it in their classrooms. From there, I reached out to a classroom teacher friend to begin working on implementing these experiences in a real classroom to guage student interests and gather data for comparison.
Interested? I hope so! We are going to be offering the Professional Development which includes the Blended Practice Profile, Blended Learning Strategies, and Experience Based Learning through regional events to school districts beginning in 2017. As for the classroom pilot, we will be reporting our results and sharing ideas as they develop in the spring of 2017. So stay tuned and if you are interested in hosting a regional event, contact us today!