After some careful deliberation between the four options, I have decided to utilize the resource development opportunities alloted in Option One as the basis for my major project. More specifically, I would like to develop a series of Breakout EDU's that revolve around Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. What is a Breakout EDU you ask? Essentially a Breakout EDU is a physical or digital experience where students collaboratively work together to solve a series of problems and puzzles, with the ultimate goal of unlocking or "breaking into" a final box to complete the activity. These experiences typically have an overall theme and are alligned with a specific grade, subject or curriculum outcome. Breakout EDU's are very similar to Escape Rooms, as skills such as collaboration, problem solving and teamwork are heavily emphasized in gameplay, but differ in the fact that they can be utilized in any school or classroom and transportation to an actual escape room location is not necessary. While educators can certainly purchase a Breakout EDU kit from the website, these kits are often pricey and can just as easily be constructed from scratch for a fraction of the cost.
Why Breakout EDU?
As an educator, I've had some opportunities to incorporate Breakout EDU's into my teaching - primarily during the first week of school as a team-building activity, and also once as a culminating event for a Harry Potter novel study. I've found that whenever I've been able to utilize this resource, it has been a highly engaging experience for my students and I. The fact that when students participate in Breakouts, they demonstrate their learning in a fun way that also builds teamwork and problem-solving skills is also a huge bonus. While I have had some experience facilitating the Breakouts, I have very little experience in the actual creation of the activity, as the majority of the Breakouts I've utilized were created by other users in the Breakout EDU database. I'm very excited at the prospect of creating Breakouts for this project, as I believe it will be very interesting to learn about how these activities are structured and will also be a fun and engaging experience for me.
What Would This Look Like?
These Breakout EDU’s would be designed so they could be integrated into the Grade 7/8 Digital Citizenship Course that was created by my division and could be utilized by teachers using this resource. I would also ensure that these Breakout's are generic enough that they could be easily adapted for teachers who may in not be in my division, but are also following the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum. I feel like this would be beneficial resource for teachers in my division as well as others outside the division as there are very few breakouts designed with a specific focus on digital citizenship. Currently my vision would be to create 5-6 experiences that would be available for other educators to access digitally through Google Drive or Office 365.
What Do I Need To Do?
As someone who tends to procrastinate (don't tell my principal!), I think it's important that I establish a few goals for myself for this project. This way I can check in with my progress and ensure that it is truly an ongoing project throughout the semester and not one that gets completed during the final week of classes.
As such, I've decided on the following goals for myself:
I'm really excited to begin exploring the creation side of Breakout EDU's as well as the exploration of the Digital Citizenship course provided by my division. If anyone has any other suggestions for me or has any experience in the creation of Breakout EDU's please let me know as I would appreciate any feedback or pointers! I'll be sure to update this blog with my discoveries and content as I develop the Breakouts - maybe I could even persuade some of you to be my guinea pigs and test them out for me!