This past week, I had the fortunate opportunity to facilitate the opening session to a leadership summit of K-12 and post-secondary leaders in the Sacramento Region. This session was my opportunity to develop artifacts to a fascinating, emerging trend educational technology trend: BreakoutEDU. Having previously used BreakoutEDU with students, it was amazing to witness the impact that this technology had on a group with whom I now work: adult educators.
Technology - at the core of the definition - is a capability given by the practical application of knowledge. To that end, a box with an intricate set of locks can be a technology. Developed by one of my fellow Google Innovators as his year-long project required of the certification, BreakoutEDU is the convergence of academic immersion, collaboration, and competition. Gameification has been identified as a previous emerging tech trend and BreakoutEDU takes that to a whole new level. Inspired by the "escape room" concept, BreakoutEDU has gone through iterations to the current challenge of breaking in to the "room". The game itself is a conduit to incorporating many other emerging technology trends, like Bring Your Own Device. Students creatively use any and all resources available - including standards-based curriculum provided by the teacher in a variety of structured methods.
For the event, a presentation set the theme and provided instructions to the participants.
BreakoutEDU provides sample lesson plan structure, but I prefer a more non-linear planning approach: a mindmap. For this game, because it was used more as an icebreaker and not a content lesson, the mindmap was simple. In a more involved game, the mindmap may appear to be more of a web, chock full of content, curriculum, and interactive tools.
The BreakoutEDU brand has created a budding community of thousands of educators. To that end, the way in which I can be share/promote the technology is to involve adult educators in the experience as professional development. From there, they can make their own evaluation of the tool and determine if it is appropriate for their classroom or school. The SAMR Model for Technology Integration may be helpful in making this evaluation.
I believe BreakoutEDU is an example of a redefinition of the classroom experience. A BreakoutEDU experience - infused with a variety of other technologies - is truly transformative. Students are engaged in the four c's - creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. Competition can even be a fifth C! To that end, the experience allows for students to learn in a variety of modalities - all of which are discussed during the necessary "Debrief" questions (displayed in the presentation).