Saturday, 30 April 2016

BreakoutEDU Scaling up - IBDP Group Four Project

20 new kits at the ready
BreakoutEDU is catching on in a big way and the High School Science department is jumping in with both feet. Several science teachers played BreakoutEDU during a PD carousel and walked away with thoughts of using it with their students.
Every student in an IBDP Group Four subject (Sciences, ESS, & DT) participates in the G4 Project. Grade 11 students work together in trans-disciplinary teams on projects around a common theme that emphasizes process, ethical, environmental, and social implications of science and technology. This year, 260 students will work in teams to design BreakoutEDU challenges that can be used as a learning resource by students.


Happy Science teachers solved the challenge!
The best way to learn about BreakoutEDU is to play. Every member of the department played through a modified version of the Cholera Breakout by Scott Westbury. (This game is part of the BreakoutEDU game sandbox. BreakoutEDU is an open source game platform with a strong community of over 5,000 educators continuously creating and sharing new games a tips for integrating them into your classroom.) The teachers successfully solved the challenge in the time allowed and then participated in a game debrief. Debriefing after the game is an important part of the process because it makes all of the puzzles, and the learning, present to every player.

Next, the the Digital Literacy Coaches led teachers through a discussion about the design process for students which involves identifying a theme, research, puzzle creation, and linking puzzles together. Once the game flow is establish and narrative story giving context to the game is established. Finally, the game is tested and adjusted based on feedback from players and observations by the designer.

Teachers ended the session by discussing potential pitfalls they might encounter during the design process with students, listed questions they still had, and generated ideas for themes.

The process with students will take place over one period followed by two full days when students are off timetable. Each teacher will facilitate the Cholera Breakout challenge with a group of around 15 students. Playing the game will give them an introduction to the BreakoutEDU concept and expose them to some of the different types of puzzles that are used.
Next, students will work through the game designed process as a team to create a breakout challenge, test it, and reflect on their learning. Stay tuned for updates!

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