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!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Digital Bytes - April 25, 2016

Hot on the heels of a great ReThinking Literacy conference, we have a number of great ideas and resources to share. This week the focus is on Visual Literacy - one of the themes that was highlighted throughout the conference.

What’s Going on in this Picture?

The New York Times has a great segment in the Learning Network called, “What’s Going on in this Picture?”

Each week, a new image is posted as a discussion prompt, with accompanying questions. More information is revealed over the week, which leads to rich conversations.

This is a fantastic site for inquirers. Every day a new question is answered with a rich explanation including videos, photos and text.

You can search through previous questions or ask your own questions.
It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

This is a great visual way to see what your students are reading. It is also a fantastic way for students to get book recommendations from others.

If you share your padlet with other classes from around the world, you now have a richer and wider audience. This example was shared on Padlet.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Digital Bytes 18 April 2016

The Top Google Updates in 2016 You’ll Want to Know About

The folks at MakeUseOf have given us a great rundown on everything from Add-ons in Forms to new options in Image Search, with their overview on updates in 2016.

Check out the blog post to get the full story!
The Minecraft Generation

Clive Thompson at The New York Times, has written a fascinating piece outlining some of the historical events of the game, and identifying key reasons for its popularity.

One example? Creators had no budget for tutorials, however, this forced extensive information sharing amongst players.
How to Make Your Google Presentations Shine

Google Slides templates have always left something to be desired. But now there are some new updates and there are a number of enhanced options.

This article gives some advice on how to make your Google Presentations shine. There are a number of great options mentioned in the article including Slides Carnival.

It also mentions using Google Slides to create other products such as book reports, certificates, and portfolios.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Digital Bytes 11 April 2016

Everybody Panic! 5 Ways Social Media is Changing your Brain

Responding to a popular TED talk, Lisa Nielson attempts to debunk some of the myths raised. Some really interesting points! Check it out!
The Real Me

Prompted by a conversation she had with a group of people who argued it’s impossible to have decent conversations because people are “addicted to their phones”, Kim Cofino has written a thoughtful blog post in which she shares how she is the same person, both online and offline.
14 Google Search Tricks

Most of us use Google search every single day. The same can be said for our students.

Have you ever wanted to compare two foods? Just write “vs” between the foods in the search box. What about scheduling an alarm for a nap? Google can do that.