Monday, 22 August 2016

Unlock Learning: Mobile Escape Rooms Kickstarter




Just launched my "Unlock Learning" Kickstarter!
Escape rooms are exploding in popularity at the moment, with new ones seeming to pop up every week. But what if we used the same ideas in education?
The play inherent in escape rooms, especially playing as a team, is fantastic at all levels of education, and it can allow students to be creative, active learners, think critically, learn how to learn in a more independent way, and more... all in a safe learning environment.
To really make sense in education though, we can’t really have static rooms. We can't leave a room set up for long periods for people to use, we need to be able to set things up wherever we are for one lesson at a time!
One way around this is to have a self contained box that can be taken to any classroom. It may have some extra materials within it to be placed elsewhere in the room, but is essentially self-contained for teachers and lecturers to run wherever they wish. If we raise enough, I'll create a truly mobile one in a converted van which I'll use to take out to educational institutions for learners to create their own educational escape room experiences.
This is the idea behind the Kickstarter that is now live and running through September, to produce escape room type materials for teachers and lecturers to use.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875601273/unlock-learning-mobile-escape-rooms-for-education

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Unlock Learning Kickstarter

Just a teaser! I'll be launching a Kickstarter to produce educational escape room materials shortly and just done a video for it... look out for the actual Kickstarter soon :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Next escape room thing...

Teacher throwing an old fashioned bomb


While trying out my escape room induction, I'm also working on something a bit more involved...

This may also be linked to a Kickstarter I'm sketching out at present, in which case it'll end up at various different levels, rather than just my usual Higher Education bunch...

I'll try to wrap it up into some sort of narrative involving a disgruntled teacher / lecturer fed up because of the quality of the students' work. So the learners / game players will need to prove they can evaluate information sources (and reference them?) in order to prove that they are okay after all and defuse the bomb!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Playful Learning conference and my escape room box


I went to the Playful Learning Conference last week, if I get around to it I might blog about the conference itself, but this post is a bit more specific!

I took my escape room box along with the materials for the library induction I've made set up and ran several iterations of it the first afternoon. It went down really well, everyone completed it in around 20-25 minutes (which fits my intended half hour induction!), and got some lovely responses from people - lots of positive vibes around using escape room ideas in education. I also played an escape room as part of the first evening social, and a lovely one put together by students one of the afternoon, so there was a bit of an escape room trend going on at the conference...

The pictures above are of some of the teams trying to solve the puzzles.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

CLS Showcase and the escape room box

Table, boxes and kit ready for the start


The escape room induction had it's first outing today, not for "proper" students, but for (mainly) staff at Huddersfield Uni at the CLS (Computing and Library Service) Showcase, where we show off things that are going on in our service.

Lots of people came and had a go, either at the full induction puzzles, or at a subset of them, or just for a quick look. The few photos below are people actually using the boxes.

It seemed to go down really well, and I might make one or two tweaks based what I've seen today, but I think it is about ready to try with real students...






Quick update (23rd June)  - attendees voted for their favourite stand on the day and I won! So the escape room induction thingy was the "people's choice" :-)