Breakout EDU: Escape the room puzzles meets the classroom

breakoutWe’re great lovers of escape the room games here at GiS so it’s interesting to see Breakout EDU offering a variant as a learning game for classrooms.

Basically, the Breakout approach provides teachers with a kit and scenarios that allow students to solve problems and along the way cover core academic subjects including math, science, history, language arts. They have embedded standards that apply problem solving strategies within a real world. Each kit comes with a collection of locks, hidden contraptions, timers, keys, and other “diversion hardware” that can be used to play the Breakout challenges available from the store.

In one sense this isn’t something you couldn’t put together yourself, but getting together all the locks, gadgets, etc and then putting them into a context would be time-consuming. A single kit can cut through that in one go – which puts the $189 per box cost in a gentler light.

Although the Breakout kits are pitched to be “perfect for classrooms, staff training, dinner parties, and at home with the family!” it is really in the school context that they make most sense. The local ANZ arm of the organisation certainly seems to be directing its efforts to schools. There’s a nice description of someone using it in action here.

This is a neat idea that could be a really fun educational experience in the right classroom. Like a lot of these things, though, a great deal would depend upon the teacher doing it. A lot of teachers do seem to be using it to good effect. This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me jealous of kids in modern schools.

For more on Breakout EDU generally see here. For Australia specifically the Twitter feed here seems to be the best starting point.

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