Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Making a Digital Breakout

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Tuesday, June 25, 4:15–5:15 pm
Location: 118B

Michael Davidson  
Learn to make a digital breakout and discover a variety of examples of already created breakouts. Students who have gone through the process will assist you in your creation.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: A G Suite account will be necessary. As we will be using sites it is recommended to have either a chromebook or laptop that this works on.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Game-based learning and gamification
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Purpose and Objectives: Participants will be able to create a digital breakout using Google Sites and Forms and will have access to several already created breakouts. Participants will come away with a sense of how to hide different types of clues in their breakouts.

Educational Challenge: Learners are becoming less engaged in the schools of today and there is increasingly a focus on the basics (reading, writing, mathematics) and a lack of problem solving and real-world challenges. In short: school is neither fun, nor relevant.

Technological Intervention: Using a Google Form embedded in a Google Site, along with hidden clues, can make learning and adventure. Learners need to first find and then decode the clues to open the 'locks.' Many other (free) digital resources can be used to create the clues. Learners can also create their own breakouts in order to demonstrate what they've learned and to develop higher level thinking skills.

Models Employed: Learners are first introduced to the concept via playing a digital (or real-world) breakout game. The breakouts are then created either individually or in groups. The basic concept is that once learners are familiar with what a breakout is, they are given short lessons on how to do certain skills (e.g. making a form have 'locks') and then are given time to work on it. Once the process is known and the basic skills taught, the learners are free to explore different ideas on their own, though a testing and feedback stage is also built into the process.

Instructional Activities Employed: the digital breakouts are made via the following steps:
1) Decide on a theme for the breakout and a story
2) Create a game flow diagram, outlining the clues and answers to the locks. When first introduced this is done on a clue-by-clue basis, looking at the various types of locks (e.g. Number locks, Word Locks, Directional Locks, Colour Locks, etc).
3) Create the form and set it up so that the 'locks' work.
4) Create the website to house the game
5) Create the clues and put them on the site
6) Test the game to see if it works as intended.
7) Share the game and have fun!

Evidence of Success: Since the creation of our own games and the subsequent sharing of them, we have received a large amount of positive feedback as to how engaging the activities have been. There is also the widespread success of BreakoutEDU and it's many games which would suggest this is an engaging activity.


Participants will be given a breakout to try before they attend so that they are familiar with the concept. The game will be accompanied by a feedback form to determine what skills will need to be shared implicitly and what skills can be skipped.

During the session, after a short introduction to digital breakouts (2-3 minutes), I will give a brief overview (5-10 minutes) of some locks and clues that could be used in creating a digital breakout.

Then I will have attendees either pick groups or work individually. I will encourage them to work collaboratively in order to accomplish more in the given time. I will give them 10-15 minutes to come up with a game flow plan.

At about the halfway mark I will stop them and show them how to create the Google Form to make 'locks', as well as how to embed the form into the site. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

The remainder of the time will be given to the attendees to work on their creations and add some clues to their sites.

I will provide a platform (most likely padlet) for attendees to share their created breakouts.

There will be time at the end for questions and sharing.

Supporting research

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Michael Davidson, Matua Ngaru School

Michael is a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer based in Auckland, New Zealand. He is currently a Lead Learning Coach in charge of STEAM at the newly opened (February 2019) Matua Ngaru School. Originally from Canada, he has also taught in South Korea, the United Kingdom and Tanzania.

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