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Breakout!: Design Your Own Digital Escape Room

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Wednesday, June 26, 11:00 am–12:30 pm
Location: Franklin 8-9, Marriott

Stefanie Crawford  
Digital escape rooms make learning meaningful and engaging for multiple contents. Explore how to use free tools to create digital escape rooms. By the time the workshop is done, you will be well on your way to having a completed digital escape room for classroom use.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees will need to have access to the Google Suite of products, and Chrome is the browser best suited to the creation of the digital escape room. Attendees should also sign up for a free WeVideo account and install the Google Keep extension.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Game-based learning and gamification
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
Teaching, Learning and Assessments
  • Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences addressing content standards and student technology standards.
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

Digital escape rooms allow teachers to introduce, review, and assess student understanding of a topic. They can be completed by students individually or in teams as best fits the situation in your learning environment. Tasks can be varied to hit multiple learner strengths and can even be merged with a scavenger-hunt-like element that allows for physical movement within the digital breakout experience. Since the breakout can be relegated to a class period, teachers only need access to a cart that has enough devices for a class, and students do not need to have Internet access at home.

Students often respond positively to the digital escape room because of the element of racing the clock instead of racing another person; although, that type of competitor still finds excitement because he/she will work hard to be the class "winner" for the task.

The tools used for creating the digital escape rooms are all free, and many of the tools are programs that educators are already somewhat familiar with. Although additional sites like ifaketextmessages.com, Google Keep, and WeVideo can be used, the only mandatory tools are Google Sites, Google Forms, and Canva. The session also reinforces the importance of finding images that can safely be used without worry of copyright infringement.

Digital escape room tasks can be designed to fit the needs of the students and can focus on skills like inferencing, analyzing, and even creating.

By the end of the session, participants will know that designing and creating digital escape rooms will enhance student engagement, create a flexible learning space, and increase their understanding of how to use technology, specifically through the use of multiple technology tools in the design and creation of their own digital escape room.


I. Participate in an online escape room to interact with various elements before beginning the design process. This will be an escape room that I have built that utilizes the elements that attendees will be using to build their own, so they will begin to get a sense of how they will use the tools and look at what they would have done differently if they were creating it. (15 min.)
II. Examine the elements of a digital escape room. Attendees will have their devices open and out and will be exploring the elements through exploration as I guide them through some essential elements of a digital escape room with the help of some slides. (20 min.)
III. Questions. This is the time for attendees to get clarification before beginning to design and create their own. (5 min.)
IV. Creating Escape Room. I'll be creating with participants at the same time for additional guidance. I'll utilize a timer and circulate around the space as attendees are working. The timer will allow me to signal that we're moving to the next step and will be a visual reminder for attendees as well. (50 min.)
a. heading/title/theme (6 min.)
b. creating Canva images (20 min.)
c. importing Canva images into Google Sites (13 min.)
d.external tools to use (13 min.)
e. creating pages (5 min.)
f. creating forms (25 min.)
g. embedding forms in Google Sites (5 min.)
h. linking pages together in Sites (3 min.)

Supporting research



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Stefanie Crawford, Regional Office of Education #53

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