Friday, August 12, 2016

Breaking Out of the Norm with Breakout EDU

In a growth mindset, which is based on Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck's work, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Historically speaking, most of the greatest people in time have possessed these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. This article by Edutopia provides a variety of resources available to gain a deeper understanding of growth mindset in the education setting.

This discussion leads me to the heart of this post, Breakout EDU. Breakout EDU is an immersive learning platform developed by James Sanders and Mark Hammons. After visiting an "Escape the Room", which is a team building activity where groups are locked in a room and are provided clues and riddles necessary to escape, with a group of students, Sanders and Hammons noted how engaged the students were while working on the escape. Given how highly engaging this concept is, and for obvious legal and ethical reason of not locking students in a room, the two decided to flip the concept - take a wooden box, add a hasp and a few locks, and provide clues. The rest is left up to the students’ natural curiosity and excitement. Ultimately, students work collaboratively to debunk the clues, enabling them to unlock all the locks and complete the game before time runs out. Digital versions are also available as well.

This video helps to explain the concept further.

The Breakout EDU concept is exactly what is needed in our classrooms. It fosters an inclusive environment for ALL learners, with the ability for all students to contribute. Additionally it promotes intrinsic motivation, high-level critical thinking, problem solving, cooperation, listening, communication and most work. These games foster a growth mindset as a spirit of resilience is promoted because students use trial-and-error to complete the games.  It is not just a "game" for students to play, but an opportunity for deeper learning in all curriculum areas. When students are empowered to create, their learning and curiosity soar to new levels.
By @MariaGalanis and @sylviaduckworth

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  1. Breakout EDU has been an incredible experience for my 5th graders. They require very little redirection as they are exactly as you said "intrinsically motivated". A great add-on for any classroom!

    1. Thanks Marla! So glad you enjoyed the post and see the value in Breakout EDU!


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