Friday, April 29, 2016


Some of the CCHS teachers who saved
the world at their April PD session
It's spring (or at least the calendar says it is) and time for something different for our April delayed start PD. After attending the ½ day MACUL workshop on BreakoutEDU, lead by Kelly Kermode from Forest Hills Public Schools, I was excited to try a BreakoutEDU activity with our teachers. I decided to run the Dr. Johnson’s Lab game for the PD. Boxes, locks, and other equipment were purchased, clues were printed out, and mixed curricular groups were organized. I had a couple teachers and our technology specialist try out the game to make sure everything flowed well and that all the locks worked correctly. They then assisted as facilitators in the rooms where we hid the clues. On PD day, the concept of BreakoutEDU was presented to teachers using the facilitator’s presentation available on the BreakoutEDU website. The scenario for the Dr. Johnson’s Lab game was laid out and… It was a hit! Teachers enjoyed the game and all groups were able to breakout and saved the world! After consuming their antidote we met briefly to review this new activity.

And then... I had a “Doh!” moment. I didn’t have them sit down with their department groups to discuss how they could use BreakoutEDU to facilitate learning in their subject area. Instead, I let them go a few minutes early. Granted there wasn’t a lot of time remaining before classes began for the day and who doesn't like getting out a bit early but it was a missed opportunity! Even with limited time we could have begun the conversation. It was the one comment that was repeated in the feedback survey. “We would have liked to discuss the use of BreakoutEDU in our subject area.” Sigh… I felt like holding up the EPIC FAIL! sign from the breakout games, having someone take a photo and posting it on the bulletin board in the teacher lounge. Or, maybe not...

Moodle to the rescue! I created a discussion forum and posed the question, “How could you use a BreakoutEDU activity in your classroom?” Now, not only can the teachers discuss but we’ll have a resource to refer back to and can continue the discussion. I was also able to add some of the content that I didn’t include in the presentation such as digital breakouts, the searchable site for games, and other resources. Several of our teachers have used or are planning a BreakoutEDU activity in their classrooms in the near future.

So a “Doh! Moment” can become a great resource. I think that’s called learning from failure or at least that’s what I’m going with!

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