Student-Created Digital Breakouts...

Student-Created Digital Breakouts...

Education is not one size fits all. To meet the needs of today's learners teachers need to use a wide variety of ways to assess students' knowledge. In my opinion, traditional testing truly only measures a student's ability to memorize, regurgitate, and discard. Why hold onto that information if you do not truly understand it, apply it, or even have the desire to use the information. For example, I once had to memorize dates for certain battles for a class. To this day I cannot recall those dates, I could for the test though but not now. Those dates are not important to me, I cannot use them in any way in my current life. Now the reasons for those battles, that information could be important, but I spent so much time trying to memories those dates I have also forgotten the reason for the battles.

As a teacher, we need to truly understand what students know and teach them how to apply their knowledge. We also need to instill a desire to continue to learn and grow. Just memorizing data to pass a test is not good enough in today's society. We also need to teach our student to think, troubleshoot, problem-solve, and to realize their first attempt is not their last one. Having students create, explain, demonstrate, design, explore, develop, etc... will allow teachers to truly assess not test but assess a student's understanding.

We need to rethink what an assessment looks like. We also need to embrace that each student is different and not all assessments will work. Having students create Digital Breakouts is a way we as teachers can personalize learning for each student and truly assess their knowledge and abilities.

So what is a Digital Breakout?

A digital breakout uses the same concept of solving a series of clues to unlock locks as the physical breakout does. A Google Form is used as the locks. Using a Google Form you can create a wide variety of locks. A digital breakout has no need for any additional equipment. All that is necessary is a device connected to the Internet.

Students can create Digital Breakouts to demonstrate their knowledge on any topic. Once the Digital Breakout has been created then other students can apply their learned knowledge of the topic to solve the clues and breakout.

I will be speaking at ISTE19 over how students can create Digital Breakouts and how teachers can use these student-created breakouts as an assessment tool. So join me on June 26th at 1:00pm room 120A to learn more. If you cannot make it below is a link to the resources I will be sharing.


K-12 Serious Game Award Winners 2019 .....

K-12 Serious Game Award Winners 2019...

Game-based learning is one of the most effective learning environments in today's culture backed by research. To view some research on the topic of Game-based learning click HERE.

Serious Play Conference is an international conference that holds competitions for game-designed that focus on an educational element. Below are the 25 Education Games Winners that were cited for excellence.

I try to encourage educators and students to develop their own games and enter them in the Serious Play Competitions. If you would like more information on how to participate please feel free to reach out or visit their website.


25 Education Games for Use in K-12 Win Awards
In the International Serious Play Competition
LOS ANGELES – June 20, 2019 – Twenty-five games designed for use in K-12 education have been cited for excellence in the 2019 International Serious Play Award Program.
STEM Games winning Awards:
Gold Medal citations were awarded to:
  • Cyberchase: Railway Hero, the latest accessible game from the PBS KIDS series. The CyberSquad is on a mission to thwart a hacker and repair cyberspace’s Information SuperRailway. Along the way, they learn math skills. Produced by THIRTEEN for WNET in association with Bridge Multimedia and developed by Sudden Industries
  • HoloLAB Champions, a way for players to engage playfully with chemistry lab equipment in virtual reality developed by Schell Games
  • Network Collapse, an interactive experience that helps learners to understand basic concepts about how networks and the internet, along with a few security tools. In the game, they work to transmit and protect data. The game was created by Battelle for use by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which it manages and operates for the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Virtual Vet, a game that teaches students to recognize pre-diabetic symptoms while also helping them envision themselves in the role of a scientist. The game introduces multiple STEM career options. Developed by the College of Education at the University of Georgia
Silver Medal status went to:
  • Agrinautica, this plant-building, sandbox game is designed to help 4th and 5th graders develop pre-algebra skills as part of the Math Snacks series of games created by Learning Game Lab at New Mexico State University
  • Beats Empire, a turn-based management game where players—taking on the role of a music studio manager—analyze data of music trends to sign artists and record and release songs. Collaboratively created by Filament Games; Teachers College, Columbia University; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Georgia Institute of Technology; SRI International; and Digital Promise
  • Breaking Boundaries in Science, an interactive VR celebration of some of history’s most influential women scientists created by Filament Games and The Jane Goodall Institute for Oculus
  • Gametime, a title designed to help the students comprehend everyday STEM concepts -- and retain them. Developed by The Game Agency with Everfi
  • Hoover Dam: Industrial VR, a game where students experience the inner workings of the Hoover Dam. Developed by Pixela Labs
  • Tablecraft, a playful virtual reality game where middle-schoolers explore the Periodic Table in their own treehouse lab by combining the elements to craft common household objects and feed those objects to their virtual pet blobs, engineering their growth, poop, and offspring! Developed by Not Suspicious
Bronze Medal recognition went to:
  • Alice's Adventure, a game engine that introduces basic programming and game design to middle and senior high students created by the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University for the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center
  • Planeteers inspire adventure, creativity and learning as players and their robot companion Socke explore a newfound planet to help restore their depleted homeworld. Developed by STEAM Craft Edu
  • Shadowspect, a game-based assessment system designed to measure progress in spatial reasoning and other learning outcomes. Created by the MIT Game Lab and Fire Hose Games for the MIT Playful Journey Lab
Literacy Games winning Awards:
Gold Medal citation was awarded to:
  • Pictoword, a mobile application that combines gamification mechanics with educational content - in the form of fun and challenging word puzzles - to help students achieve proficiency in spelling and vocabulary acquisition developed by Kooapps LLC
Silver Medal status went to:
  • Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case, a tool that helps students learn critical thinking skills and engage in historical inquiry. Developed by Field Day Lab, Wisconsin Public Television Education and a cohort of 3rd-5th grade Wisconsin educators
  • Lights, Camera, Budget!, an online game to help middle/high school students learn, study and review financial literacy topics while practicing budgeting skills. Created by a collaboration between the FableVision Studios, the Georgia Council on Economic Education for Georgia Public Broadcasting and SunTrust Foundation
  • Moi Social Learning, a game for children five years old and up that allows children to interact with technology, content and social networks, learning at their own pace. Developed by Moi Social Learning for Start-Up Chile and Banco de Ideas
  • Net(R)Worth Interactive, a competitive environment where students invest in Stocks (3 types), CDs, Real Estate, Oil and cattle with the objective of accumulating a higher net worth than other participants with an option to convert their Net(R)Worth dollars to BITCOIN to purchase merchandise and subscriptions created by Donald Pellicano
  • STAX, helps students learn long-term investing strategies in just 20 minutes of gameplay. Developed by McKinney for Next-Gen Personal Finance
Bronze Medal recognition went to:
  • Fun China World, an innovative MMORPG to help people learn the Chinese language and culture in a virtual world of China. Developed by FunChinaWorld Team for FunLearnWorld Tech
  • Payback, a game that helps teens see college as an investment with benefits and risks and challenging players to make the best choices, not just the cheapest. Developed by McKinney for Next-Gen Personal Finance

Liberal Arts Subjects winning Awards:
Gold Medal citations were awarded to:
  • Mission US: For Crown or Colony? a title that combines conventions of gaming with social history to immerse players in the drama of our nation’s past. Produced by THIRTEEN for WNET in association with American Social History Project, Electric Funstuff and the Education Development Center
  • Scholastic W.O.R.D., a reading, and vocabulary program for students in Grades K-5 that uses the cataloged 2,500 high-utility word families that makeup 90% of all texts students will encounter. Created by Filament Games for Scholastic
Cognitive Skills winning Awards:
Gold Medal citations were awarded to:
  • Endeavor Healthcare Module, gives students a way to practice their investigative and deduction skills while learning about current medical technologies and exploring healthcare career options. Created by The Game Agency with Everfi
  • Tali Detect is a digital game-based assessment that enables a baseline measurement of attention in children about to start school or in their first year of education. This digital assessment will triage children at risk providing for appropriate early interventions to be delivered. Created by Tali Health with partners Monash University and Torus Games

Winners will be given a chance to attend this summer’s Serious Play Conference Events and display their games. This year conferences will be held at the University of Central Florida (UCF) July 24-26, 2019 and the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) July 10-12.

For more information, go to and to

Surfing for Quality Digital Tools.....

Surfing for Quality Digital Tools...

The number one question I am asked is what tools do I use with students and how do I determine if the tool is the tool my students should use. I think of digital tools and resources like shoes and just like shoes, you will use the pair that works the best for the situation you are in. For example, you do not want to wear flip-flops when you are climbing or hiking you would use the proper footwear to get the job done. It is the same with digital tools, devices, and resources. Just like shoes digital tools, devices, and resources also depends on personal choice. The tools I use may not work or fit your needs so you need to use the tools you feel comfortable with.

The other side of the coin when using digital tools, devices, and resources you need to pick ones that take you and or your students beyond. For example, if you have an interactive whiteboard a.k.a. a SMART board and you never physically touch and interact with the board you basically just replaced your projector screen with a solid board version. To help you go to the next level in implementing technology into your curriculum I have designed an interactive rubric. This rubric is designed from research and is based on the SAMR framework. There are a few questions you will need to ask yourself about the tool, device, or resource you are wanting to use. Through the questioning, the rubric will guide you to if the tool you are wanting to use is going to move you more into transforming the learning or if you should think a little more about using the tool.

Just like any tool it really depends on how you plan to use it and not every tool works for everyone. Since I am a doctoral student and I am conducting research I am collecting the results of the rubric. You will be emailed a copy of your results when you hit the submit button. If you do not want me to collect your results I will have a second option that will allow you to make a copy of this rubric and use it. The copy will save to your Google Drive and you can use it from there.

Interactive Rubric Links:

Printing on Post-it Notes....

Printing on Post-it Notes.....

I had not realized that I had not shared how to print on Post-it Notes. Keep in mind the instructions will remain the same but Post-it Notes come in all sizes and styles. The file I am sharing with you is for the standard Stick-it Note. Feel free to change the document to fit your Post-it Note. The document I am sharing with you is a Google Draw file, so you will need to be logged into your Google Account to use this document.

I tell my students all the time there are many many ways to use technology to get to your desired end results. If the method I am sharing with you does not work for you to feel free to modify the steps and use a different tool. You are making a copy of the file I am sharing and it will auto save to your Google Drive.

Step 1:

  • Print out the template or Master "Print On Post-it" page. Click Here to get your copy. (This is a Google Drawing File. You must be logged into your Google Account to use.)
  • This page will allow you to align your text in order to print on the Post-it Notes.

Step 2:

  • Place Post-it Notes on the squares printing out on your page.
  • Make sure the sticky side is towards the Words “Top of Print”.
  • When the Stick-it Notes go through your printer you want the sticky sections to go first so the Stick-it Notes do not get jammed in the printer.

Step 3:

  • Place your page with the Stick-it Notes in the paper tray of your printer. 
  • Try face down with the words "Top of Print” at the top of the paper tray.

Step 4:

  • Type what you want to be printed on the Stick-it Notes in the squares of this document.
  • Print
  • Remove Stick-it Notes off of the printed page.

Step 5: 
  • Repeat steps 2-4 as many times as needed.

You only need to print out the blank template when you need a new or a cleaner one.

Click Here to Make a Copy of the Template.