Sunday, 24 July 2016

Unlock Learning Kickstarter

Just a teaser! I'll be launching a Kickstarter to produce educational escape room materials shortly and just done a video for it... look out for the actual Kickstarter soon :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Next escape room thing...

Teacher throwing an old fashioned bomb

While trying out my escape room induction, I'm also working on something a bit more involved...

This may also be linked to a Kickstarter I'm sketching out at present, in which case it'll end up at various different levels, rather than just my usual Higher Education bunch...

I'll try to wrap it up into some sort of narrative involving a disgruntled teacher / lecturer fed up because of the quality of the students' work. So the learners / game players will need to prove they can evaluate information sources (and reference them?) in order to prove that they are okay after all and defuse the bomb!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Playful Learning conference and my escape room box

I went to the Playful Learning Conference last week, if I get around to it I might blog about the conference itself, but this post is a bit more specific!

I took my escape room box along with the materials for the library induction I've made set up and ran several iterations of it the first afternoon. It went down really well, everyone completed it in around 20-25 minutes (which fits my intended half hour induction!), and got some lovely responses from people - lots of positive vibes around using escape room ideas in education. I also played an escape room as part of the first evening social, and a lovely one put together by students one of the afternoon, so there was a bit of an escape room trend going on at the conference...

The pictures above are of some of the teams trying to solve the puzzles.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

CLS Showcase and the escape room box

Table, boxes and kit ready for the start

The escape room induction had it's first outing today, not for "proper" students, but for (mainly) staff at Huddersfield Uni at the CLS (Computing and Library Service) Showcase, where we show off things that are going on in our service.

Lots of people came and had a go, either at the full induction puzzles, or at a subset of them, or just for a quick look. The few photos below are people actually using the boxes.

It seemed to go down really well, and I might make one or two tweaks based what I've seen today, but I think it is about ready to try with real students...

Quick update (23rd June)  - attendees voted for their favourite stand on the day and I won! So the escape room induction thingy was the "people's choice" :-)

Monday, 20 June 2016

A "library camp", but making stuff?

Materials out for a "makerspace" at Dokk1

I've been to quite a few library camps (national and local ones) and they can be a really good day - lots of ideas bounced around, lots of really positive people, and a "different" mix of people than specific subject or sector based conferences.
After the first one or two though, I found myself walking away from them thinking "but we haven't DONE anything"! Lots of ideas might be generated, but I know that most people won't take them any further... so for a while I've fancied doing something that was more of a "making" camp.
So, if I ever get around to it, who would fancy something like the following, and how would people like it to be run? Let me know at the survey, but my vague initial thoughts / options follow...
It would be something like:
1) Two day camp (so plenty of time to make stuff), but people could probably come for just the first day to start things off? (But probably better to see it through both days.)
2) Probably set a theme (fitting in with stuff I do, perhaps "creating games for libraries" or "making escape room puzzles for libraries"?) but not pin it down any further - so people would follow the open space idea of pitching ideas on the first morning and we'd split into groups to create them (depending on numbers!).
3) Aim to have created (pretty much) finished materials that would be available for all by the end of the two days. Condition of attending would be slapping a creative commons licence on anything created during the camp. 
4) If it fitted in with stuff I did (like the games), it'd be easy enough for me to bring a load of materials to be used.
5) Could be done completely on the cheap (free or dirt cheap to attend), so a room or two somewhere and everyone fend for themselves in terms of food / drink / accommodation. Or it could be done a bit posher (perhaps hire a full venue including accomodation? Or a residential educational type place) which would mean accomodation, some or all catering, and space to make stuff all thrown in. The more expensive option would probably be cheaper overall for people who stayed (as the price would be likely to be less than booking hotel rooms individually, never mind the extra stuff!) but would look more expensive at face value.

If anyone is at least vaguely interested, could you let me know you thoughts on the quick and dirty survey I've set up please?