I've written several times about the amazing free tools at Flippity.net. In fact, when I am looking for a way to get people interested in spreadsheets, I almost always use Flippity because once people see the variety of the tools, and how easy it is to create them, they are hooked. This weekend, when I teaching a Google class, I revisited Flippity as part of my Sheets lesson and found a new addition to the family: a Breakout tool!
Breakout games and escape rooms have become all the rage. Teachers are crafting lessons where students have to apply content knowledge to decode clues and open locks. Presenters are sharing breakouts at conferences in all content areas. And escape rooms aren't just for school. They are popping up all over for team-building, challenge seekers, or just a night of fun.
The trend to use breakout activities in classrooms meant a great demand for boxes. The one I purchased was $100, so if you wanted several for your classroom, you have to have a good budget to get them. Then there is the time it takes to create a great lesson, or the fee you pay to sites to find a lesson, and the time it takes to program all the locks. It's no surprise that digital breakouts emerged. That's what the tool at Flippity.net is, a digital breakout tool.
Head over to Flippity and take a look at the demo. Then download the template. It's a Google Sheet with eight lines, one for each lock. You delete the text in the cells and create your own clues and combinations. Then publish the template to the web, grab the link to share the game, and you are ready to go.
When you play the game, you will see red locks until you solve the puzzles and open the locks. Then they turn green.
This is a free tool, but it is very slick and includes many awesome options:
- Make the answers case-sensitive. Or don't.
- Make the locks open in a certain order or a random order.
- Include images, videos, links, Google Docs or Drawings, and even Desmos graphs or EquatIO equations.
- Customize the initial instructions, hint warnings, and completion text.