BreakoutEDU is becoming hugely popular in classrooms. Who doesn’t enjoy a good puzzle or game? I am sure there is something special about having a physical box with a variety of locks to open. BreakoutEdu sells a lock kit, though there is a wait to obtain one. You can also opt to put your own kit together with items from sites like Amazon.
There is another option. BreakoutEDU’s site has a section for digital games. You can try one out there to see what it is like. There aren’t too many digital options for Spanish class available yet, though. On Teachers Pay Teachers, Martina Bex has four free Breakout activities. I used this one about the 2016 ad for the Christmas Lottery in Spain without a box and locks. I do work in a 1:1 district, so all of my students have MacBooks and access to the G-Suite for Education. I created a ‘locked’ Google Form so my students could play the game and printed Martina's materials.
It might be easiest to start out with a game that has been created. But, if you want to create your own clues based on your content, a digital game has no limitations as far as the numbers or letters you can use for a 'lock'. If you are creating your own game, you probably want to create a new Google Site for the game. You can give it a title, and use it as a place to put your clues, pictures, videos, etc, that are needed to play your game. I like Google Sites because it is very simple to 'drag and drop', and you can easily add anything from your Google Drive or YouTube to the page. You can also put your 'locked' Form on the site. Most of my clues are done on Slides, Docs, Drawings or Sheets. The trick with sharing these types of clues is to make sure they cannot be edited by those playing the game. I like to use Slides to make a 'story map' type clue for a directional lock. Docs are good for simple question type clues. When using Slides or Docs, I make sure that I change the share settings to 'anyone with the link can view'. (See below)
If you want to create a clue using Google Drawings (this is a great way to make sequencing clues or or for clues that involve unscrambling sentences/questions) or Sheets (conditional formatting makes for a cool 'color lock' - if you put in a few content related questions, the cells will change color when the correct answer is typed in) - there is a way to share these on a Google site that forces the person with the link to 'make a copy'. This way, students can re-arrange words in Drawings or type in answers to questions on Sheets without editing your original clue. To do this, you need to allow anyone with the link to edit the Drawing or Sheet. (I know, this sounds crazy, just stay with me.) Then, copy and paste the shareable link into your browser. This last step is the most important. Change where it says 'edit?usp=sharing' at the end of the link to 'copy'. This forces anyone with the link to make a copy. Then, they can answer questions on Sheets, manipulate items in Drawings, yet not change what you originally created. (Special shout-out to my awesome tech coach Jen Fischer for sharing this 'hack' with me. Her blog is also awesome & you should check it out!) You put the link with 'copy' at the end right onto your Google Site. Or, get even more fancy and have the link hidden by a picture on the site. When someone clicks on the picture, they will go to the page that has them make a copy that they can edit.
Once you find a Breakout game to use or have created your own clues and put them on your Google site, you will need to make a new Google Form. Each question on your form is one of your locks. You want to create 'short answer questions' and make sure they are 'required'. To lock your form you need to use 'data validation' to require the correct answer. If an incorrect answer is typed, they will see an error message of your choosing. Data validation can be found by clicking the three dots at the bottom of your question (see below). You can use data validation to make sure you have an exact number for a number lock and specific text for a word, directional or color lock.
Here is a great YouTube video that explains how to make a 'locked Google Form.
The last step, before putting your form on your Google Site (or sending it out to students), is to click on settings (the little gear at the top of your Form), click on 'Presentation' and add a confirmation message. This way, students can show you they 'unlocked' the form.
I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask questions or share your ideas in the comments. You can also contact me on Twitter )@kkeefe_hassan - I will get back to you!
High school Spanish teacher in NJ. Google for Education Certified Trainer. Always looking to try new things in my classes. Technology junkie.