TEAM Digital Breakout EDU, Canadian Style

Last week I was invited by my friends Kim Pollishuke and Jenn Casa-Todd to play a collaborative, live, on-line game of Digital Breakout EDU via Google Hangouts.

The timing could not have been better for me, as a few days later, I was due to travel to Irvine, California with the EdTechTeam to facilitate, among other sessions, a session on Digital BreakoutEDU. But I had very little experience with it, so I was delighted for the opportunity to test it out with friends, Sandra Chow, Larissa Aradj, Scott Monahan, Jen Giffen, and Les McBeth, and others. Kim and Jenn were beta-testing the game for a large, online game planned for TeachOntario, Feb. 23.

For those of you who are new to the concept of breakout games, they are essentially games that are devised with a series of problems that need to be solved in order to “break out” of room, or a box, or, in the case of Digital Breakout EDU, a Google form. Last year James Sanders and Mark Hammons spearheaded the Breakout EDU movement in education, which, due to its tremendous popularity amongst educators, evolved into a fully fledged separate entity, Breakout EDU, with a huge Facebook group and new games appearing every day.

Some time later, Mari Venturino and Justin Birckbichler came up with a digitalized version of Breakout EDU, using Google Sites, locked Google forms, and many other tools to create games with. You can check out all the games here.

The digitalized game that Kim and Jenn created was a lot of fun and gave me many ideas for my GAFESummit presentation. Since I am Canadian and the summit was in the United States, I decided to base the game on facts about Canada. I also decided to make it a team game by placing teachers into groups and challenging them to see who would break out the fastest. A few days before the conference, I tested it out with my students. I split my class into 5 teams, and each student had a Chromebook to work on to try to solve the puzzles. 5 minutes into the game, I knew that it was going to be a tremendous success as my students were immediately engaged, working collaboratively, and having tons of fun.

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I love the physical version of the game, but several factors of the digitalized version make it stand out as a very appealing alternative.

  1. No purchase of a box necessary.

  2. No locks to worry about re-setting.

  3. No kit components to worry about losing.

  4. 100% student engagement if you have many devices for them to work on. No one feels left out or unable to contribute.

  5. Zero time required for set up (unless you make up your own game).

  6. Great opportunity for students to create their own games.

  7. Can be played live online via video-conferencing.

At my session in Irvine, 70 teachers played the game. I divided them into 6 groups. Some groups stayed in the room and some groups left to find a quiet place to solve the game.

After 20 minutes, we had a winner: Group 1!


The energy in the room was high, and I can honestly say that it was the most fun I have ever had in a training session for teachers. Click below for the games!

  1. Team Digital Breakout EDU for students

  2. Team Digital Breakout EDU for teachers

  3. Team Digital Breakout EDU en français

NOTE: Each team has a separate game because there is a shared, editable Google doc as one of the clues to solve. Each team needs to work collaboratively on the document, but separately from the other teams.







36 thoughts on “TEAM Digital Breakout EDU, Canadian Style

  1. Pingback: BreakoutEDU Digital - Online Escape Games for Students - Mrs. Geek Chic

  2. Feeling dumb as well 🙂 Is this game ready-to-use in other classrooms? Do the students gain access to the shared editable Google Doc as the game progresses? I have spent a few minutes figuring out the answers to the 4 clues and the map provided, but every answer gets “Still Locked.” I guess I didn’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out the answers if all of the materials are not available. Thanks for your help!! My 7th graders are currently studying Canada…we have done a physical Breakout EDU earlier this year, but I thought it would be fun to try the digital version. Thanks for your help!!


  3. Pingback: Breakout EDU (Digital Version) – Techmeology

  4. My class is very confused about the directional lock. Where should we be looking? Thanks though, they loved it otherwise!


  5. We too are stuck on the directional lock. My students loved this so much and really want to complete it. I said I would post for a bit of guidance here.


  6. Hi Sylvia,

    I just stumbled across Breakout EDU today, which led me to your blog and this digital Breakout game. Thanks for posting it.

    Do I just need to click the link and the game is ready to play? I cannot seem to figure out any of the codes for any of the five locks…. is there something I am missing or missed in terms of how to play the game? Cheers.


  7. I tried out the French version and unlocked a couple of the locks. Apparently there is a shared file to work on, but I can not seem to find it. Is it still linked?


  8. Hello,
    Your Breakout is really fun! We were wondering what would be the best way to make more copies of the student version of the Breakout. We need 9 copies. The crossword puzzle and jigsaw puzzle are problematic, because if a team works on one of them, the other teams may be able to see the answers. Any suggestions would be welcomed!


      • Can you please share? I would like to do this again with my class this year but I don’t know how to solve it.


      • Hello,

        I am totally stuck on that directional lock clue. Any chance you could bail me out and take me out of my misery so I can do this with my students in a couple of weeks? Thanks!


  9. Hi Sylvia! I am super impressed with your digital escape room. It has taken me awhile to figure it all out – which I appreciate! I’m looking forward to sharing it with my students this fall. I am still stuck, however, on the directional lock. I have tried multiple options and simply can’t come up with the right combo. Can you give a clue? Please? Thanks so much for being willing to share this resource!!


  10. Pingback: Team Digital Breakout Edu- Canadian Style! - EdTechTeam

  11. Thank you very much for sharing your engaging work Sylvia. It is appreciated.

    I am a French Immersion teacher, and I have been completing your French version of the Break Out game. I have gotten all but one clue. I cannot find the three words made with the 9 letters obtained from the number themed cross word puzzle.

    The letter I found were P EE UU SS T R….I have tried every combination that I can think of… if you have a clue, it would be really appreciated.

    Take care.


  12. Merci beaucoup Sylvia! Je me suis creusé les méninges, mais j’ai réussi celui pour les élèves : ) Je souhaite utiliser cette activité avec mon groupe en septembre et avec le 2e groupe en février! Merci énormément!

    Liked by 1 person

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