Today a former student came down to job shadow me while upperclassmen were taking the ACT. I embraced this idea as a way to give back, share ideas, and possibly inspire a future social studies teacher. However, the day started off and I felt bad for this student because I had nothing for him to do. An uninspiring start to the day. In the end, I was the one who walked away inspired.
Currently, I’m in the middle of a Middle Ages blogging project and our current quest is on the Crusades. I like to pair a mini-lesson on Islam with the Crusades. This year, I wanted to avoid the typical notes and a boring discussion. Earlier in the week, I had the idea to create a Digital Breakout. I decided to see if my former student could help me.
I asked this particular student if he ever heard of, or participated in, a digital breakout. His reply was a simple, “No.” So, I explained the idea and showed him an example. Then I shared my vision and explained that I had most of the materials/clues ready to go for my Islam Digital Breakout.
Through some discussion, planning, and an explanation on Backwards Design Theory, here is what my former student ended up doing in 2 1/2 hours (still a work in progress):
- Designed a website – click here for the site
- Created a Google Form for breakout passwords, hints, and embedded the form.
- Created Google Drawings with links and embedded on the site.
- Created a Google Doc with multiple choice questions and embedded the doc.
This was so inspiring to me as he turned my vision into a reality. In the process, he learned more about Islam, learned how to problem solve, learned how to create with Google sites and apps as a way to educate, and learned what goes into creating and planning engaging lessons. It was inspiring for me to see him take this Breakout vision head on, get innovative, be enthusiastic, and design something to help many future students.