1st Trial

 

The first trail of the Escape Room went all together better than expected. Taking place in a regular classroom and easily set up once plans were finalised, all participants appeared to have enjoyed the experience.

 

What worked well

  • The individual puzzles worked better than I had expected them too, all of the puzzles fit together to lead on to the following puzzle well.
  • The individual puzzles were more complex than I had initial thought, giving a chance to try the clues also prepared with them. These clues also worked well.

 

Points to Improve

  • The figures need to be better hidden and the whole puzzle needs to be spread across the room better if possible.
  • Have answers to the questions and the correct code to the combination lock written down, so they are more easily available if needed.
  • Time how long it takes participants to complete all the puzzles.

 

Problems that were occurred and overcome during the trial

  • The padlock had become locked onto one of the boxes, the combination to which was not known by any of the members of the group. This problem was overcome by particpants telling us the code they we wanted the combination lock to be and then we handed them the materials of what should have been inside of the padlock.
    • For next time attempt to get the padlock off the box and set the correct code. Although, if this isn’t possible at least a way has been found to get round the problem.
  • The chocolates brought in as a prize were to large to fit inside the jars as per the plan, as when they were bought the size of the jars was not known. To overcome this in the trial a piece of paper was placed inside the jars, which participants then swapped for the prize available.
    • For next time attempt to get smaller prizes that can fit in the jars, now that the sizes are known. Failing this the same can be done as last time and a piece of paper – or maybe one of the keys from the extra padlock that was provided in the materials – can be placed inside the jars.

 

Still to do

  • Create a floor plan of the Escape Room, perhaps on how the design is set after the next trial. This is a useful tool to have.

 

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Pictured bellow is participants and materials from the 1st Trail

 

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Fanalising materials and Floor Plan

It took longer than expected to create the final pieces needed for the puzzles, a mixture of technical difficulties and other commitments have prevented me from updating this blog page till now.


Finalising Materials

During the last session I mentioned most of our materials had been received,. Though the Egyptian Jars were still not received until just before the First Trial – This will be the main subject of my next posts.

During discussions after the last prototype meeting it was determined that we would have to make some of the materials our self. Myself and another member of the group were able to meet and design these elements. Which I then left with her so she could tea stain them, making them more appropriate for the Egyptian theme.

Floor Plan

The Floor Plan was difficult to ascertain at this point as we weren’t sure what time of room we would be holding the escape room in.

We were able to decide on the positioning’s for some of the materials i.e. The hieroglyphic code breaker would be kept behind the mask, which would then be hidden in the room to make it appear as if it were part of the decoration.

 

Next Post

The next post will explain the 1st Trail of the Escape Room,  with detailed feedback as to how this went.

 

 

Meeting the Group, Deciding the Theme, Trying the Prototype, Moving Forward, Biggest Problems

Finding out what group I was going to be part of for my main project as part of Edlab was difficult at first. But once I had found which group I was to be part of, I met the other members soon after.

My group consists of 3 other girls, 1 of which has never actually attended the meetings we have held since. This was a minor problem as she had never been to any of the meetings, but had she attended some of the meetings and not others, this would have been more difficult. For this reason, I am glad to have never met her.

Deciding the Theme

At our first introductory meeting, the three members of our group present (including myself) deciding on the Theme for our Escape Room.

We chose an Ancient Egyptian Theme quickly and began to plan the basic ideas for the puzzles the room would involve.

By our second meeting, around two weeks later, I and one of the other members of the group decided more concrete ideas of the puzzles we would use for our Escape Room. This enabled me to finish the final list of materials that would need to purchase for us as soon as possible, that we began creating together.

Prototype

All three of our members met up in the half term that followed in order to go over how the puzzles would work in prototype form. But technical issues with materials prevented us from doing this. In other words, by the time we were supposed to be going over the prototype for the Escape Room, we had not yet received enough of the materials to do what was planned.

We then had to rearrange the prototype for the room for another date.

Due to the commitments of members of some of the members of our group, we were unable to find a date where all three of us were free to try creating the prototype again until two weeks later.

This takes us up to the 9th March, Last Thursday.

Prototype – Take 2

At this second meeting, we were able to go through the basic plan that we had created weeks previously for the Escape Room, this time with most of the materials we needed to create it.

 

Although we are still missing 1 of the materials we need, Egyptian Jars, but this is not a vital element until the last puzzle in the room. As the Jars will hold either ‘Egyptian Coins’ (Chocolate coins) or something that can be swapped for these coins, we have yet to completely decide this. Either way, the other puzzles can be worked on with the materials our group already has.

  • I will give a better plan of the Escape Room after our next meeting – Thursday 17th March – after which I hope we will have basically completed all the puzzles for our room, finalising how they all work together.

Points moving forward from our last meeting

Truth be told that not a lot of work got done at our last meeting, as we were spent most of the time trying actually figuring out the individual materials for the puzzles. – Or how this can better be explained – Playing with the materials we had bought.

For the next time our group meets I have agreed to have the materials that we must create ourselves for the first puzzle for the room finished.

  • This is a question, with false misleading answers.

I have also agreed to do my best to get the materials for the second puzzle created as far as possible. Although I will get as far as I can but may not be able to complete this as far as the first puzzle as it is more difficult to do.

  • This is a poetic piece of writing leading to chosen objects, which will give a code leading to the next puzzle.

I will honestly admit that I am not sure of what the other members of my group are going to do between now and our next meeting, it is possible that this will not be a lot, but I will just have to wait till this Thursday to find that out.

The Biggest Problems So Far

There have been two major problems with this Edlab Project so far…

  1. The practicalities of getting all the members together. The members of my group have had very busy schedules during this time period, with some having other commitments outside of University, including other Edlab projects. This has made it very difficult for our group to meet on regular intervals and appears to me to be the biggest obstacles to why the group has been so slow to progress forward with the project.
  2. Motivation within the group. Perhaps due to their individual commitments members of the group seem to me to be unmotivated to work on the project, (or perhaps they are unable to do so), outside of the agreed meetings we have had. This has also slowed the progress of the project dramatically.

Next Post

I will aim to have the next post for this Blog about our next session together, up by at the latest this time next week. As I said earlier in this post by then I will aim to be able to provide a more detailed layout of the Escape Room.


 

Conference 1 – The start of the Journey

On the 3rd of December, the First Edlab Conference took place. This Conference was a good introduction both to the way Edlab program works, and how the program links with the other programs on a wider scale. As I am taking it as part of the Education Studies Unit, I found it particularly useful to learn how Edlab links with my subject of Study.

Key Note Speaker – Deborah Bullivant

Grimm & Co. APOTHECARY TO THE MAGICAL

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk by Deborah Bullivant from Grimm and Co. I found the take they had on writing very interesting. Although their workshops and the shop is aimed at young learners, I would love to visit in the future if possible. The magical element of Grimm and Co. make the focus on fun, rather than learning and therefore any learning visitors do seems almost accidental.Grimm and Co. have truly mastered the art of making learners learn without realising they are doing it. Their background story on founder Master Graham Grimm ties all elements of the experience together, making the whole experience just that little bit more believable.

The focus of Grimm and Co’s work is on the capability of the individual and this is something that I personally like very much. When school groups travel to Grimm and Co., they create their own piece of work that they are able to leave the shop with, adding to the sense of accomplishment the students feel when they leave the shop. Meaning that students often leave with more confidence for having visited the shop.

The only part of Grimm and Co. that I didn’t like was the accessibility of the shop itself, as for me it isn’t practical to get to and I am not sure how accessible the building itself would be. From the talk, it does appear that there may be parts of the shop that would be inaccessible to me. The geographical location of the shop was the predominant reason (alongside not wanting to take the risk that the building wouldn’t be accessible) that I haven’t chosen to do Grimm and Co as the major part of my project for Edlab,. If I able to get to the shop myself I would almost certainly have been involved in the project for Edlab. I was upset by the fact that being involved in this project was not a viable option for me.

However, the project itself is an amazing way of reaching children in an innovate way and personally I am in full support of it.

 Creating a Blog…

This workshop helped with how to design a Blog, this blog to be specific. It was also useful in explaining how the Blog would act as a way of recording the events of Edlab, making the final project easier. As I can use the Blog as a basis for the ‘assignment’ at the end of the project. Meaning that I won’t simply have to rely on my memory, and therefore the quality of the piece I produce should be higher.

I found it particularly useful that the workshop helped to explain how to design the Blog itself, as WordPress was a new site to me and so without the workshop I would have struggled more.

Key Note Speaker – Mark Peace

I found the most interesting part of the session was that the ideas discussed were just Marks own ideas. I found his ideas on the ‘7 Deadly Sins of Education’ insightful, but the part of the sessions that interested me the most was the fact that everyone took what he said very seriously, most people even taken notes. Thereby just assuming that his point of view was right. This was something that Mark himself pointed out in the session, without him doing so I don’t think any of us would have realised this.

It made me realise that people (myself included), often just take what a person of authority says as fact. We don’t challenge authority in anyway, especially in the case of the Student and the Teacher. Students just take what the teacher says as fact, young students do this without any verification of what they are told. So basically, teachers could lie to the students and they would have no idea.

I think that students should challenge the teachers more, although I will most likely be hypocritical of this in the future, as I do find it difficult to challenge authority. By challenging authority I don’t mean that students should intentionally start arguing with their teachers or should be disobedient towards them. I simply mean that students should have the confidence to suggest new ideas or opinions on a topic, thereby introducing more areas of thought into a topic. Although, this is likely a difficult concept to teach someone, how authority can be challenged positively. But if young students learnt to do this, I believe that they would become more confident adults in the future, with more belief in their own opinions.

This session was definitely an eye opener for me, which it is possible could have a wider impact on myself, than just what I do in Edlab.

Gamification and Learning

This session was on how gaming is a positive tool for learning. As part of this session, I played a game involving answering as many questions as possible in the time frame I was given, roughly 15 minutes. This game was played in groups and unfortunately mine didn’t win. But playing a game in this session really emphasised the power of learning through play first hand.

This session looked at different ways of gaming and the way they can be used as a tool for learning. As well as looking at the more traditional games that are played in a school setting. The session, which surprised me the most, looked at the benefits of well-known video games, as Educational tools. For example, one focus of the session was how MindCraft can be used to allow children to understand shapes practically in the real world.

 

After this session we were set the task of deciding what our Edlab projects would be. I signed up for and was later assigned to:

Escape the Classroom (as my Core Project) aDefeat

ear The Maths Monster and Playing with University Induction (as my Supporting Projects)

 

 

 

 

 

Just to say Hello

Hello,

My name is Katy and I am a First Year Education Studies student at Manchester Metropolitan University. This Blog will take you through my experiences of the EdLab projects I will be involved in.


Why I chose to Study Education and to take part in the EdLab Project…

I chose to study Education at University as I really wanted to understand Education. Although I have not yet made a definitive decision on my career plans for the future, I know that I want to do something that involves educating others. Studying Education leaves my career options for the future open for the future, which is very good for someone who doesn’t like to make final decisions, in other words, me. During the short time I have been studying the subject, I have already begun to evaluate my own educational experiences and look forward to doing more of this as I continue my studies. I hope that in the better understanding of education and different education systems I will gain from my studies, I will be able to use my own educational experiences, to improve the educational experiences of others. I have a particular interest in the effect of the Hidden Curriculum on both the individual and the Education System as a whole.

I chose to take part in the EdLab Project as it was a way to put myself out of my comfort zone. I am hoping that being involved in the project will help me to become a more confident person, while at the same time allowing me to gain practical experience in a range of educational experiences.

3 Things about me…

Have you ever tried to describe everything about yourself in 3 points, I haven’t but I’m going to give it a go:

  1. My favourite TV shows are Doctor Who, Sherlock, Class, Casualty – to name just a few ( I’m a pretty big TV fan).
  2. I write Poetry – Most of is quite depressing, I think that it’s important that we all have a place where we are able to express the hard parts of our lives, it helps us to deal with it better or at least it does me.
  3. I have 4 pets – a Dog – called Bella, two CatsTilly and Max (Max was named after a character from Casualty) and a Fish (who’s name has changed multiple times since we’ve had it) – currently called Eddie.

5 Of my favourite words…

  1. HippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobiaThe fear of long words – It kind of defeats the point of itself, don’t you think?
  2. Determinate Having exact and discernible limits or forms – But really I just love the song
  3. ProcrastinateDelay or postpone action, to put off doing something – Always a bad idea in the long run, but a really fun word to say
  4. Potato – a starchy plant tuber which is one of the most important food crops, cooked and eaten as a vegetable – Not only is it a fun word to say,  but I also love all the different kind of foods it is possible to make out of it, including crisps.
  5. Awesome extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe – I love this word because it reminds me of Disney Channel, which reminds me of my childhood.

I think that’s everything you need to know about me, at least for now. But  I’m sure in my future posts you will learn more about, as you learn more about my Journey Through EdLab.