Digital escape rooms with Boom cards

Digital escape rooms with Boom cards

I’ve made many digital escape room games for a variety of subjects – history, French, Spanish and more. I have used both Google sites and WordPress to make the games but there are some limitations to using these. There is no record of student progress unless they complete the Google form – so as a teacher, I don’t know whether they’ve solved one or four clues out of a five-clue room, since they can’t submit the form without having all of the clues solved. In addition, the forms don’t track student names or emails due to privacy reasons.

I’ve found that Boom cards are a better solution for skill-specific escape rooms. They allow teachers to track student progress and data (so long as the teacher has a paid account). With an unpaid account, teachers can still assign the games to students, they just won’t see the data. The Boom format also allows for a different type of task to be assigned and more creativity with the layout of the cards, making them more interesting and visually appealing to students. Finally, Boom cards are self-correcting and give students information about what they still have incorrect.

Several of the digital escape rooms that I’ve recently made are based on holidays. Many teachers are looking for a fun but subject-focused activity to do around the time of holidays, and these games are perfect. No-prep, just share with your students and then can work on something fun but still educational.

For the holiday digital escape rooms, I try to do a nice mix of reading, listening, vocabulary and writing tasks. The holiday rooms all include a scrambled vocabulary card with a “help me” card that shows the vocabulary for the holiday in French and illustrations. Other cards might include an audio passage that has students choosing a multiple choice answer or dragging and dropping an item.

Example: Mardi Gras digital escape room

As a sample site, I will use the Mardi Gras digital escape room game. Mardi Gras is coming up early this year – February 13 – and many teachers are taken by surprise as the holiday does move around each year. So having a nice game ready to go at a moment’s notice is a great thing!

The game begins with the premise. In the Mardi Gras game, the keys to the lead float have been locked in the safe and in order to start the parade, the different tasks have to be completed. The task is given in English so the students understand what they are doing, but the actual tasks require them to use French.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 1

The first task requires students to go shopping for the ingredients for a king’s cake. They will need to read the grocery list and drag the correct items into the basket. Once they finish and click on the ‘next’ button, they will either move on to the next task if correct, or if they have mistaken it will take them back to try again. The incorrect items will automatically be removed from the basket while the correct ones will remain in the basket.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 2

The next task requires students to listen to people talking about what they would like to eat. The audio passages include a variety of different voices and accents. They can listen to the audio as many times as needed in order to determine which of the choices is the correct answer.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 3

The next task is vocabulary-based. Students will see six different vocabulary words related to the holiday. This task is used in each of the holiday digital escape room games as a way to introduce or review vocabulary that is specific to the holiday. If the students do not get the words correct, the next button will give them an option to click on a ‘help me!’ page that has an image of a variety of vocabulary items with illustrations. They can return to the help page as many times as necessary.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 4

The next task is another audio-based section. There are several multiple choice questions about the way the holiday is celebrated. The questions address the activities and traditions of Mardi Gras in French, while the questions are in English so you can be sure the students have actually understood the passage and aren’t just clicking on the words they recognize from the audio.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 5

The next task has students practicing their reading skills. They will read a short paragraph about the different krewes and what they throw from their floats. They need to drag the item to the chest in order to complete the task.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 6

As the students have worked their way through the different tasks of the digital escape room, they receive information they will need at the end of the game. In this particular game, they’ve received numbers that they should keep track of. The last task is to enter those numbers in the safe. If they have all of the correct numbers, they can easily complete the final task. The next page will show them a completion notice. If they get one or more numbers incorrect, they will be sent back to try again.

Mardi Gras digital escape room screenshot 7

What you need to assign Boom digital escape rooms

While Boom is a paid service, you do not need a paid account to assign these digital escape rooms. With a paid account, student progress will be tracked and you will be able to see the data and whether or not they have completed the room. Their progress will be saved and they can return to the game later if they don’t finish in one go.

If you do not have a paid Boom account, you will need to use the “fast pin” option. This will give you a URL to share with your students. The URL will be active for 5 days. After the 5 days, you will need to make a new fast pin and share the new URL with any students who still need to do the work. You will also not be able to track student data with a free account. In this case, you might have students take a screenshot of the final slide (or the furthest slide they finish) as proof of completion.

Digital escape rooms with Boom cards

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