The Nightmare Before the End of Term!

Nope, it’s not a movie sequel – it’s my foray into the world of creating a virtual escape room.

I have to admit, I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to escape rooms. They’ve been around a while, but I’ve never done one, either in person or virtually. I know, I need to get out more (if that’s the right expression).

This term we ran a Jisc event to share teaching ideas and one of my FE contacts at Coleg Gwent in Wales mentioned escape rooms (thanks Natalie btw!). They sounded fun and a sure-fire way of gamifying the learning experience which appealed to me.


I’ve put together an escape room using the free account on the Genially site. If you’ve not come across it by the way the site has lots of templates to choose from and the learning curve on their editor is minimal. It’s also a site for creating all sorts of interactive content you can use with learners, not just escape rooms.

I went with the horror theme and made my escape room a little tongue-in-cheek. As I intend to share it with teaching staff that’s the target audience. The context is a beleaguered member of teaching staff who has a number of challenges to overcome before they can wrap up the term and go on holiday.

Sound familiar?

It’s a little cheesey, I know, but I wanted to make the escape room fairly light-hearted and fun, as well as educational.


Can you escape to that exotic Caribbean island?

Have a go and let me know what you think. Could you use escape rooms with your learners? If so, what type of scenario would you use? Let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet!

Lost in the virtual reality labyrinth

Recently, like for many of you I’m sure, I’ve been reflecting on what to do about Christmas this year. Namely, what presents to buy …

A random email promoting the sales on Black Friday sparked my interest in a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation. I’m not particularly a big video gamer – I have a PlayStation, but I mainly watch Netflix through it. What games I have are mainly played by my young nephew when he comes round. It’s a bit of a hunch, but I’m fairly sure he would be happy to explore virtual reality gaming though. Virtual reality is also a bit of a hot topic at work with more people trying out virtual reality in an educational context. Continue reading

A closer look at Screencast-O-Matic

As free screencasting tools go, Screencast-O-Matic is my favourite. It features as number 27 in the Top 100 Tools for Learning poll of 2015 and is an easy way to create fairly short screencasts (15 minutes or less) to help reinforce key topics with learners. If you haven’t done one before a screencast is typically a video recording of all, or part, of your screen that’s accompanied by an audio or video narration. It’s ideal for demonstrating what you are doing on your computer, such as a software demo or web search, a presentation run-through or is even being used by some organisations as a means of providing formative and summative feedback to learners. Continue reading

Using iMovie to create engaging video

“I do enjoy making videos, even though they are long days and very hard work.”
Tanya Tucker, American country and music artist.

Without doubt, making quality video is a painstaking process, and I can’t deny – to do it right takes time. Having said that though, there’s something very enjoyable about crafting a short video; editing the scenes, adding the music and so on, that makes it very satisfying. I don’t know whether that’s the creative, geeky part of me talking or it’s something else, but making short videos for others to enjoy can be immensely rewarding. Continue reading