When it comes to creating digital escape rooms, there are a few different options to choose from. In this post, we’ll take a look at three popular platforms: Genial.ly, Google Sites, and PowerPoint. Here is a quick overview of the three platforms, with more detailed instructions below.
PowerPoint is a familiar choice for many educators, and it can also be used to create digital escape rooms. With its slide-based format, you can create a series of puzzles or challenges that players must complete in order to progress through the escape room. PowerPoint also offers a range of multimedia options, such as inserting videos or audio clips, to help bring your escape room to life.
Genial.ly allows you to create presentations, similar to PowerPoint, but with added interactivity. With its wide range of templates (Check out the “Breakout” section”) and customization options, you can easily create a digital escape room with a variety of puzzles and challenges. Genial.ly also offers the option to add multimedia elements, and as an added bonus it come with access to the pixabay catalogue of stock photo.
Ultimately, the platform you choose for your digital escape room will depend on your needs and preferences. All three of these options offer unique features and capabilities, so be sure to consider your goals and resources when deciding which one is right for you
Google Sites is a user-friendly website builder that allows you to easily create and customize a website for your escape room. With its drag-and-drop interface and wide range of templates and widgets, you can easily add text, images, videos, and other interactive elements to your site. Google Sites also integrates seamlessly with other Google tools, such as Forms and Maps, making it a convenient choice for creating digital escape rooms.
Read below for some step by step instructions for each platform
Genial.ly is a great online tool and has great templates, many of the included in the free version. Here are two empty examples: Adventure Breakout and Witchcraft Breakout.
To get started there are several good introductions for teachers on Youtube:
To get started with Google Sites, you’ll need to have a Google account. Once you’re signed in, follow these steps:
- Go to sites.google.com and click on the “Create” button.
- Choose a template for your website. There are several options to choose from, including a blank template if you prefer to start from scratch.
- Customize your website by adding text, images, and other elements to your pages. You can use the toolbar at the top of the page to format your text, add links, and insert media.
- Use the “Insert” menu to add interactive elements, such as Google Forms or Maps, to your website. These can be used to create puzzles or challenges for your escape room.
- Preview your website to make sure everything looks the way you want it to.
- When you’re ready, click “Publish” to make your website live.
- Make sure you hide the navigation menu so you can only get to the next “room” by entering a passcode or clicking a specific spot.
To add “locks” to you Google page, there are two simple solutions:
You can either add a google form or you can add a picture with a hidden link.
Here is an example what a Google form would look like:
To learn more about how to create a digital lock like this one, be sure to watch the accompanying video. You’ll see step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own digital lock. Below you can find additional examples to help inspire your own escape room design.
Using digital locks is a great way to add an extra layer of interactive challenge to your escape room. They’re easy to set up and can be tailored to fit the theme and goals of your lesson. Give them a try and see how they can enhance your escape room experience!
Pictures with insivible links are another great way to “lock” the way to the next slide. Look at these examples and try clicking a wrong item and the correct answer:
Here are the steps:
- open an empty Google Drawing, either from the Google Drawings page or in your Google Drive by clicking “New” and then “more” and then “Google Drawing”.
- Insert a picture from the web or from your files or insert words or text. There should be enough possible answer that the students can’t quickly click on all of them until they guess right. My examples are probably a bit too easy in this respect.
- If there is empty space around your picture, click into it and drag the bottom right hand corner to reshape the canvas to fit exactly.
- Insert a text box and put it around the item that is the correct answer.
- click on the frame of the box
- click the Insert link symbol or choose it from the Insert menu
- Make sure that in the pop up window there is only one field for “Link”. If there is also a “Text” box, you didn’t click the frame but inside the text box.
- Insert a link to the a website with the next puzzle/the password/ a picture.
- To prevent students from accidentally finding the link without knowing the answer, insert more text boxes over other items or the whole rest of the picture that lead to a “Wrong” message like in my example.
- VERY IMPORANT: before you insert the picture into a webpage, click on “Share” and click “advanced” and “Everyone with link can view”. Otherwise the picture will be invisible for everyone except for you.
- Now you can go to your puzzle website and insert it from your drive.
If you’re using PowerPoint to create a digital escape room, you may want to consider displaying it in kiosk mode. Kiosk mode allows you to present your PowerPoint presentation in full screen, with no distractions or other elements on the screen. This can be particularly useful when running an escape room, as it helps to immerse players in the experience and keeps them focused on the tasks at hand. It means they can only get to the next page if they click a link hidden on the page.
To put PowerPoint into kiosk mode, follow these steps:
- Open your PowerPoint presentation.
- Click on the “Slide Show” tab in the top menu.
- Click on the “Set Up Slide Show” button in the “Set Up” group.
- In the “Set Up Show” window, select the “Browsed by an individual (window)” option and click “OK.”
- Click on the “Slide Show” tab again and click on the “From Beginning” button to start the presentation.
Your PowerPoint presentation will now be displayed in kiosk mode, with no other elements visible on the screen. To exit kiosk mode, press the “Esc” key on your keyboard or click on the “X” in the top right corner of the screen.
You now need to ensure that your PowerPoint presentation opens in presentation mode when you share it with others so they can flick through the slides. To do so, you can follow these steps:
- Open your PowerPoint presentation.
- Click on the “File” tab in the top menu.
- Click on the “Save As” button in the left menu.
- In the “Save As” window, choose the location where you want to save your file.
- In the “Save as type” dropdown menu, select “PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx).”
- Click on the “Save” button to save your file in the PPSX format.
Saving your PowerPoint presentation in the PPSX format will cause it to open automatically in presentation mode when you or someone else opens it. This can be useful if you want to share your presentation with others and have it start automatically in full-screen mode.
To add a shape to a PowerPoint slide that contains a link to a different slide in the presentation, follow these steps:
- Open your PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add the shape.
- On the “Insert” tab in the top menu, click on the “Shapes” button.
- Select the shape you want to use from the dropdown menu.
- Click and drag on the slide to draw the shape.
- Right-click on the shape and select “Hyperlink” from the context menu.
- In the “Insert Hyperlink” window, select “Place in This Document” from the “Link to” dropdown menu.
- In the “Select a place in this document” field, select the slide you want to link to.
- Click on the “OK” button to insert the link.
The shape will now be linked to the selected slide, and it will be activated when someone clicks on the shape. This can be a useful way to create navigation buttons or other interactive elements in your PowerPoint presentation. You could make the element invisible by removing all colour. Now you can overlay it on top of a picture of a door, the correct number on a keypad or on the right answer of a multiple choice question.
Keep in mind that you can also link the shape to an external URL or file by selecting the “Existing File or Web Page” option in the “Link to” dropdown menu and entering the appropriate URL or file location.